Michael Chorost wrote the screenplay for this pilot documentary, which aired on PBS in January 2007. He sits on external advisory boards for neuroscience research at Northwestern and Brown.
Born with severe loss of hearing due to rubella, his hearing was partially restored with a cochlear implant in 2001. He subsequently wrote a memoir of the experience, titled Rebuilt: How Becoming Part Computer Made Me More Human (Houghton Mifflin, 2005). It also exists in a paperback version with a different subtitle, Rebuilt: My Journey Back to the Hearing World. In August 2006 Rebuilt won the PEN/USA Book Award for Creative Nonfiction.
His second book, World Wide Mind: The Coming Integration of Humanity, Machines, and the Internet, was published by Free Press on February 15, 2011.
22nd Century was one of three pilots aired by PBS so that viewers can vote for one to be made into a ten-week series; it was not chosen for that honour. In the premiere episode, guests arrive from the future, past and present to guide you through a quirky tour of the “World Wide Mind,” an intriguing theory that proposes that in the future our brains will be wired up so that we can communicate with the world effortlessly and instantly.
The series is hosted by Robin Robinson, a Chicago-based journalist, who is joined by two virtual co-hosts, each with insightful and often conflicting viewpoints about the merits of this new technology.
One is an actor playing Aldous Huxley, the late author of Brave New World, who worried about the dehumanizing consequences of scientific discoveries. The other is Orlanda Bell, a time-travelling visitor from the future, who represents the best-case scenario of these technological advancements. (Source: PBS.org)
22nd Century: World Wide Mind