Neural Implants – Merging With AI

Sunday 11th May 2014

THE SINGULARITY

Is the goal to solve problems or to try to solve problems?

Ex: healthcare vs life extension, higher ed v direct brain/machine interface.

Many examples like this can be given. A new technology that is ambitious, but if achieved completely obviates much of what is being done.

The tech in these areas is often way beyond where the public perceives; eg recent life extension results are very promising. – Balaji S. Srinivasan, Andreessen Horowitz

 

Monday 23rd June 2014

Computing

The overriding sense is we’re taking the next step in the evolution of computing. Over several decades computers have progressed from feeble room-sized counting machines to desktop computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets.

The trend? Smaller, cheaper, more powerful, and more distributed. As Jason Pontin, editor in chief and publisher of MIT Technology Review, noted, “Computing is disappearing into the things around us. Computing is becoming as invisible and ubiquitous as electricity.” – Jason Dorrier

 

Wednesday 20th August 2014

Brain Hacking is Having Incredible Effects and It’s Just Getting Started

Researchers think that as we learn more about the brain, we’ll be able to use electricity to boost focus, memory, learning, mathematical ability, and pattern recognition. Electric stimulation may also clear away depression and stave off cognitive decline.

We’re heading down a path that will allow us to supercharge the brain. The key is decoding how the brain works. That’s the hurdle in the way, and the one that billions of dollars in research are going toward right now.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt we’ll eventually understand the brain,” says Gary Marcus, a professor of psychology at New York University, and an editor of the upcoming book The Future of the Brain: Essays by the World’s Leading Neuroscientists.

“The big question is how long it’s going to take,” he says.

Neural implants can already transmit sound to the brain to provide a type of hearing for some deaf people. When connected to a tiny camera, they can even capture shape and motion and transmit them to the brain, providing a type of vision for certain blind patients.

No matter what type of technique we talk about, experts agree we aren’t quite there yet — though we’re a lot closer than most people think – Business Insider

Once nonbiological intelligence gets a foothold in the human brain (this has already started with computerized neural implants), the machine intelligence in our brains will grow exponentially – Ray Kurzweil 

 

Monday 29th September 2014

Digital Telepathy: The Next Breakthrough in the Evolution of Intelligence on Earth

The revolutionary evolutions that the Internet will ultimately bring into the story of life on Earth are so profound that calling the next breakthrough in communications technology a “singularity” isn’t too far off base.

It’s impossible for any of us to truly imagine what telepathy would be like. The crazy part is that barring a total civilizational meltdown, the prospect of digital telepathy will eventually stop being a prospect we can only attempt to imagine and start being a reality that some of us live.

Here are some recent key developments: 

* This August, a handful of researchers announced that they had produced the first brain-to-brain communication between humans over the Internet. What this meant in practice was that two people wearing high-tech EEGs on their heads were able to transmit text messages just by thinking really hard, but hey, it’s a start.

* In 2012, researchers testing brain implants on rats found that implanted rats in one part of the world were able to control the behavior of implanted rats in another, using their minds.

* This year, a group of scientists at Berkeley led by Jack Gallant used fMRI to scan people’s brains while they watched video clips and created an algorithm that could translate the brain signals into rough pictures of the images they were seeing.

I don’t know about you, but to me, all of those things look like seeds that eventually produce brains that talk to each other over the Internet without typing or talking – Dan Kaplan

 

Monday 20th October 2014

Integrating Technology into your Body is Perfectly Normal. Ever Heard of Contact Lenses?

Integrating technology into your body – being a cyborg, in other words – is perfectly normal, and has been perfectly normal for centuries. (Picture an oldey-tymey pirate. Peg leg? Hook hand? CYBORG. And it goes back even further: the first glasses were invented in the 13th century, the first prosthetics date to BC).

So why do we go into panic mode when someone introduces a new way for humans to twine their lives with technology?

