Information technology began evolving in the modern sense of the expression around the middle of the last century, and is still a work in progress today.
Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) are undergoing early research stages today, and we should expect them to similarly develop through many years or decades.
The world as we know it -by then- might have changed extensively.
As making BCI and everyday technology will be a multi-stage process, it would seem reasonable to assume that initially they will contribute to growing inequality, as the richer will get more advanced devices that will in turn give them a competitive advantage in the job market.
In a world ruled by the logic of profit, it would also seem fair to assume that any employers should be happy to subsidise BCI enhancements for their employees.
The logic would be similar to what drives companies today to supply laptops, smartphones, and other benefits, in a bid to increase productivity.
However: by the time we’ll get BCI to this stage, will our current economic model still be functioning and hegemonic in the world? As I exposed many times, there is more than one reason to doubt.
Anthropomorphic Robots are evolving at a much faster rate and they will become widespread years or decades before any meaningful advancement will be brought to market in the BCI field. When Anthropomorphic Robots will be widespread, the law of supply and demand will be obsolete in many ways.
This would essentially void the whole argument of growing inequality, as the world in which this happens will not be measured through the same indicators that we use today.
A second question mark will be how a biological brain will react to a continuous stream of information without precedent. This will make our current era of multitasking seem paleolithic.
We do sometimes already feel like we may need a break from the hectic life we conduct, but we are now talking about an infinite stream of any information you will ever need available here-and-now, directly in your mind.
As a matter of fact it could make the information available even Before you need it! It happens every day with your internet browser, preemptively caching the web-pages you may need next.
So, back to our question, would this be enough to cause mental health concerns? Even if we had a switch, would we be capable of turning such powerful device off? How can we prevent addiction? These are all huge questions that need to be addressed and for which as of today there is no answer.
There is an increasing evidence that our smart phones cause addiction, and they are external to ourselves, and they have a very obvious “on/off” mode… and yet, we barely ever reboot them, leave alone shutting them down. The impact on society will be massive: the definition of a new species of Homo that supersedes the Homo Sapiens may be biologically inaccurate, but it resonates well with the magnitude of the revolution coming our way.