Brain implants ‘could lead to hackers controlling your mind,’ scientists warn

Rob Waugh

Elon Musk isn’t content with conquering space with Space X, revolutionising transport with Hyperloop and making pots of money with his Tesla electric car.

One of his companies aims to create a Matrix-style ‘brain implant’ to plug humans directly into machines.

It’s a leap forward which could lead to humans merging with machines – but a group of neuroscientists has warned that brain scans, brain implants and related technologies could have terrifying side effects.

In a letter in the scientific journal Nature this week, 27 top neuroscientists highlighted some of the risks of the technology.

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The scientists pointed out that some people who have had brain implants report feeling an ‘altered sense of identity’, Gizmodo reports – and that if the technology advances, they might

The researchers write, ‘The technology could also exacerbate social inequalities and offer corporations, hackers, governments or anyone else new ways to exploit and manipulate people,.

‘It could profoundly alter some core human characteristics: private mental life, individual agency and an understanding of individuals as entities bound by their bodies.’

‘Algorithms that are used to target advertising, calculate insurance premiums or match potential partners will be considerably more powerful if they draw on neural information — for instance, activity patterns from neurons associated with certain states of attention.

‘And neural devices connected to the Internet open up the possibility of individuals or organisations (hackers, corporations or government agencies) tracking or even manipulating an individual’s mental experience.