Part of it is just our relentless human drive toward mediocrity; anything new and confusing, however valuable, will be a source of fear and trumped-up nostalgia. But we also make a fetish of the “natural”, as though existing in a state of nature – somehow rooting technology out of our bodies and our lives – would work out especially well for human beings. Don’t kid yourself; in a state of nature, you’re a grub.

Integrated technology is not newfangled at all; it’s practically as old-fangled as it gets. We’ve been posthuman almost as long as we’ve been human, and that’s an essential component of the human experience. We’re not losing ourselves to technology; technology makes us who we are – Jess Zimmerman

 

Monday 29th December 2014

Double Amputee Becomes First to Control Robotic Arms with his Mind

Thursday 1st January 2015

One of the strangest and surprising areas of progress has been in the field of brainwaves and mind control. A Double Amputee Became the first person to Control Robotic Arms with his Mind, and a team of researcher successfully achieved brain-to-brain verbal communication across a distance of 5,000 miles.

Artificial Intelligence has captured the imagination of the world. The rate of progress is so powerful and dramatic that people as distinguished as Elon Musk are worrying that this technology might run away from us within just 5 years and bring us existential threats. – Lee Banfield

Friday 30th January 2015

Brain Implants Get Brainier

It’s an electrifying time to be in neuroscience. Using implanted devices that send pulses of electricity through the nervous system, physicians are learning how to influence the neural systems that control people’s bodies and minds. These devices give neurologists new ways to treat patients with a wide range of disorders, including epilepsy, chronic pain, depression, and Parkinson’s disease.

Medical device companies are coming out with dynamic neural stimulators that have a bit of “brain” themselves. These smart systems can detect changes in a physiological signal and then respond by delivering a therapy or adjusting the patient’s treatment in real time.

The goal of all these closed-loop systems is to let doctors take their expert knowledge—their ability to evaluate a patient’s condition and adjust therapy accordingly—and embed it in an implanted device. These dynamic systems have a number of potential benefits: They may react faster than current devices, provide more tailored therapy to individuals, and free up clinicians’ time – Tim Denison, Milton Morris & Felice Sun

 

Thursday 5th March 2015

Mind Controlled Drone Demonstrated

A taste of what’s possible when you merge robotics and neuroscience

A company has successfully flown a mind controlled drone.

In a rather stunning demonstration yesterday, Portuguese business Tekever fitted a special cap to a pilot to measure his brain activity, allowing him to steer a drone through a mission in the sky using his thoughts alone.

For yesterday’s test demonstration, in order to steer the drone, pilot Nuno Loureiro focused entirely on simple thoughts within set formats, which he learned during extensive training. This means the drone received clear signals, from his brain waves, that it could process quickly.

The system works by a pilot wearing a special cap that can measure his or her brain waves, and it is programmed with highly complex algorithms to counteract any confused or unhelpful thoughts from the pilot that could cause a crash. Tekever is conducting the project with technology research center the Champalimaud Foundation and software business Eagle Science, in collaboration with the Technical University of Munich, Germany.

The technology can also be used in advanced prosthetic limbs, allowing people with severe disabilities to move with their thoughts – Nick Lavars

 

Wednesday 18th March 2015

How Long Until the First Machine Reaches Superintelligence?

Not shockingly, opinions vary wildly and this is a heated debate among scientists and thinkers. Many, like professor Vernor Vinge, scientist Ben Goertzel, Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy, or, most famously, inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil, agree with machine learning expert Jeremy Howard when he puts up this graph during a TED Talk:

Howard Graph

Those people subscribe to the belief that this is happening soon—that expontential growth is at work and machine learning, though only slowly creeping up on us now, will blow right past us within the next few decades.

Others, like Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, research psychologist Gary Marcus, NYU computer scientist Ernest Davis, and tech entrepreneur Mitch Kapor, believe that thinkers like Kurzweil are vastly underestimating the magnitude of the challenge and believe that we’re not actually that close to the tripwire.

