First of all, it is important to explain the title. Brain enhancement has nothing to do with sexuality, right? Of course, this is the case, but both of these things can be changed with a configurable brain. For the sake of this post, we are talking about the configuration of a brain after it has been uploaded to digital form.
What is a configurable brain?
After someone had uploaded their brain to digital form, their entire brain would have a digital copy. With sufficient understanding of how the brain is mapped and how it works, relevant professionals would be able to analyse this digital copy and find which bit does what. Eventually, there would a large database of digital brains with exact copies of all its parts and what information each part governs. One example could be the area of the brain responsible for sight or creativity. Theoretically, this data could be made much simpler in an administrative interface, with each person’s digital brain being split, grouping each copied neuron by function.
Methods for configuring the digital brain
Method 1: Copy/Paste Hybrid Brain (CHB)
Assuming it was allowed by regulators, a person could copy the desired part of a brain for one person and past it into another person’s brain. This hybrid brain would have aspects from more than one brain, with things like sexuality, intellect and personality being options not unlike choosing clothes or the highly customisable artificial bodies that would house these digital brains.
Method 2: Artificially-Averaged Hybrid Brain (AAHB)
The second possible method would involve AI analysing all relevant parts of the brain that fall in a selection. For example, if someone wanted to have the creativity of a musician all the creativity components of known musicians could be brought up, analysed, and then an average produced. This average could then be installed into the user’s own brain.
Method 3: (Neural network) AI Hybrid Brain (AIHB)
On the other end of the scale would be pure AI. AI could be trained on known brain components and then instructed to make up its own version. Some may argue this could be part of an AI takeover, but nonetheless, it could give desired results in brain configuration, potentially being preferable due to no issues with privacy. On the other hand, and equally valid, is the idea that such an AI hybrid brain (AIHB) dilutes the legitimacy of the digital brain and any person who chooses to go down this path becomes less of a person.
Uses of a configurable brain
Curing brain diseases and fixing brain damage
One potentially life-changing possibility a configurable brain would bring would be the ability to correct for brain diseases and damage. In the case of brain damage, the damage is usually a local phenomenon and effects only a few regions of the brain. For the sake of brain configuration, this means someone with local brain damage could upload their brain and simply replace the damaged parts. Whether or not this is done with a CHB, AAHB or AIHB is up to the person, but whichever is initially chosen can be replaced with another form or newer version so this is not necessarily a restriction.
This could also work for brain diseases, with many diseases also being local. More general diseases would be harder to cure but replacement regions could be used or AI could fill the mental gaps more seamlessly. Granted, this wouldn’t count as the person entirely and their original healthy mind may still be lost, but it would be a damn lot better than what the person previously had.
Enhancing a mentally healthy brain
This idea could also expand to cover people with mentally healthy brains. For example, someone with below average intelligence or low self-esteem could opt to replace the relevant regions of the brain with regions from other sources. You could choose to have the creativity of an artist, the confidence of a salesman, the analytic skills of an English professor, the language skills of any national or many many more options. A large number of these things could alternatively be done by non-native software add-ons like Google Translate but some may prefer to use a CHB, which may be better tuned for contextual and niche knowledge that AI would struggle to replicate.
Changing your philosophy
Taking the idea further, and getting into the potentially deeper side of this technology is the ability to replace someone’s entire philosophy and politics. This may require replacing memories with fake ones and deleting unwanted ones but this is something our brains already do. However, in the arms of a political group or individual, this would break the integrity of any democratic system. For example, a strongly left-leaning political candidate could gradually replace the political dispositions of their enemies, or a fundamentalist religious group could enforce their beliefs on everyone in the name of spreading the word of [insert god]. In fact, I have warned in my posts so many times that the abuse of this technology will destroy democracy and the system it governs that I now think if precautionary measures aren’t introduced in the next three decades then this will be the outcome.
Less direly, this could potentially be used as an optional service for criminals who want to go back into regular society without the need for rehabilitation. It could also be used to better oneself without the need for any courses, training or advice. For example, a person who wanted a lot of money but didn’t respect it or know how to deal with it could essentially flip a switch and the knowledge and desire would be there.
Choosing your sexuality
Finally, we get onto the potentially weirdest uses of a configurable brain: choosing and changing your sexuality. It is important to note that sexuality and fetish is a broad and deep topic with a lot of sensitivity. There is so much not understood about sexuality, both by the general public and experts. What is generally agreed upon is that sexuality can not, for the large part, be changed, despite the fake science of so-called conversions therapies. With this though, you could opt to have any sexuality you wanted.
The reason as to why you would want to do this is a separate question, and arguably as a digital being you don’t necessarily have a sex or gender, but nonetheless, you would probably still retain your original sexual attractions. This could potentially liberate those uncomfortable with their urges, such as a gay man who wasn’t comfortable with coming out and wanted to be straight, or a straight man who was simply fed up with having any partners and wanted to try out the other end of the spectrum. Equally possibly it could be used to remove someone’s urges to perform illegal sexual acts like rape or paedophilia. In the latter case, the vast majority reportedly do not act upon their disposition and do not like it. Removing this urge with a configurable brain would also act to protect children and other vulnerable people.