Will we be able to jack into the brain and upload helicopter instructions, like in The Matrix? We already have the technology to control a prosthetic arm or Twitter with thoughts alone. Dishes of neurons can control a robot. And scientists have created a working artificial memory chip in rats.
Christie Nicholson – Scientific American
We can go brain to machine but it's scarier to go machine to brain. There is a computer chip that can replace an organ. Did this with a rat. They created a fake hippocampus (Ted Berger at USC)
They are working on implanting information into brain to fly an M16. Create telepathic soldiers. Soldiers will get EEG where they can decode words via helmut and download into brain. Will this really work? Is it crazy?
Government has huge interest in getting to the bottom of the brain. Focusing on soldiers with missing limbs. But also getting deep, they really want to understand memory and neural networks in our brain. Idea of super soldiers.
Currently giving soldiers EEG's to understand how overwhelmed they are. Keen on monitoring solder brains and figuring out best efficiency.
Miguel Nicolelis (via video program): the brain is the final frontier. The brain is what makes us unique. It's about understanding ourselves.
Machine controlling the brain. Stanford (Karl Deisseroth), found out that bacteria from pond scum can be put into virus and then implanted into brain and then influenced by blue and yellow light. Blue says "go" yellow inhibits. Hopefull it might help depression or narcolsepsy. It can target specific neurons.
Henry Markham, Lausanne, Switzerland
To crack the neural code ( like human genome project) reverse engineering map of the brain. Will we ever be able to crack the neural code? 100 billion neuron.
It's hard to imagine. Moore's Law is in full effect. Far outpaces humans in space but we cream computers in terms of complexity. Our connections are so personals and so completely different that it seems impossible to map it. Some say it doesn't matter, we don't need to match.
Other thoughts and comments fro audience...
-Kurtzwelian Future? He believes machines will surpass human intelligence. If machines become intelligent the presumption is that we will become part of that machine and be able to control it. But computers still cannot understand context. Blue Brain may shed light on that but is it possible? With Moore's Law it's impossible to predict though what will happen.
-How are we going to map different data architectures we are using in research?
-There's lots of commercialization for this things, for example Mind Ball and there's also a game you can buy; it's great training for meditation, ADHD, DARPA uses this to train sharp shooters to be calm
-Is this technology being applied to other things outside of military, such as education; NIH does fund things such as disabled and ADHD, etc,; DARPA funds $300m for 2011 for mind science
-When can I throw away my mouse and control the computer with my mind? There are some product now, all based on EEG caps and such; can do silent telephone conversations
-What about free will? On one hand it promotes free will, we can manage damaged areas of our brain through thought alone, but when you mix it with optogenetics you can see free will being fooled with. What does it mean to be human? Metacognition is about being human and unique we believe to being human, although dolphins may be there too
-Should neural feedback and plasticity be incorporated into school curriculum? Blue Brain may actually be helpful to this...may have consciousness.
-What about implications on sociopathic behaviors?
-What about religious community and their reaction?
-Open EEG movement
Please not that this blog is being written in real time. I do not catch everything correctly, but you can go to sxsw.com to listen to this panel yourself.