I’ve just spent some time reading the research into BCIs and I recommend that the reader has a skim through “Exploring 16000 Frontiers in Neuroscience Articles”. A brain–computer interface (BCI), sometimes called a neural-control interface (NCI), mind-machine interface (MMI), direct neural interface (DNI), or brain–machine interface (BMI), is a direct communication pathway between an enhanced or wired brain and another device. For, the purpose of this article, that ultimate device is the internet fabric. Elon Musk, for example, has been talking about how his mysterious Neuralink start-up is developing high bandwidth BCIs to connect humans and computers. The adoption of the ultimate BCI would be, in my opinion, the human hybrid.
Consider how a human hybrid interfaces to the ether that is the web – when I search for information online, I make most of my searches using speech recognition and at the present time it appears rather good (except for esoteric terms and rarely used words). It has speeded up the way I find information but I still find it hugely limiting.
For a long time, I have felt the significant limitations of using the digits of my hand and my voice. Most HCIs are limiting and I have been advocating the implantation of an appropriate chip for connection to the neural cortex. Imagine the change in society where one just has to think and one knows as much as there is to know about the subject with a context that is implied by connecting one thought thread to another. It may seem a bit far fetched, but I feel that we’ll see it within the next 25 or so years. The research at the frontiers in neuroscience makes me believe so.
I just want to think and know. If I could do that, knowing would become irrelevant and what I do with that information becomes the purpose of learning. Imagine the possibility of the ability to outdo most of the present-day ‘experts’. Imagine if you could regurgitate line-and-verse from any work at anytime, anywhere, and in whatever degree of semantic complexity the context required. It would make so many of the jobs irrelevant and it would point us to a new era of possibilities. The purpose of the workplace would change enormously.
It offers the possibility of real-time extension to the brain (and, for a rationalist, an extension to the mind). The possibility of extension to the realm of telepathy is a mere extension thereafter. Imagine the implications of it in terms of social and professional interactions. Even the possibility of making calls to emergency services when the brain detects a problem before your body does.
There are going to be a lot of questions around privacy and hacking and how one limits access to different types of thought and memory. I just wanted to make people aware of the work under progress in the scientific community as highlighted in the diagram attached.
From the heat map you can see some of the largest journals in the series are Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, and Frontiers in Neuroscience, and Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.