'Neureality' from Future Minds: The Rise of Intelligence, from the Big Bang to the End of the Universe © Richard Yonck

Back in 2018 & 2019, when I was writing Future Minds, I coined a phrase I’d never run across before: Neureality. (I’m not saying no one had ever thought of it, just that I’d never heard of or read it.) My idea at the time was that our technologies were rapidly approaching the stage when they would be able to directly alter our perceived reality in much the same way virtual reality does today. However, given this would be done using brain-computer interfaces and other tech, it had the potential to be far more convincing and immersive. This I thought, would be neureality.

As I’ve had time to mull this idea, however, I’ve realized much of this anticipated development has already arrived. To borrow from William Gibson, “it’s just not evenly distributed yet.” While I’m sure there will be many beneficial uses of neureality in the future, it’s already being implemented in ways that are concerningly detrimental. I’ll be exploring ideas about neureality in the coming months and look forward to sharing more with you in the near future.