Personal data has become the currency of the 21st century. Our digital devices enable tech companies to gain insight into user’s needs and desires, using AI to target individuals with personalised ads and communication. As our lives become progressively entangled with digital experiences, our thoughts, memories and perceptions are increasingly mediated by technology. The integration between humans and machines moves us towards a once unimaginable idea of a downloadable brain. Mind uploading, formerly a fanciful idea in sci-fi fantasy and film, is the ability to copy the neural structure of one’s brain to a computer. It’s considered a potential solution for the preservation of our species, a key goal of the transhumanist movement. As technology progresses and we become further cognitively attached to our machines, what will our future look like in this world of surveillance capitalism?

BY  Gabriella Warren-Smith (UK)

Gabriella Warren-Smith is an independent curator and writer, whose research investigates the relationship between digital culture and society. She is the proud owner and editor of Cognitive Sensations, an online platform showcasing writing and art exploring the impact of technology on human behaviour and everyday life. As an individual practitioner, she enjoys working with artists and scientists on multidisciplinary projects exploring human development in a technological world. She has previously presented her research in venues such as FACT, The British Museum and Tate Liverpool, and is currently exploring the medium of the online sphere.