Dreams have long remained a private domain, a personal doorway into the unconscious mind. As reported by Kieron Monks for CNN in 2014 however, neuroscientists and psychologists are now using smartphone and EEG technology to access, socialise and influence people’s dreams on a wide scale. Scientists have even developed the rudimentary ability to mechanically interpret dreamscapes based on brain activity.
Although such developments are painted in a positive light — for example claiming the technology has therapeutic applications that could help people recover from depression — given the recent mass surveillance revelations, concerns about how easily smartphone technology can be hacked, and the long history of those in power trying to psychologically influence the masses, could society trust that this technology and the information gleaned from dreams would be used solely for good? Or could the world’s most private information fall into the wrong hands, possibly becoming the basis of a Brave New World or 1984esque scenario that benefits the oligarchy but oppresses the masses, in which subconscious desires or drives could be unconsciously implanted, or dreams could be read without a person’s knowledge and used against them?