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Linking brains to computers: how new implants are helping us achieve this goal

The field of brain-machine interfaces (BMI) – which use electrodes, often implanted into the brain, to translate neuronal information into commands capable of controlling external systems such as a computer or robotic arm – have actually been around for some time. Entrepreneur Elon Musk’s company, Neuralink, is aiming to test their BMI systems on a human patient by the end of 2020.

An electronic chip that makes ‘memories’ is a step towards creating bionic brains

What better way to build smarter computer chips than to mimic nature’s most perfect computer – the human brain? Being able to store, delete and process information is crucial for computing, and the brain does this extremely efficiently.

Artificial intelligence will make you smarter

The future won’t be made by either humans or machines alone – but by both, working together. Technologies modelled on how human brains work are already augmenting people’s abilities, and will only get more influential as society gets used to these increasingly capable machines. Technology optimists have envisioned a world with rising human productivity and quality of life as artificial intelligenc...[Read More]

Smartphone apps can be memory aids for people with brain injuries, and everyone else

Smartphone apps allow us to outsource remembering appointments or upcoming tasks. It’s a common worry that using technology in this way makes our brain’s memory capacity worse, but the reality is not that simple. In fact, these platforms can be useful, not only for people with memory impairments, but also the general population. Over two studies, we set out to explore the potential of smartphones ...[Read More]

The future of brain and machine is intertwined, and it’s already here

Imagine a condition that leaves you fully conscious, but unable to move or communicate, as some victims of severe strokes or other neurological damage experience. This is locked-in syndrome, when the outward connections from the brain to the rest of the world are severed. Technology is beginning to promise ways of remaking these connections, but is it our ingenuity or the brain’s that is making it...[Read More]

From drugs to brain surgery: the consciousness technology of the future

Our complicated emotional lives can often feel like a prison. Insecurities, depression and anxiety can all hold us back in life. But what if we could just eliminate the mental states that we don’t want? Or enhance the moods we do? There’s every reason to believe that this may be commonplace in the future. In fact, a lot of the technology that could achieve this already exists. More than half of us...[Read More]

Could we upload a brain to a computer – and should we even try?

People have always dreamed about going beyond the limitations of their bodies: the pain, illness and, above all, death. Now a new movement is dressing up this ancient drive in new technological clothes. Referred to as transhumanism, it is the belief that science will provide a futuristic way for humans to evolve beyond their current physical forms and realise these dreams of transcendence. Perhaps...[Read More]

How the power to control objects with our minds stopped being science fiction

The recent announcement that a young paralysed man in Ohio in the US named Ian Burkhart managed to regain the use of his fingers after having a chip implanted in his brain is an exciting step forward for science and healthcare. In fact, you may now be wondering how long it will be before we can unlock a door, turn on a kettle, or even send an email simply by thinking about it? Ian Burkhart. rumedi...[Read More]

What powers Facebook and Google’s AI – and how computers could mimic brains

Google and Facebook have open sourced the designs for the computing hardware that powers the artificial intelligence logic used in their products. These intelligent algorithms power Google’s search and recommendation functions, Facebook’s Messenger digital assistant, M – and of course both firms’ use of targeted advertising. Facebook’s bespoke computer servers, codenamed Big Sur, are packed with g...[Read More]

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