The Kurzweil camp would counter that the only underestimating that’s happening is the underappreciation of exponential growth, and they’d compare the doubters to those who looked at the slow-growing seedling of the internet in 1985 and argued that there was no way it would amount to anything impactful in the near future.

The doubters might argue back that the progress needed to make advancements in intelligence also grows exponentially harder with each subsequent step, which will cancel out the typical exponential nature of technological progress. And so on.

Kurzweil’s depiction of the 2045 singularity is brought about by three simultaneous revolutions in biotechnology, nanotechnology, and, most powerfully, AI.

I suggested earlier that our fate when this colossal new power is born rides on who will control that power and what their motivation will be. Kurzweil neatly answers both parts of this question with the sentence, “[ASI] is emerging from many diverse efforts and will be deeply integrated into our civilization’s infrastructure. Indeed, it will be intimately embedded in our bodies and brains. As such, it will reflect our values because it will be us.” – Tim Urban

 

Monday 18th May 2015

50% of Your Body Can Now be Replaced with Bionics

We not only have bionic limbs for replacement parts for paraplegics and quadriplegics, but we’re starting to get exoskeletons, strap on braces. There are now ankle braces and knee braces for the elderly that put energy back in the system.

Our brain evolved in such a way that getting old was something that happened, there was nothing we could do about it, and the number one complaint about getting old is a loss of mobility. So we now have technology that is taking that away. It’s here today, and it’s only getting better because they’re all on exponential growth curves.

So what’s interesting to me about the transformation from science fiction to science fact is less about the whizz bang technologies, and more about the fact that we’re starting to fuck with really deep evolutionary adapted systems. We’re starting to really poke into what it means to be human at a really really really deep level, and it’s going to start getting interesting – Steven Kotler

 

Tuesday 9th June 2015

Kurzweil on the Danger of AI: I’m Not Sure Where Musk is Coming From

Kurzweil’s hopeful yet cautious point of view on artificial intelligence stands in contrast to Elon Musk, who caused a stir last year when he tweeted, “Worth reading Superintelligence by Bostrom. We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes.”

In Bostrom’s book, he proposes scenarios in which humans suffer an untimely end due to artificial intelligence simply trying to fulfill its goals.

Troubled by the attention this tweet attracted, Kurzweil wanted to set the record straight:

“I’m not sure where Musk is coming from. He’s a major investor in artificial intelligence. He was saying that we could have superintelligence in 5 years. That’s a very radical position—I don’t know any practitioners who believe that.”

He continued, “We have these emerging existential risks and we also have emerging, so far, effective ways of dealing with it…I think this concern will die down as we see more and more positive benefits of artificial intelligence and gain more confidence that we can control it.”

“We are going to directly merge with it, we are going to become the AIs,” he stated, adding, “We’ve always used our technology to extend our reach…That’s the nature of being human, to transcend our limitations, and there’s always been dangers.”

Close to the end of the interview, Kurzweil offered a simple reason why he’s optimistic about AI: we have no other choice lest we accept a scenario in which a totalitarian government controls AI. He stated it simply: “The best way to keep [artificial intelligence] safe is in fact widely distributed, which is what we are seeing in the world today.” – David J. Hill

 

Monday 15th June 2015

Implantable Brain Electronics Are Here

In a world first,  U.S. and Chinese scientists have developed a method to inject microelectronic devices such as wires and transistors directly into the brain (or other body parts) to measure or stimulate neural activity.

The new method could lead to sophisticated new ways to treat conditions ranging from neurodegenerative disorders to paralysis.

Developed by researchers in Charles Lieber’s lab at Harvard University and the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology in Beijing, the invention is based on a simple but radical concept: injecting a biocompatible polymer scaffold mesh with attached microelectronic devices into the brain via syringe.

“I do feel that this has the potential to be revolutionary,” Lieber said. “This opens up a completely new frontier where we can explore the interface between electronic structures and biology. For the past 30 years, people have made incremental improvements in micro-fabrication techniques that have allowed us to make rigid probes smaller and smaller, but no one has addressed this issue — the electronics/cellular interface — at the level at which biology works.”

