Olivia Solon explains at Wired UK:
Technologists will become the next drug dealers, administering narcotics through brain stimulation, according to Rohit Talwar, the founder of Fast Future Research speaking at Intelligence Squared’s If conference.
Talwar was charged by the government to investigate the drugs landscape over the next 20 years, exploring scenarios going beyond the traditional model of gangs producing and shipping drugs around the world.
He described how the world of genomic sequencing and services such as 23 and Me open up possibilities for tailoring drugs to the individual, delivering effects based on your physiology — which could apply just as effectively to narcotics as it could medicines.
He cited research from the University of California, Berkeley where neuroscientists were able to replicate images people were seeing based on the brain patterns of activity. When combined with transcranial magnetic stimulation — which has been used to inhibit brain functions such as the ability to speak or remember — it opens up the possibility of electronically delivering targeted highs.
He said: “You could also visualise the experience and then tailor the effect to what you want. This nano-bio-info-cogno convergence gets us into some very interesting spheres.”
One scenario he imagines would make use of biological proteins manufactured with information-processing technology to deliver effects that could be triggered by electromagnetic stimulation. He imagined that they could be used in a club environment where the DJ would release nanoparticles that the audience could ingest…
[continues at Wired UK]
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