The Future Today Institute’s comprehensive forecast was forwarded by Digital Book World.

Apparently ha-ha predictions of automatic transmission from the brain of the author to the brain of the reader may be on their way to becoming less of a joke.


This slide from the Future Today Institute’s slide presentation is of course unreadable here. It is slide 53, if you want to go to the report via the link above. Alternatively, this is what it says under the heading Examples:

We don’t recognize it as such but we are actually living in an age of digital telepathy, where information can be transmitted via direct input. At the University of Washington’s Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering, researchers have built a system allowing one person to transmit his thoughts directly to another person. Using electrical brain recordings and a form of magnetic stimulation, one researcher sent a brain signal to another person elsewhere on campus, using his finger to tap a keyboard. Scientists at Barcelona’s Starlab fitted a brain-computer interface on a man in Kerala, India and instructed him to simply imagine how he was moving his hands and feet. His thoughts were sent to a man in Strasbourg, France wearing a TMS robot, which delivered electrical pulses to his brain. When the man in India thought about moving his feet, the TMS caused the man in France to see light, even though his eyes were closed.

Under What’s Next they discuss medical applications to help victims of stroke and traumatic brain injury. These sorts of application are obviously likely to be first fruits. But can we resist the thought that with a few years of development we can achieve direct communication from an author’s brain to readers around the world? This sounds like it might be a bit exhausting for the author, so of course the communication will no doubt be with an author-brain-surrogate and the rest of us. What price publishers when we eventually achieve unmediated links between your brain and mine? I always thought that Isaac Asimov’s electronic books in The Foundation series were much too primitive to match the rest of the technology.

I did a rather puzzled post on this subject a year ago.