You still have time to give your children this amazing opportunity, but you have to act fast!
The San Francisco Bay Area is great for generating parental inferiority complexes.
I have heard rumors of parents putting their children on waiting lists for upscale preschools before the kids were actually born, sometimes before they were even conceived. Parents get a little obsessive about making sure their little ones get things like language immersion and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) exposure at early ages.
I’ll be honest here, I am one of these parents, too.
I would like my kids to learn French while their brains are still in the malleable phase that makes learning languages easy. I have felt flares of envy listening to a coworker describe how his daughters have absolutely no screen time, ever.
It’s easy to succumb to the desire to give your own children every advantage possible. So here’s something to add to the list.
BCI stands for Brain-Computer Interface
Right now, in order to command your computer to do things you have to use either a mouse, a trackpad, type words on a keyboard, speak commands to a microphone or make gestures with your hands. Brain-computer interfaces skip the middle man and let your computer interpret commands straight from the electrical impulses of your brain.
Most often these look like a headband that has several EEG sensors on your scalp, like this:
Isn’t he cute?
BCI not on the radar… yet
Nobody is talking about this now, but the generation of kids growing up now will probably be the last generation to grow up without using BCI devices from an early age. This means that their brains will not get the chance to adapt to BCI while in that stage of mega-neuro-plasticity that makes languages so easy to adopt and turns little violinists into child prodigies.
BCI will be the next step in human evolution
Why should we care?
People who learn to use effectively utilize BCI’s will be able to do things with technology that will look like magic to the rest of us. They’ll be able to command robotic devices with their thoughts. They’ll be able to download information from the internet without having to break from other activities.
Okay, maybe I’m overhyping this.
It might be more like the difference between knowing how to touch-type and having to hunt and peck on a keyboard, or the advantage that comes with knowing how to write basic computer scripts. Even so, those who adapt early in their lives will have greater facility with this technology than those who don’t.
BCI’s are already here
Right now, you can buy a headband that places a few sensors against your scalp to measure EEG waves. Next level is implanting a sensor straight into your brain to get much higher fidelity readings on your brain. Think that’s weird? It’s already in development.
For a really deep dive on this, go check out this article on Wait by Why.
We may see a world in which it is commonplace to embed sensors into the brains of babies so that their BCI connection develops in parallel with the rest of their cognitive abilities. That generation will be able to access all the information in the world at torrential speeds.
Talk about a digital divide.
Does this sound icky?
Your kids are already being prepped on it. Go watch the Paw Patrol cartoons. How do you think the pups are controlling those robotic appendages? That’s right – it must be through a BCI, meaning that Chase, Rubble, Sky and Marshal are essentially cyborg dogs.
What do you think?
Would you sign your child up for an implant if it was available (and proven to be safe, of course)?