Losing our brains with disruptive technologies (V): See
Have a beautiful weekend. Before proceeding further, I wish you to be aware of some minor changes to our outline schedule. My posts have a maximum number of words per publication. I do not wish to extend today´s piece of work beyond your comfort. The Hear-Listen Sense will be developed next Monday 20th. The Taste sense will be linked to our next week’s activities, the Eat and Drink pursuits stirred by our disruptive technologies. Thank you for your understanding.
Today´s domain is the visual sense which is also performed by our brains.
How our vision works?. “Photoreceptors in our eyes gather light, convert its physical energy into neural messages, and send them on to the occipital lobe in the brain for decoding and analyzing”. Transduction happens in the retina which is composed of light-sensitive layers of cells at the back of the eyes. Those cells are called rods and cones. Rods work better in dim light, and cones work beautifully in bright light to discriminate more than five million different colors.
The degree of complexity of our vision. Even though the eyes send information to the brain to make sense out of it, what you see is not usually what it is. Our brain makes assumptions about what we THINK reality is because of our unique backgrounds and cerebral maturity. That is why no two people “see” the same thing. Can you perceive the degree of complexity of our vision? Perceptual distortions affect our capacity to see objectively. This simple “perception issue” is what virtual reality is using to make us perceive things that do not exist, but our brain is mocked to believe in their certainty projected images. The virtual world that many new technologies are creating through the usage of new devices or technologies is far from physicalness materiality but it triggers deceptive appearances to our brain which is starting to learn how to accept them as a “reality”. These simple technologies which make an illusion, or a virtual object projected by virtual 3D images (either by glasses or contact lenses); trick our brain to believe that are realities. And the usage of them will inevitably change our brain functions. It is a mega-impact of stratospheric consequences in our cerebral processes. Psychologists, neuroscientists, and brain specialists should be extremely worried about the negative consequences of these tech devices. In the hands of the wrong investors and business decision-makers who wish “only” to make money with them, our brain will start to believe that virtual illusions are a reality, and our sensory brain stimulus will become more ambiguous. Maybe in a few years or decades, if these devices are used without any type of control as the case of the smartphones, our brains will begin to confuse the information (between real and virtual), and our brains will become atrophied, our neural connections will try to combine the virtual with the real, to the point that familiar patterns which are not apparent will be interpreted as illusions, and the opposite too; and the brain ultimately will fail into its primordial functions.
Let´s understand why Eleonora Escalante Strategy is worried about these new virtual “vision” technologies if not used with precise limits, crystal clear regulations and tough disciplines for any future transgressions to these limits:
Through the eyes, our brain is wired to make sense of reality. Today we will explore what are the most important discoveries or technologies which have impacted the vision of our eyes throughout history.
1. Eyeglasses: The discovery of small magnifying glasses with spheres comes from the peak of the Roman empire. Later, the wearable glasses were a distinction utilized by erudite and monks during the 13thcentury, with much spread use in Italy. During the Renaissance, the hand-held frames or perch style lenses signified the difference between the intellectuals. Nevertheless, it was not technology for everyone. Later, the appearance of Martin’s margins and the Benjamin Franklin bifocal lenses marked the beginning of the eyeglasses industry. During the 19th century, more eyeglasses notable developments emerged, such as the scissor’s eyeglasses. With the first industrial revolution, eyeglasses production began to be affordable and massive for everyone and continued to evolve in uses, functions, designs, and colors. Google Eyes was a recent attempt to link our glasses, our brain and our computers or smartphones, but for me it was a defective experiment.
2. Contact Lenses: These are the thin lenses, ocular prosthetic devices placed directly on the surface of the eye. They can be worn to correct vision, for cosmetic, or therapeutic reasons. Contact lenses are a common feasible option, and they are available in rigid and soft silicone hydrogels (as of 1998). Despite the common complications (microbial infections) of using contacts in improper manners, the contact lenses technology is the base for multiple innovations that are being developed nowadays with the nanotechnology (contact lenses used to record, to blink and zoom and even they wish to grant the microchip of a computer or smartphone inside the contacts.
3. Eye Tracking: At the current time, there are emerging new technologies that are trying to apply artificial intelligence to our vision functions. One of them is Eye Tracking. According to the Gothenburg based company Smart Eye, eye tracking is their core business since 1999. This company has been doing research on how to capture and measure a person’s gaze and eye movements beyond human limitations. Basic eye trackers achieve this with an ordinary computer, while advanced systems use multiple cameras to track several subjects in more complex environments. The use of artificial intelligence, announced by Smart Eye, is a necessary component when it comes to achieving high standards for accuracy with multiple applications in the automotive, industrial and medical industries.
4. Bionic Eyes: Also known as bionic eye implants. Several bionic eye implants technologies are in development, but currently only one is available in the United States, and it is suitable only for blindness caused by specific eye diseases. The FDA has approved just one commercially available bionic eye system called the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System, developed by a California-based company called Second Sight.
5. Lens Implants: Lens implants are available in the market for several decades. For example, Phakic IOLs (intraocular lenses) are an alternative to LASIK and PRK eye surgery for correcting moderate to severe myopia (nearsightedness). Similarly, corneal implants can help treat presbyopia, corneal transplants can treat keratoconus, and retinal implants are an option for severe vision loss.
6. Virtual Reality Devices: Virtual and augmented reality accessories propose significant advances to health-care technologies and other industries, from diagnosis to education. While with virtual reality, the person’s brain emerges in totally artificially created surroundings, augmented reality generates images that can be layered on the top of real-world objects. In both cases, the user can see the created imagery or text with the help of VR/AR glasses, while their hands stay free.
7. Augmented Reality Contact lenses: I wished to finish with this new technology because it is one of the most recent ones, Mojo Vision. This new tech was introduced at the CES 2020, and it is under development.
It took us more than 1000 years to find the cure to our eyes troubles´vision with traditional eyeglasses or lens implants. Which is good in terms of curing our diseases. Finding a cure to our eyes afflictions is one thing. To abuse of visual tech is another thing.
The troubles of impulsing virtual reality or augmented reality devices without discernment are: Without regulations, we are at risk to market these devices massively. Sooner or later, like the eyeglasses history, these devices will be cheaper and used for other purposes. The danger is that by selling these devices (particularly Virtual Reality Glasses or implanted lenses) like bread or smartphones, their usage will force our brain function to change from its original version. In some decades, people who use these gadgets, won´t be able to discern the virtual versus the facts, our brains will be disturbed for worst, and may decay or decline… we will start a physical degeneration process too… the massive use of these devices may release atrophied brains.
Probably if we don´t regulate these new discoveries from now, in the near future, I presume new inventors will forge a new gadget or chip to help people to suppress their native-born brain capacities to “see”, handling the responsibility to another second new tiny gizmo that will connect our eyes with a standard artificial brain through the Internet, to help us to see the same thing than the robots who will lead our cerebrum capacities. Crazy eh!
We will continue next Monday with the Listen-Hear sense activities. Wish me luck. Blessings and have a beautiful weekend.
Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY. Nevertheless, the majority of the pictures, images or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.