Going forward, researchers hope to better understand how the body reacts to the injectable electronics over longer periods. “The idea of being able to precisely position and record from very specific areas, or even from specific neurons over an extended period of time — this could, I think, make a huge impact on neuroscience,” Lieber said. – kurzweilai.net

 

Monday 15th June 2015

The Singularity vs. The State

Plato’s cave is our status quo and we sit in our chains and are mesmerized by the pretty pictures on the wall. It is high time humanity grew up and finally left the cave.

No matter what the political state and its crony’s do, or try to do, they will fail as more and more individuals unite to help bring about the coming economic and technological singularity.

How can you regulate or ban such things as guns when you can print an entire AK 47 at home on a 3D printer?

Or because prices have dropped so low that you can have a fully equipped bio-lab in your garage how then can you suppress say an antiaging technology or a cure for cancer?

The techno-libertarians, techno-progressives and Transhumanist’s are becoming a force to be reckoned with (though I am concerned with the influence of technocracy among many Transhumanist’s) and if the political state moved to ban such things as Uber, Lyft, Airbnb etc you would have a riot on your hands and it is only going to get worse for the State.

I think more and more neo-leftist’s are going to wake up and realize with the Libertarians, that Statism is an old failed religion and that their empowerment and freedom will truly come from the evolutionary forces released by the Technium.

The left-wing Hegelian’s foresaw that the State was destined to wither away and a new holographic system, a holoarchy, would arise that would allow individuals to perfect themselves and to become the best they could be in a social and economic structure that gave them the time and abundance to do so.

If the techno-libertarians have taken up this course of action because we on “the left” have ignorantly abandoned it, then that is to our shame. We will have to play catch up and join them on the evolutionary journey to a new earth, one in which the arising Noosphere, the Global Brain, has fully evolved and the present order has been transcended.

I truly believe that the political State’s days are numbered, especially as profits and prices drop as technological deflation accelerates the emperor will be seen by more and more people to be naked and standing in their way to the fuller life they wish to live.

The coming singularity is already showing us that the locus of power is shifting back to individuals united and interrelated in a new distributed network system. We have to have faith and trust in this new arising paradigm and complex system and help it along, to be its midwives, but instead I see too many people manipulated and moved by ideological fearmongering to prop up the old order and its outmoded ideas.

The old order has no answers for us and no solutions; in fact it has caused all of our problems that we are now dealing with.

I think in the end it may very well wither away from disuse as more and more people leave it alone and turn to technological solutions and innovations to solve their and the world’s problems as A.J. Galambos theorized that we would finally learn to invent the technology that will give us the ability to have absolute liberty and freedom. To be in total possession of our primary property, which are ourselves, and all of our creative talents. – C. James Townsend

 

Sunday 28th June 2015

This is Pretty Phenomenal: Brain-to-Text System

* One step closer, a little every day, faster and faster – JJ

German and U.S. researchers have decoded natural continuously spoken speech from brain waves and transformed it into text — a step toward communication with computers or humans by thought alone.

Brain activity recorded by electrocorticography electrodes (blue circles). Spoken words are then decoded from neural activity patterns in the blue/yellow areas – KurzweilAI

 

Sunday 28th June 2015

Robot Controlled Remotely with Thoughts

From his hospital bed, a disabled patient is capable of controlling a telepresence robot and interacting with people he meets over Skype.

For someone suffering from paralysis or limited mobility, visiting with other people is extremely difficult. Scientists have been working on a revolutionary brain-machine approach in order to restore a sense of independence to the disabled. The idea is to remotely control a robot from home with one’s thoughts.

The research, involving numerous subjects located in different countries, produced excellent results in both human and technical terms.

