What Are The Positives And Negatives Of Developing Digital Contacts?

Daja Wade

“The Entire History of You” is another “Black Mirror” episode that introduces a form of technology that is already in the works of being perfected. Currently, we are able to read and research the progress of the development of contact lenses that would be able to store footage as memories and do many other tasks, such as measuring blood glucose as mentioned in the article “Memory and Privacy in The Entire History of You.” However, with this new technology, many questions are being raised about how it could affect privacy, mental health, and psychological functions in humans.

There are surely pros and cons to having a device that records any and everything. But, why do we forget? There has to be a reason. And, contacts that hinder this ability make us pose the question. The truth is, scholars feel as though forgetting allows us to do several things, such as become more creative thinkers, become more compassionate and forgiving, and alleviate the brain preventing it from overloading. So, with contacts that handicap this ability, what affects could it have on the way people feel and think?

“The Entire History of You” does a great job of forcing the audience to consider this because it shows us a realistic scenario of how it could mold us and shape how we think and react in the face of perceived adversity. “Memory and Privacy in The Entire History of You” contributes to the expectations of this new technology because it acknowledges the possibility of having memories involuntarily shared just as we saw in this episode. With that as a possibility, we must consider possible occurrences when developing this type of technology.

Scientists have experimented with induced forgetting and found evidence to back the harsh truth that sometimes we need to forget. An experiment was performed in which subjects were voluntarily forced to forget the uses of certain tools. Subsequently, this caused those participating in the experiment to think of and innovate new ways to use common household tools.

Additionally, being able to forget certain negative memories caused the same individuals to be more open to new experiences and allowed them to be more compassionate to their peers. If this had been possible in “The Entire History of You,” the couple probably could have quickly overcome the wife’s infidelity. But there is not a definite way to know this. It is only backed by the evidence collected from the experiment.

Furthermore, we are also given a good idea of the “cool down” concept of the brain. As, scientists have concluded, without the ability to forget, the brain overloads, preventing it from properly handling reality. We can clearly see this as Liam does many surprising things, such as forcibly probing his wife and Jonas’s memories. His irrational behavior can be at least partially to blame on “The Grain,” which is why he removes it later. But this is a potentially frightening idea since companies, such as Apple, Sony and Microsoft are in the race to perfect the digital contact first. We can only hope their work doesn’t facilitate the lack of proper testing and development.

The article “Apple predicts ‘Black Mirror’ implants could soon be a reality” proves that this is becoming a reality. By describing the company’s intentions to administer such technology into society, this helps prove it is not merely speculative fiction.

Tom Gruber, the creator of Siri, informed the public of Apple’s intentions to produce  similar technology to that in the episode of “Black Mirror.” This type of technology has many unforeseen negative effects, but can also come with benefits. The only way to pinpoint these is for those innovating to thoroughly test it beforehand. And, even then, it is difficult to discern some of the possible outcomes.

Nevertheless, digital contacts that can record may be making their way into our lives sooner or later, and they could be a positive addition. As long as we utilize this technological innovation for productive purposes, we should be fine. Or, we should be even better than previously. There are many useful advantages to having contacts that store certain footage as memory. We just have to overcome our own nature when dealing with such a controversial technology.

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