Incorporating human intelligence with technology has been a widely-discussed topic for decades, but has largely been relegated to the realm of fantasy. We’ve seen this concept demonstrated in science fiction classics like The Matrix, where the movie’s protagonist had knowledge on various tasks and skills “uploaded” into his brain through an implanted device. If there’s one major takeaway from the digital age that strongly pertains to this concept, it’s that anything is possible through science.
Researchers have begun dabbling with methods to implement the infusion of artificial and biological intelligence. Similar to how the process was done in The Matrix, most scientists believe it’s not that inconceivable anymore to “upload” knowledge into a human brain through an electronic implant. Despite the various dangers neurological implants present, Tesla/SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has made it known that his research teams are taking on a future project to do that very task. He calls this implant concept a “Neuralink,” and it would help form a digital organic interface in an effort to merge human brains with artificial intelligence.
According to Musk, the inception of this outlandish concept can be traced back 57 years ago to Psychologist JCR Licklider. In his publication Man-Computer Symbiosis, he discusses how machines and human brains will partner up using thought and data analysis processes so one form of intelligence can’t process information without the other. Musk’s research team is primarily focusing on developing software for the Neuralink that’s capable of accelerating a person’s intelligence. This method could be used to enhance memory, or form better interface connections with cybernetics and other digital devices. Researchers want Neuralink implants to have a simple design, and are likely to be developed in the form of tiny electrodes, which coincide with the electrical signals that emanate from the human brain.
In what could be the first steps towards developing software capable of making instant learning, researchers from the California-based HRL laboratories reportedly discovered a method to enhance learning (despite being at an extremely small capacity) by studying just that – neurological electrical signals. HRL laboratories developed a simulator that can feed information directly into a person’s brain to teach them new skills in a shorter period of time.
Their experiment studied the neurological electrical signals in the brain of a pilot. This data was then fed into novice subjects as they learned to operate an aircraft using an inflight simulator. Subjects who received brain simulation via electrode-embedded head caps improved their piloting abilities and reception 33 percent more than a placebo group that was monitored in the same experiment. Researchers hope in the future, such a device could one day be used for more practical information to be inserted in people’s brains like driving, studying for exams, and learning languages.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)