Everything in life is a balance. Name any concept or thing and it can almost certainly be argued that equilibrium must exist in order for it to be healthy; in order for an individual to live productively. 

The ideas of right-wing and left-wing extremism demonstrate this concept. Humans can go too far in either direction. They can become anarchists who oppose any societal organization, or they can become dictators and oppose any form of individual liberty.

When it comes to science and technology in the 21st century, the same principle applies. The science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) developments in the past few decades are spectacular. In less than 100 years, we went from living largely without electricity and the internet to relying on both at every hour of the day. While progress can be good, it almost always comes with unintended outcomes. In 2023, we are seeing those results first-hand. 

Neuralink, for example, is Elon Musk’s technological device that intertwines with the brain to treat conditions like paralysis. Neurological implant technology has already been used for hearing impairments, but not like Musk’s invention. Nerualink uses an electrode-laden computer chip that can be sewn into the surface of the brain and connects it to external electronics. For now, the effort is aimed at health advancements, but according to The Guardian, Musk has said the eventual goal is to develop a “general population device” that can connect a user’s mind directly to supercomputers and help humans keep up with artificial intelligence.

Every individual must ask, is it possible that artificial intelligence can go too far? As every day passes, the answer becomes more clear.

Egotistical world powers aren’t committed to God, and they certainly aren’t committed to truth. A World Economic Forum contributor, Yuval Noah Harari, recently glorified the idea of A.I. technology creating a new bible. During a recent forum called “A.I. & The Future of Humanity,” he said that A.I. technology will soon be able to create new ideas and concepts, as the human brain does. 

“A.I. can create new ideas; [it] can even write a new Bible,” he said, in order to establish unified religions. “In a few years, there might be religions that are actually correct … just think about a religion whose holy book is written by an A.I… That could be a reality in a few years.”

The outright attack on religion became unmistakable when he compared real religions to fake news, explaining that “we are admonished not to call it ‘fake news’ in order not to hurt the feelings of the faithful (or incur their wrath).”

Pure lies. Purely evil intentions. This is the direction our technology is headed.

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The public has heard plenty about artificial intelligence and virtual reality, but what is augmented reality? It’s a technology that combines an individual’s real-life surroundings with the virtual world. It’s pulling two worlds together and attempting to make real-life fake, and fake-life real. Apple is set to release its new augmented reality headset in 2024 at the whopping price of $3,499. The mixed reality is extremely concerning, with some people calling the product a ‘crime’ and a ‘tragedy’ for children. 

“Depending on how seductive the experience is, it could lead to metaverse addiction,” Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D, told The Defender. “The possibility for addiction to a simulated reality is great, especially in the case of children [and] for those children who become addicted, psycho-social development will likely be adversely affected, if not distorted beyond recognition.”

Americans are more depressed than ever and more addicted to media consumption than ever. It goes without saying that combining an artificial world with a user’s physical surroundings will bring a surplus of new mental health challenges to society, especially as all technology has become a way for people to escape from the real world.  

Self-governance requires discipline and control of one’s emotional and physical well-being, which is impossible when one escapes reality and replaces it with a mind-controlling machine. The world will continue pushing technology that crosses the ethical line, but it doesn’t mean people should accept it. 

About The Author

Brianna is a national staff writer at Convention of States Action.