Monday, August 19, 2019

Brain-Computer Interfaces are not distant prophecies, how prepared are we?



Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) are developing faster. It's just a matter of time before we entwine our human consciousness with computers. How many of us are prepared? This may sound like a sci-fiction movie, but the dawn of BCI is approaching faster than predicted. Facebook came out with its brain project in July following Neuralink's similar project earlier the same month. Going deeper into this matter, the work itself is fascinating. This technology isn't new, just that the existing ones aren't efficient enough. Researchers are working hard to make them user friendly, for example using laser instead of drilling into your skull. Facebook's project focuses on implanting sensors on the brain and uses them to record brain activity. This research has been promising for now and aims to reduce the risks of performing an invasive surgery. 

Musk's Neuralink is also exploring this technology for medical purposes. They may seem to carry risks but a futuristic headset to help read minds sounds cool to many. The worry only concern is how the technology would be used should it get better. We can all attest that technology is a summoning demon and can lead to consequences we might not have control over.

Humans short-term task-based memory

The human brain is limited by bandwidth the considering the fact that we are in an environment of increasing data. The question is how can we empower ourselves to deal  with the issue? That is when BCIs comes in. If it currently takes approximately 5 seconds to complete a Google search - what if that could be scaled down to 10. BCIs allows for infinitesimal latency of communication between humans and computers. The human brain is a delicate feature and researchers have put in efforts to understand more about it. Are you okay with your limited working memory? - or you are ready to allow BCIs to usher you beyond your current capabilities. Researchers themselves understand the implications of their work and for who they work for.

Facebook hasn't ruled out the possibility of using brain activity for advertising purposes in future. To many, it feels like a logical way of making use of this technology. It will certainly be weird if Facebook didn't use your brain activity for advertising considering its history. Whether you will get a share of your demographic data in a profile, that's yet to be known.


Adoption of BCIs

            
                                                                         Our future as cyborgs?
                           
The adoptability of BCIs would result to a society seamlessly connected to super-powering tech. It is critical to consider how these devices can differentiate between our human behaviours and super-powered behaviours. The effects can go either way - but  how can we ensure a positive outcome? For those driven by scientific-curiosity, welcoming this innovation would be done with little hurdle. The issue of ensuring a future where an equal opportunity exists for the use of BCI as well as other world changing innovations is still open for discussion. Would the rich and poor have equal access as to this startling technologies as they are set to improve exponentially?

BCI's already making a headway into our lives and that would leave a blueprint should we decide to dismiss the technology in future. As you analyse the entire scenario, it is somehow oddly satisfying and could be a break through for everyone. This topic is worth discussing since we all play a part in how we participate in this irreversible future. Regardless of how BCIs can impact our lives, are we going to live in future as cyborgs?


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