19 people tested, 100% success rate

For several weeks, each of the subjects put on an electrode-studded hat capable of analysing their brain signals. They then instructed the robot to move, transmitting their instructions in real time via internet from their home country. By virtue of its video camera, screen and wheels, the robot, located in a laboratory of Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland), was able to film as it moved while displaying the face of the remote pilot via Skype.

The person at the controls, as if moving in place of the robot, was able to interact with whoever the robot crossed paths with. “Each of the 9 subjects with disabilities managed to remotely control the robot with ease after less than 10 days of training,” said Professor Millán – ScienceDaily

 

Sunday 13th March 2016

Anticipated Top AI Breakthroughs: 2016 – 2018

At A360 this year, my expert on AI was Stephen Gold, the CMO and VP of Business Development and Partner Programs at IBM Watson.

AI Progress of late is furious — an R&D arms race is underway among the world’s top technology giants.

Soon AI will become the most important human collaboration tool ever created, amplifying our abilities and providing a simple user interface to all exponential technologies. Ultimately, it’s helping us speed toward a world of abundance.

The implications of true AI are staggering,

“It’s amazing,” said Gold. “For 50 years, we’ve ideated about this idea of artificial intelligence. But it’s only been in the last few years that we’ve seen a fundamental transformation in this technology.”

Here are Gold’s predictions for the most exciting, disruptive developments coming in AI in the next three years. As entrepreneurs and investors, these are the areas you should be focusing on, as the business opportunities are tremendous.

1 – Next-gen A.I. systems will beat the Turing Test

Alan Turing created the Turing Test over half a century ago as a way to determine a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior indistinguishable from that of a human.

Loosely, if an artificial system passed the Turing Test, it could be considered “AI.”

Gold believes, “that for all practical purposes, these systems will pass the Turing Test” in the next three-year period.

Perhaps more importantly, if it does, this event will accelerate the conversation about the proper use of these technologies and their applications.

2 – Leverage ALL health data (genomic, phenotypic, social) to redefine the practice of medicine.

“I think AI’s effect on healthcare will be far more pervasive and far quicker than anyone anticipates,” says Gold. “Even today, AI/machine learning is being used in oncology to identify optimal treatment patterns.”

But it goes far beyond this. AI is being used to match clinical trials with patients, drive robotic surgeons, read radiological findings and analyze genomic sequences.

3 – AI will be woven into the very fabric of our lives — physically and virtually.

Ultimately, during the AI revolution taking place in the next three years, AIs will be integrated into everything around us, combining sensors and networks and making all systems “smart.”

AIs will push forward the ideas of transparency, of seamless interaction with devices and information, making everything personalized and easy to use. We’ll be able to harness that sensor data and put it into an actionable form, at the moment when we need to make a decision.

Peter Diamandis

 

Saturday 24th December 2016

Qualcomm: VR Headsets will be the Size of Regular Glasses “Very Soon”

Image result for virtual reality

Qualcomm senior vice president Raj Talluri made the claim during a keynote at the company’s 5G summit.

“If you look at my glasses, they [VR/AR headsets] won’t look too different in a few years. They’re not there right now, but we can already see that eventually they will be.”

According to Talluri, the glasses will revolutionise the way people consume media such as sports.

Qualcomm CTO Matt Grob said that, even with more advanced standalone headsets, VR and AR won’t become mass-market products until the launch of 5G.

“5G will let us stream high-quality 360-degree VR from anywhere. When you have the ability to offer a Gbps, low-latency, low-cost connection, you can take advantage of cloud processing. That’s what’s going to enable companies such as Magic Leap and many others to bring Hollywood-style graphics, in real-time, to large numbers of people,” he said. – Alastair Stevenson

 

Saturday 24th December 2016

THE SINGULARITY

  • Computer/human interfaces may become so intimate that users may reasonably be considered superhumanly intelligent. – Vernor Vinge, 1993

Image result for weeklyglobalresearch

Integrating Artificial Intelligence 

We can enhance our brains to multiply our intelligence and creativity.

