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Mapping Weak Signals

Inspired by: blogs » Synthetic Telepathy - thinking not so out loud...

version: 3 / updated: 2011-02-04
id: #1601 / version id: #1044
mode: VIEW

Originally submitted by: Anthony Walker
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Last changed by: Anthony Walker
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Source of inspiration

Internet Blogs

The source of the Weak Signal is


Signal's headline

(max. 9 words)
Synthetic Telepathy - thinking not so out loud...

Signal's description

(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Weak Signal (approx. 150 words)
Research is underway on synthetic telepathy to ultimately lead to a brain-brain communication system that would benefit soldiers on a battlefield aswell as stroke and paralysis sufferers. Communication would take on a completely different format, and the question could be, who would have access to your thoughts, and whether this would be deemed an invasion of privacy.


synthetic telepathy, brain-brain communication, privacy, military, paralysis, health benefits


(max. 250 characters)
Research is underway on synthetic telepathy to ultimately lead to a brain-brain communication system that would benefit soldiers on a battlefield aswell as stroke and paralysis sufferers.

Signal's first apperance


Signal's potential evolution

It could lead to...
issue type of issue/development potential impact on society timeframe for the issue to become at least 50% probable
#1 Privacy issues – is it communication or control? Fraud potential – undermining law (who would be found guilty of crime, the person who did it or the person who thought it?) New way of monitoring thoughts and ability to control potentially dangerous seizures. Political negotiation. new/emerging
#2 Regulation of fitting devices would be required (for instance, bootleg ‘practitioners’ offering to fit un regulated deveices). re-emerging
very harmful
#3 Invasion of privacy as computer hacking is taken one step further to hacking directly into the brain and thoughts. Destructive societal classes developed as technology only available to the selected few. Addictive behaviour becomes prevalent as artificial thoughts become more important than ‘real life’ activity. continuation
mainly harmful

Under what assumption the Weak Signal might evolve.

Step change


please specify
please select
Level 1: important for a particular country On personal level or political/work
Level 2: important for a particular world region On personal level or political/work
Level 3: important for the European Union On personal level or political/work
Level 4: important for the whole world On personal level or political/work

Filters preventing the signal's monitoring

scientific filters (knowledge/technology access)

Comments on selection:

Whether possible and to what extent

Key driving forces of this signal

Please use these boxes to provide up to 2 drivers of HIGH importance. Click on HELP to see examples:
Driver 1 Driver 2
Social If feasible there would be a will to develop it
Technological/Scientific Needs major advances
Political If feasible there would be political will to develop it

Major risks & opportunities associated to the signal

Please choose the most appropriate timeframe option(s) to which you would like to provide inputs.
Risks Opportunities
beyond 2050 Breakdown in communication World peace as no-one can deceive anyone else

Potential stakeholders' actions

short-term actions
(after 2015)
Academic/Research sector Carry out research Develop any leads

Signal's relevance for European Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Ageing and other demographic tensions Depending on uptake. May reliev tension.
Behavioural change Would affect all.
Coexistence and conflicts Lying may no longer be possible.
Crime and terrorism Possible use in fraud
Ethics and abuse of S&T Privacy an issue
Governance and trust in democracy Lying may no longer be possible.
Social cohesion and diversity Would be major effects.
Work-Life balance and mental health Could have adverse mental effects

Signal's relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
Health Communcation with paralysed patients, coma victims

Research-friendly strategies potentially improving understanding of the signal

For further information about 'research-friendly strategies' click here
please justify:
particularly relevant
Creating a closer link between researchers & policy-makers
(e.g. supporting both thematic and cross-cutting policies, highlighting the strategic purpose of the European Research Area, etc.
Based un trust

Signal's relevance for future R&D and STI policies

Note: RTD = research and technology development; STI = science, technology and innovation
Major technological advances required to make this technology applicable. Applications potential tough to realise as politics and legislation may be a barrier. Legal implications, legislation and laws need to be addressed.