One thing was clear when I started writing Interpretation: there was plenty of research that needed to be done. In the book, an artificial intelligence wants to continue psychological research. This machine looks to the past to determine what future experiments it wants to run.
One of the first things that I had to research was the history of mind control. More specifically, I wanted to see what was done in terms brain implants. Inevitably, this lead me to Dr. Jose Manuel Rodriguez Delgado.
Dr. Delgado was the director of neuropsychiatry at Yale University. He wrote books with names like Physical Control of the Mind: Toward a Psychocivilized Society (1969). In this book, he wrote, “We need a program of psychosurgery for political control of our society. The purpose is physical control of the mind. Everyone who deviates from the given norm can be surgically mutilated.
“The individual may think that the most important reality is his own existence, but this is only his personal point of view. This lacks historical perspective. Man does not have the right to develop his own mind. This kind of liberal orientation has great appeal. We must electronically control the brain. Someday armies and generals will be controlled by electric stimulation of the brain.”
Dr. Delgado went as far as to create a device that was implanted in animals, as you can see in the video clip. This device would stop a bull in its tracks, which was Delgado’s goal.
In the second clip, Delgado even suggests implanting devices in humans to ‘correct’ certain kinds of behavior. Other research groups have also suggested doing the same thing, which is a frightening prospect.
Equally as frightening was a project named MKUltra. This CIA operation looked at mind control in humans. Their experiments were sometimes illegal and used human subjects. Their focus was on the use of drugs, interrogation, and torture in order to control the mind. While I believe that this is a more horrible process, I feel that the physical implant would be more effective, making it the scariest of all roads.
And that’s where my book starts. With this horrible seed that Dr. Delgado planted decades ago. With his cold, objective view of humankind, I imagined what a colder, less caring artificial intelligence might do if it continued his work. The results, I imagined, would be nothing short of cruel and spectacular in a way that brings humanity to its knees.
Delago’s Bull Experiment
A little more about Dr. Delgado