With Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg envisioning Telepathy in communication as the future of digital communication, we are to graduate from what we can achieve with our various social media communication tools now, to actually being able to “share our thoughts”, sharing bits of information between minds (without any actual physical bridge).
This, in so many ways, will be a groundbreaking step in digital communication, if it ever happens. Zuckerberg expressed no doubts however when he detailed his take on the progression of digital communication saying , “We used to just share in text, and now we post mainly with photos. In the future, video will be even more important than photos. After that, immersive experiences like VR [virtual reality] will become the norm. And after that, we’ll have the power to share our full sensory and emotional experience with people whenever we’d like.”
He added that “One day, I believe we’ll be able to send full rich thoughts to each other directly using technology. You’ll just be able to think of something and your friends will immediately be able to experience it too if you’d like. This would be the ultimate communication technology.”
These insights into the future might seem far-fetched and seemingly impossible. In the digital ecosystem however, most innovations had seemed impossible at first until they became readily available for usage. Moreover, from a purely technical standpoint, a Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the university of Warwikshire, Prof. Christopher James, is of the view that it is possible to “read” a person’s brain activity and get a sense of what that person is thinking. To kick off however, he believes that functional magnetic resonance imaging, electrodes attached to the scalp, or implanting electrodes into the brain can all work to reveal something about brain activity in real-time, to start with.
However farfetched this progression seem now, when it does happen, it will only proffer solutions to current communication setbacks (if any) and lead to new challenges in the digital world such as safety, ethical and security issues. Until then, let the world continue to stretch the length of digital innovation and social media communication while improving interpersonal communication; health and safety; corporate culture; digital governance and, social good.