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If you ever watched Ghost In The Shell and wondered if the human race will ever be capable of controlling computers through the use of neural implants, it seems that technology is slowly going towards that idea, because DARPA is set on connecting brains to computers. The announcement from the US Defense Advanced Research Program Agency was made a couple of days in an official press release.
Even if at its core, this technology will be used in order to help people suffering from disabilities live their life as normally as possible, its military and daily life applications are immense. One can just imagine connecting to YouTube and listening to music while walking down the street without the need of a smartphone.
This implant will be able to transmit visual and audio information straight into the brain through the use of electrical impulses, just like our eyes and ears send the same types of information. Because our brain functions similarly to a computer, this interface will be more or less at home inside our skulls, or, at least, that’s what the researchers tend to believe.
Of course, the video’s resolution and audio quality will be leagues above the ones displayed on a screen, because it dismisses the use of our eyes which can make images blurry or other similar effects.
The DARPA program which will be tasked with coming up with an effective neural interface between brain and computer will be the Neural Engineering System Design, or NESD. The team will attempt to expand on the current technology capable of linking brains to computers through only 100 channels.
The main idea which will be approached will be a linking system between the computer and specific regions of the brain, disregarding the idea of taking everything as a whole in order to improve the quality of processed information. NESD has stated that by using our current technology, the information transmitted between the two is “noisy and imprecise”.
It’s safe to say that this concept comes with a plethora of philosophical ideas, as well as problems regarding its ethicality. Who is to say that at one point after a tremendous amount of research, NESD won’t be able to completely connect a human brain to a computer interface, basically making the subject live inside the matrix. At that point, the line between human and machine will be null and void.
The news that DARPA is set on connecting brains to computers can be viewed with both excitement and a little bit of skepticism or even fear. Only time will tell how this technology will impact the human race once it gets developed, as well as how it will be limited by either our own brain because we do have limits when it comes to processing information.