Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Neural interface technology


I love it when readers inspire me.

Yesterday, 4n4log K1d said in his comment, "If we can figure out how to snapshot our conscious minds, we have a path to immortality."  It's closer than you might think.

In passing, I had heard about an organization called The Society For Neural Interfacing.  In attempting to attain any further information on the group, I only ran into a series of dead links.  I'm uncertain as to whether or not they are defunct as the most I can ascertain is that they were at one point affiliated with the University of Zurich.  Nevertheless, I continued on the path of researching neural interface technology.

Neural interface simply means direct connection between the brain and a computer.  Or perhaps more broadly, an interface between the human nervous system and any outside device where data is shared between the two said points.  Bioelectric signals are detected by a computer or other such device through the use of neural implants in the brain.  It's not a terribly new concept.  Researchers have already developed systems where artificial limbs can be controlled by thought and the same with wheelchairs.  In 2001, Stephen Hawking said that we should "develop as quickly as possible technologies that make possible a direct connection between brain and computer, so that artificial brains contribute to human intelligence rather than opposing it." (InformationWeek Sep 5, 2001 Stephen Hawking Warns of ‘Terminator’-Style Menace by David M. Ewalt)  Indeed, that neural interface technology has evolved since then to a point where people have been shown to control cursors on computer screens and to even play video games using only their thoughts.  Neural implants are even being explored as an avenue towards treating depression.  Such implants would act as a "pacemaker for the brain" in the generation of serotonin.  Good news for people who suffer from that insidious condition, for people who are confined or impaired by disability, or for anyone who simply wants to augment themselves and their natural capabilities.

As is always the case when discussing topics like this, not everybody is thrilled at the prospects of neural interfacing.  Our buddy Alex Jones at InfoWars has a piece on it.  It's done with the explicit warning of mind control prospects and Satanic Nazis brought over during Operation Paperclip.  Idoneous for the site.  "Do not accept a Neural Interface for 'enhancement' purposes," he cautions.  Gee, if you don't want yours, I'll take it, Al.  Indeed DARPA has been experimenting with brain interface technology and doubtless there are military applications being considered if not already implemented.  Whether or not this is all part and parcel of an elaborate mind control plan concocted by the New World Order is still up for debate.  Still, the linked InfoWars page does have well written summary of neural interfaces as well as sobering and disgusting images of cybernetic experimentation on animals.  Ready or not, this technology is here and it's only going to get bigger.

So that "snapshot of our conscious minds" might only be an upload away.


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2 comments:

  1. do you have more info about Neural interface and it's effects on us!

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  2. Thanks for the comment.
    I continually write about transhumanism and The Singularity so I will post information as I come across it. As for what neural interface might do to us, it's a very new technology and we're learning as we go. Exactly what side effects may occur as a result of interfacing are still unknown. Nevertheless, such potential risks are no reason, in my opinion, to cease cybernetic developments.

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