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?
Original article “Get to know your unconscious: Dream-reading technology that actually works?” by Kieron Monks of CNN
A dizzying number of trackers are available for health and lifestyle. Enthusiasts can now chart every calorie burned or consumed, have their genetics broken down and backdated for centuries, or follow their stress levels through a family holiday. But while our waking moments become ever more transparent, the one-third of our life spent asleep has remained off limits.
Throughout history, dreams have proved resistant to interrogation. It is not known why we sleep at all beyond a general need to recharge and avoid the negative consequences of not sleeping, while an explanation for the substance of dreams has proved even more elusive, still dominated by the theories of wish fulfillment espoused by Freud and Jung.
But now, digital innovations are picking up the challenge.