We’ve been improving our memory capacity and our speed of computation for thousands of years already with the invention of things like writing, writing implements – just language itself which enables more than one person to work on the same problem and to coordinate their understanding of it with each other. That also allows an increase in speed compared with what an unaided human would be able to do.

Currently we use computers and in the future we can use computer implants and so on. In principle it’s easy – it doesn’t violate any law of physics.  – David Deutsch

 

Saturday 24th December 2016

With A ‘Neural Lace’ Brain Implant, We Can Stay As Smart As AI

  • Can we just inject electronic circuits through a needle into the brain, or other tissue, and then connect it, and then monitor? Yes, we can, and that’s where we are today. – Charles Lieber

This summer at Code Conference 2016, Elon Musk stated publicly that given the current rate of A.I. advancement, humans could ultimately expect to be left behind—cognitively, intellectually—“by a lot.”

His solution to this unappealing fate is a novel brain-computer interface similar to the implantable “neural lace” described by the Scottish novelist Iain M. Banks in Look to Windward, part of his “Culture series” books. Along with serving as a rite of passage, it upgrades the human brain to be more competitive against A.I.’s with human-level or higher intelligence.

Smarter artificial intelligence is certainly being developed, but how far along are we on producing a neural lace?

At the conference, Musk said he didn’t know of any company that was working on one. But last year, a team of researchers led by Charles Lieber, the Mark Hyman Professor of Chemistry at Harvard University, described in Nature Nanotechnology a lace-like electronic mesh that “you could literally inject” into three-dimensional synthetic and biological structures like the brain. That was a major step.

His team’s paper, published on August 29th in Nature Methods, expands on that earlier work, to show that mesh-brain implants readily integrate into a mouse brain and enable neuronal recordings for at least eight months. “

In science, I’ve been disappointed at times, and this is a case where we’ve been more than pleasantly surprised,” Lieber says.

What does this development really mean for those of us who hope to acquire a neural lace? – Kiki Sanford

The Neural Lace Maker

At the outset no one, and a lot of reviewers of that first paper, believed we could even inject electronics through a needle and then not destroy the electronics. A lot of it was actually not related to anything biological. It was really about the materials science, and also showing that you could literally inject this into other kinds of structures.

Also, other implanted electronics in the brain always cause some type of immune response and damage, probably due to the combination of putting something really rigid into this soft tissue: Whenever you move around and your brain moves, it moves different than this thing. It can destroy cells; but also, because it’s much bigger, it’s apparently easier for the cells or the biological system to recognize it as something foreign and try to attack it.

But our philosophy, it seems, is going to be really rewarding because it solves the immune-response problem, and then allows us now to do measurements and modulate neural circuits.

It’s turned out to work much, much better than we originally thought, and some of the reasons are outlined in our original paper a year ago, and then much more so in this paper: That this mesh-like structure, which can be injected because it has size, scale, and mechanical properties very similar to the neural network, or neural tissue, turns out to have no immune response, which is unheard of. – Charles Lieber

 

Saturday 24th December 2016

Syringe-Injectable Electronics

Image result for charles lieber

The first thing we did was to create the first three-dimensional transistor: Three dimensional in a sense that the nanoscale device was completely removed from the substrate, and could then be placed inside of a cell.

The idea was to get things away from the substrate and into three-dimensional free space so that they could be integrated throughout tissue. This showed that we could actually put a fundamental building block of the computer industry inside of, and communicate with, the cell for the first time.

The brain grows literally throughout the neural lace. When it’s injected, this two-dimensional mesh ends up being like a cylinder that’s still a mesh, and it gets filled with the tissue.

In some process, we don’t understand all the details, there’s obviously some regrowth, and some remodeling of the tissue refills this space where the needle initially moved all the tissue out of the way. Then you’re left with something where it’s interpenetrating between this roughly cylindrical structure of the mesh.

You could envision co-injecting this network, the mesh or lace, with stem cells and literally regrowing damaged tissue. Using some stimulation and stuff, you could help to rewire this in the way you want—somewhat science fiction, but also not totally crazy. It’s certainly in the realm of what’s physically possible.

