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8 Futuristic Brain Implants You Won’t Believe Are Possible

8 Futuristic Brain Implants You Won’t Believe Are Possible

Small in-brain computer chips that give us superhuman capabilities seem like the stuff of summer blockbusters now, but scientists say that the possibility of a future where these implants not only exist but actually work is very real.

Stimulating the brain externally with electronic signals is already being experimented with by the medical industry, the U.S. military, and a growing number of DIYers. While we have successfully implanted artificial devices in others parts of the human body without rejection by the immune system, doing so with the brain is a largely unexplored frontier.

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As researchers continue to develop smaller, more bio-compatible technology, and understand the processes of the human brain, we could be looking at a host of medical solutions and extraordinary abilities. Here are some of the likely enhancements that future brain implants could bring:

1. Seeing in the dark

Currently, retinal implants that restore a low level of vision to people blinded by genetic conditions already exist, meaning that we’re already on our way to enhanced vision. Once we further improve the ability of these implants to restore vision, augmenting “normal” vision isn’t just science fiction. We already know that certain sensory abilities humans lack exist in the natural world — like the ability to see in the dark. Night vision is likely to be a military investment at first, but perhaps it would become commercially available after that.

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2. Restoring lost memories

Zapping the brain with controlled electric stimulation has a lot of potential, and some already tested, neurological benefits. This is being tested as an external stimuli, but what if we could implant a piece of technology in the brain that could directly deliver these pulses of electricity, and even be recharged without having to be removed? That’s the goal of researchers interested in using this method for memory-related problems. The primary interest in this research is, unsurprisingly, from the medical field, which is seeking new and more effective ways to treat patients with memory issues, whether it’s short term memory problems or severe memory loss. The U.S. military is also highly interested in memory, both as an additional treatment for PTSD and, possibly, an enhancement for soldiers.

3. “Download” new skills

It’s not yet clear if we’ll ever mirror The Matrix, but scientists believe the ability to wire our brains to rapidly learn a new skill is not impossible. Already research is being conducted to look into how the brain learns and stores skills, with the hope that the neurological process can someday be artificially replicated to allow people to effectively learn a new skill with a fraction of time and effort. This technology is still a long way off, but at least it’s not total science fiction.

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4. Curing depression and other mental health issues

Brain implant technology could help treat and even cure mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, without the aid of pharmaceuticals that run the risk of dependency and various unwanted side effects. This is a lucrative investment for the U.S. military as well since, as mentioned above, the government has ramped up its efforts to find more effective treatments for service-related PTSD. PTSD is an anxiety disorder, which opens the door for the treatment of other anxiety disorders such as panic disorders, agoraphobia, and general anxiety disorders. Depression and its relatives, too, could be effectively treated by direct brain stimulation via implants. The potential to helps millions of people dealing with mental health problems without risking the side effects of prescription drug treatments is compelling.

5. Enhanced focus and alertness

In the same vein as treating mental health problems like depression and PTSD, brain implants could help people who suffer from neurological problems related to focus and alertness. This includes ADD/ADHD, narcolepsy, and dementia. While this would do wonders for people with legitimate problems in these areas, the technology would likely still be sought after by neurologically healthy people just as drugs like Adderall and Ritalin are today.

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6. Making you better at math

There are actually already studies that show promising results for controlled brain stimulation to improve a person’s ability to understand and do math. With further testing to test the effectiveness of this technique, and to assure its safety, brain implants could directly deliver stimulation to improve our math skills, and possibly other cognitive abilities.

7. Control any device with your mind

Researchers are currently able to use a neuroprosthetic sensor to help paralyzed patients control a robotic arm with their minds, to varying degrees of success. The technology is still very new and research is currently focused on providing aid for physical limitations, so don’t expect to be turning your lights on and changing the TV channel with your mind any time soon. Once this technology is widely tested and available for medical patients, however, its uses as a consumer service are easy to imagine.

8. Search the Internet with your brain

Forget Siri and Google Glass, why not get the information you’re searching for delivered directly from the Internet to your brain? Pending the development of smaller, nontoxic implants that your body won’t reject, we could be using brain implants throughout our whole day to do a number of tasks, including surf the web. Researchers are working to better and more completely understand how the human brain works, the present scope of which is still rudimentary. The better we understand the networks of our brains and how it forms and processes information, the easier it will be to hook ourselves up to artificial networks.

Featured photo credit: Warner Bros. Pictures via redcarpetrefs.com

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Last Updated on December 18, 2020

Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

Technology has taken a vantage leap in providing solutions for man. Before now, technology used to appear complex and would require a great deal of expertise to handle solutions available. Today, we have technology applicable in the simplest human activities as smart products with intelligent algorithms powering them as they make error-free judgments and provide intelligent and analytic solutions.

Does technology have all the answers?

This article from Credit Suisse, tells us that technology does not have all the answers because it has been found to exhibit “similar biases,” as humans. No one can discredit the impact of technology, but it is not totally free of human input and this is the reason we experience these biases in many areas we have technology holding foot.

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Creating technological solutions transparently

This article suggests that the process of creating technological solutions be made transparent and subject to contribution from many people who would end up as users of the product – male, female, young, old, learned, unlearned and all other preferences as we have them. It also underscores the importance of having women on product development teams. This approach is not sure to eliminate all forms of bias, but it is a good way to start in order to appraise the full benefits of technology.

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Technology as the connecting tool

Technology so far has been a major connecting tool amongst us humans. It is used and appreciated by all regardless of race, language and sex. In order to keep it less subjective to these arguments about human biases. I believe we should gather opinions on products and solutions before making them available to the public. This could be done by gathering input from intended target users and receiving feedback across the stages of production.

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“Recognizing the problem is a start…success will depend on inclusive technologies that meet this vast untapped market.” This cannot be more apt especially at a time when we look up to technology for solutions. We should not muzzle our progress with technology by battling algorithm bias. The first way to avoid this battle is by reading this article here.

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