Linking the Brain to Machines
Brain Machine Interfaces - the New Frontier
Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMIs). The US Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency - DARPA - is investing millions of dollars into its Next Generation, Non-Surgical Neurotechnology program. The purpose is to provide BMIs to the US military for overwhelming technological advantages.
DARPA has just launched a radical approach. Wireless BMIs that do not require surgery to link the brain and technology. Six academic teams have just been tapped to come up with radically different, innovative approaches. The concepts include connecting by acoustic signals, electromagnetic waves, infrared beams, genetically enhanced neurons and nanotechnology. It's a 4 year research program and each university team is said to be getting $20 million.
This is an important trend to follow. Besides DARPA in the US, billionaire engineer Elon Musk is giving BCI (brain-computer interface)technology a hard push through one of his companies Neuralink. The technology has its roots in science fiction but is now on the verge of becoming a reality. There are great opportunities and great risks. The potential ranges from dramatically improving the function of brain damaged soldiers to having one soldier control swarms of drones through brain waves. On the other hand, what if this type of technology gets into the wrong hands?