The Future of Our Minds: Neurochemistry, Memory Manipulation, Personality Reproduction and AI
Part three of The Ten Greatest Sexual Innovations to Come
Our first series on future sex technologies took a gander at developments in sensory tech: virtual reality, augmented reality, and direct neurostimulation. Then we journeyed into a future erotic world of cyborgs, body switching, and genetic engineering.
We’ve looked at what changes may come to our senses, including the changes to how we’ll experience eroticism. Then we explored the possible coming changes to our physical selves: how we’ll interact with the world.
So what’s left?
As that old chestnut goes, the greatest sex organ in the human body is the brain—and the future promises incredible changes to that very special part of ourselves. Hang on for a ride into the future of our erotic mental landscape with an exploration into neurochemistry, memory manipulation, personality reproduction, and artificial intelligence.
Innovation 7: Neurochemistry
Human beings have been altering our consciousnesses since… well, we’ve been human.
Since their discovery, MDMA (i.e. ecstasy), THC (the active ingredient in cannabis), and not to forget good old alcohol—and well as other substances—have practically become staples of human sexuality. And let’s not forget the physiological enhancements like Viagra.
But even more innovations are right around the corner. Soon, we will be able to (and, yes, I am going to use that overused word here) literally change our minds. After all, once we have unlocked the keys to chemical consciousness there’ll be nothing we won’t be able to amplify, tweak, or even remove.
Agreed, the possibility of abuse is there. But then we’ve always faced that in every technological innovation, sexual or otherwise, from rubbing two sticks together to the Internet.
But let’s look on the bright side. In a few years we’ll be able to pop a wizardly pharmaceutical mixture and become whatever we erotically want to be. Have a low sex drive? Then ramp it up. Sexually distracted? Shunt that sexual energy in other directions. Climax too fast? Slow it down. Climax too slowly? Speed it up.
Want to feel what it’s like to be on the other side of the orientation fence? One swallow and you can be gay, straight, bi … the idea of being just how you were born will be a thing of the past.
We already have some very effective anti-anxiety, anti-depression, anti-just-about-anything meds, so why not a drug to alleviate homophobia, shame, guilt, or jealousy?
But sometimes a pill just won’t do it. Just as our minds are within our brains, our personalities are often the products of our memories.
And here’s where things get really interesting.
Innovation 8: Memory Manipulation
While it’s sadly become a nightmare cliché, the promise of being able to alter or edit human memory actually holds incredible promise in treating a wide range of sexual dysfunctions.
We are, for the most part, our pasts. Errors in judgment become repeating patterns, early erotic imprinting carry on into adulthood, and sexual phobias form from traumatic experiences. Therapy can sometimes help, but for many their present lives are forever eclipsed by painful histories.
Either chemically or via direct neurostimulation, we’ll shortly be able to diminish these crippling memories or change them completely. Perhaps they’ll remain but will be toned down to a dull roar, or perhaps they’ll be walled off—to be revisited and hopefully addressed during therapy.
But there’s more: once we have access to the human mind there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to share memories of actual experiences or even artificially created ones. Maybe we’ll experience wild erotic adventures that’ll be fed directly into our minds, or learn how to be better lovers by having mental “hands on” training; feel what our lovers feel … to become part of their very own minds.
Or perhaps we’ll find the perfect sexual partner—in ourselves.
Innovation 9: Personality Reproduction
Agreed, we are wandering a bit toward the far horizon here, but the idea is simple enough: once we digitize human consciousness there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to copy our own personalities, our own minds.
We’ve already imagined a world of shared memories. Want to become be an adult movie star? Download one’s memories. Want to feel what it’s like to be any orientation, gender, or race? Plug in and there you go.
So why not make a backup copy of yourself? The obvious reason is a form of near immortality. Body gets messed up? Just download yourself into a new one: either a clone of the original or a synthetic one.
But we’re here about sex, after all. So create a backup of your mind, give it either your own memories, or those of someone else and perhaps, maybe, there will be partner of your dreams.
Or take this copy of yourself and send it out to have mind-bending erotic adventures, or travel the universe, or become a different orientation or gender. Then, when they return, just make a copy of their memories and add them to your own. Or perhaps merge both memories into one brand new personality?
But there’s one last stop before we wrap up this Ten Greatest Sexual Innovations to Come voyage—and it’s probably going to be the greatest coming change to human sexuality.
Innovation 10: Artificial Intelligence
We’ve read the books, seen the movies, watched the TV shows: the big, bad androids are coming and they are going to wipe out us poor little human beings.
Stephen Hawking has even said that artificial intelligence (AI) “—could spell the end of the human race.”
Besides, many people have hypothesized that AI is not just inevitable but logical; that one day we’ll pass the baton along to our artificial children.While having nowhere near the credentials of Dr. Hawking, I’ve often thought that when we are able to create an artificial mind—that will either come close, or surpass, our own—how we treat it will have a lot to do with how it will treat us.
What has all this to do with sex? Well, let’s let our fantasies rip.
It’s often said that the perfect lover is one that pleases the mind as well as the body: a person who transforms, educates, who helps reveals our deep, true natures. It’s a lucky human being who has someone like that in their life.
Why not extend that opportunity to everyone? An artificial intelligence, programmed with our best interests in mind, could know us better than we know ourselves. Either downloaded into an artificial body or experienced via direct neurostimulation, we could have a sexual partner who would see us with perfect clarity—without having to also deal with their own sexual issues at the same time.
Imagine a sexual partner that not just provides pleasure, but could also help us with every other aspect of our lives, nudging us, guiding us, being there when no one else was. With AI we could create not just a new source of erotic delight, but an important step in human evolution.
Okay. Take a deep breath. In and out. Yes, it’s a lot to absorb. But keep in mind how much has changed in only the last few years, and how well we’ve managed to adapt to it all. Reading this on a computer or perhaps a smartphone or tablet, you are one click away from your own personal exploration of everything we’ve touched on.
If you like, there is practically an infinite erotic world to explore in a few more swipes, where every interest, orientation, gender, type–real or imaginary–is available to explore.
Yes, some of what’s been brought up here might be, at first, a little scary, but if we approach the future with excitement—and arousal—who knows what amazing new pleasures await us?
One thing is certain: our only limits will be our imaginations.