Researchers are always looking at ways to harness the power of the human brain, and augment our grey matter - be it mind-controlled drones
, brain-machine interfaces
, or using brain scans to predict future criminals
. But some scientists warn we shouldn't go cyborg for at least another 100 years.
Paul Werbos, a program manager at the National Science Foundation and one of the country's leading neuroscientists, said that there could be dire consequences
if we continue to experiment with the brain before we completely understand how it works.
"We're trying to reverse engineer the brain so we can understand it much better than we do," Werbos said at a panel in Washington, D.C. discussing the state of the future
. "But, with the state of technology right now, in 100 years we might be able to reverse engineer [a brain] the level of a mouse."
Werbos, who clarified that he was offering up his own opinions and not those of the NSF, said we could open up a Pandora's Box of problems if we keep innovating without knowing what we're doing.
"Once upon a time, heroin was a great technological breakthrough, but it actually ushered in a new era with which we're still struggling," he said.
"There are a lot of current efforts to manipulate and control the brain without first understanding it ... those efforts, in my view, are closer to heroin. They're very dangerous."