Our interest is to do things for the benefit of humankind, and maybe I sound like an idealist. I think our goal is to do something, and I think it’s possible to, number one, correct deficiencies. And I wouldn’t mind adding a terabyte of memory. – Charles Lieber

 

Saturday 24th December 2016

Neuroprosthetics

  • In a medical first, brain implant allows paralyzed man to feel again

Brain implants that can command artificial limbs to work represent a revolutionary advance.

By creating a direct line of communication from the brain to the prosthetic device, neurally-controlled chips not only restore functionality, but also recreate the sensory experience of the lost limbs. – The Aspen Institute

 

 

Saturday 24th December 2016

Keeping up With AI by Putting a Computer in Your Brain

Image result for kernel venice beach

  • Kernel is a human intelligence company developing the world’s first neuroprosthesis to mimic, repair and improve cognition.

Like many in Silicon Valley, technology entrepreneur Bryan Johnson sees a future in which intelligent machines can do things like drive cars on their own and anticipate our needs before we ask.

What’s uncommon is how Johnson wants to respond: find a way to supercharge the human brain so that we can keep up with the machines.

From an unassuming office in Venice Beach, his science-fiction-meets-science start-up, Kernel, is building a tiny chip that can be implanted in the brain to help people suffering from neurological damage caused by strokes, Alzheimer’s or concussions.

Top neuroscientists who are building the chip — they call it a neuroprosthetic — hope that in the longer term, it will be able to boost intelligence, memory and other cognitive tasks.

The medical device is years in the making, Johnson acknowledges, but he can afford the time. He sold his payments company, Braintree, to PayPal for $800 million in 2013.

Kernel is cognitive enhancement of the not-gimmicky variety. The concept is based on the work of Theodore Berger, a pioneering biomedical engineer who directs the Center for Neural Engineering at the University of Southern California, and is the start-up’s chief science officer.

For over two decades, Berger has been working on building a neuroprosthetic to help people with dementia, strokes, concussions, brain injuries and Alzheimer’s disease, which afflicts 1 in 9 adults over 65.

In separate studies funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency over the last several years, Berger’s chips were shown to improve recall functions in both rats and monkeys.

A year ago, Berger felt he had reached a ceiling in his research. He wanted to begin testing his devices with humans and was thinking about commercial opportunities when he got a cold call from Johnson in October 2015. For Johnson, the meeting was a culmination of a longtime obsession with intelligence and the brain.

Ten months later, the team is starting to sketch out prototypes of the device and is conducting tests with epilepsy patients in hospitals. They hope to start a clinical trial, but first they have to figure out how to make the device portable. (Right now, patients who use it are hooked up to a computer.)

Johnson recognizes that the notion of people walking around with chips implanted in their heads to make them smarter seems far-fetched, to put it mildly. He says the goal is to build a product that is widely affordable. – Elizabeth Dwoskin

 

Saturday 24th December 2016

Ray Kurzweil’s Prediction

  • In the early 2030s, we are going to send nanorobots into the brain (via capillaries) that will provide full immersion virtual reality from within the nervous system and will connect our neocortex to the cloud. Just like how we can wirelessly expand the power of our smartphones 10,000-fold in the cloud today, we’ll be able to expand our neocortex in the cloud. – Ray Kurzweil

The brain tech to merge humans and AI is already being developed.

In a recent Abundance 360 webinar, I interviewed Bryan Johnson, the founder of a new company called Kernel which he seeded with $100 million.

To quote Bryan, “It’s not about AI vs. humans. Rather, it’s about creating HI, or ‘Human Intelligence’: the merger of humans and AI.”

A few weeks ago, I asked Bryan about Ray’s prediction about whether we’d be able to begin having our neocortex in the cloud by the 2030s.

His response, “Oh, I think it will happen before that.”

Exciting times.

Peter Diamandis

 

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