The Future of Brain-Computer Interfaces: Blockchaining Your Way into a Cloudmind

Journal of Evolution and Technology 26 (2):60-81 (2016)
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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to explore the development of brain-computer interfacing and cloudminds as possible future scenarios. I describe potential applications such as selling unused brain processing cycles and the blockchaining of personality functions. The possibility of ubiquitous brain-computer interfaces that are continuously connected to the Internet suggests interesting options for our future selves. Questions about what it is to be human; the nature of our current existence and interaction with reality; and how things might be different could become more prominent. I examine speculative future scenarios such as digital selves and cloudmind collaborations. Applications could be adopted in tiers of advancing complexity and risk; starting with health tracking; followed by information seeking and entertainment; and finally; self-actualization. By linking brains to the Internet; BCIs could allow individuals to be more highly connectable not just to communications networks but also to other minds; and thus could enable participation in new kinds of collective applications such as a cloudmind. A cloudmind is the concept of multiple individual minds joined together to pursue a collaborative goal such as problem solving; idea generation; creative expression; or entertainment. The prospect of cloudminds raises questions about individual versus collective personhood. Some of the necessary conditions for individuals to feel comfortable in joining a cloudmind include privacy; security; reversibility; and retention of personal identity. Blockchain technology might be employed to orchestrate the security; automation; coordination; and credit-assignation requirements of cloudmind collaborations.

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
Logical investigations.Edmund Husserl - 2000 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Dermot Moran.
Logical Investigations.Edmund Husserl - 1970 - London, England: Routledge. Edited by Dermot Moran.

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