afriedman17_Matjaz Slanic Getty Images_brainwavesmindreaddata Matjaz Slanic/Getty Images

Dystopia Is Arriving in Stages

Science fiction has a warning about developing mind-reading technology without any proper framework for how to control it. It should be heeded.

NEW YORK – It is commonly believed that the future of humanity will one day be threatened by the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), perhaps embodied in malevolent robots. Yet as we enter the third decade of the millennium, it is not the singularity we should fear, but rather a much older enemy: ourselves.

Think less The Terminator, more Minority Report.

We are rapidly developing literal mind-reading technology without any framework for how to control it. Imagine, for a moment, if human beings had evolved to be able to read each other’s minds. How would that have gone for us?

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