The future is here, and our integration with technology has begun. For years now we have been integrating technology into our daily lives and engaging with different technologies on a constant basis.
Imagine life without internet connectivity or your mobile phone? There’s no way we can live without either. We are seeing advances in technology that without a doubt is improving what we can do as human beings, and is vital to our future development.
I would argue we now have 6 senses as human beings; vision, hearing, touch, smell, taste, and technology. Like vision or hearing, technology is just as important a factor in what makes us human nowadays.
The latest advancement within this argument is microchips, and it has become extremely popular within the space of transhuman technology; a movement that aims to transform the human condition by developing sophisticated technology that greatly enhances human intellect and physiology.
On August 1st 2017, Three Square Market, a vending machine company in Wisconsin, began offering microchip implants to all their employees which they say allows them to make purchases, open doors, login to computers, use the copy machine and more. The chip is the size of a grain of rice and is placed between an employee’s thumb and forefinger.
No more worrying about bringing your employee ID to work, or your wallet to work. Once you have the chip installed in your hand, you can open doors and purchase coffee with the wave of your hand.
It all sounds so convenient, right? But I’m not sure people are quite ready to have some sort of microchip installed. More than 50 out of 80 employees at Three Square Market have volunteered, so the idea itself has a lot of admirers.
Recently Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, said “that humans must become cyborgs to survive in the future.” He speaks about the need to integrate ‘neural laces’ into our brains in order to combat the inevitable rise of AI technologies.
So the idea of integrating technology into our bodies has been circulating for quite a bit, and people are getting more and more used to the idea.
In 10 or 15 years, I do think that this idea won’t be as strange as it is now. It’s an idea that needs to best tested out and that’s exactly what’s happening right now.
Privacy and security
Part of the narrative behind the fear of microchipping is the uncertainty of privacy and security of employees. You can’t turn the chip off or put it away, it’s in you and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Yet Three Square Market say that their chips are not trackable, nor do they have any kind of GPS capabilities. They say the microchips are designed to make your access to anything you need at work and the experience you have at work, easier than it ever was.
While the microchips might not track an employees location by GPS, they do give employers a huge amount of data about what employees do and when they do it, such as how often an employee leaves his workspace to go to the bathroom or get food.
It’s important to note that while this type of information can be useful or even harmless to record, an employees privacy should always be in mind.
An obvious concern is the fact that you are putting something into your body. It’s a quite a big step to take as a person. It’s not a natural thing to do.
Who’s to say the chip doesn’t have an electrical fault? There are many hazards that people quickly think of, and that’s normal.
Biohackers have predicted a positive future for microchips, as they say it will be instrumental in how we monitor our own health and fitness activities. We could eventually understand why we’re not feeling well, exactly what the problem is and how to fix it.
Implanting microchips into our bodies has the potential of helping us do far more than just opening doors or paying for coffee.
So while microchips may revolutionize how we live, do we really need it at work? Employees should consider all perspectives before committing to it.