A Brain-computer interface or BCI is a direct communications link between a brain and a computer. BCIs have been proposed as a means by which a superintelligence could be created. Present developments of BCIs consists only of aiding those with disabilities, developing prostheses such as robotic arms, cochlear and retinal implants. There is no significant technical difference between restoring normal functionality and enhanced functionality, however. Developing BCIs is a task which is aided enormously by the brain's dynamic neural network, permitting growth and healing - and the interpretation of new sensory input.
Although many previously foreseen uses of BCIs are provided today by indirect computer links, many innovative possibilities remain. Senses that the brain already understands, like sight, might easily be enhanced; A police officer might gain an eye on the back of his head, an engineer vision stretching from infrared to ultraviolet. Already basic computer mind reading is developing; one day, you could see an unbroken stream of your recorded thoughts, maybe even swapping your experiences perfectly with someone else. An implant stocked with neurochemicals could allow a user to consciously alter their brain chemistry and wake refreshed, concentrate deeply, think creatively, and need less sleep.
A BCI might also permit the transfer of a human mind onto a digital substrate, permitting immortality and all the possibilities whole brain emulation implies. It is also possible that the development of BCIs could lead to a dystopian world with actual mind reading or even mind control. Furthermore, street drugs will be obsolete in the face of direct stimulation of the brain's pleasure centers.
- ThinkTech A blog dedicated to BCI developements
- Paralyzed patient controls robot arm using BCI Article from KurzweilAI
- Demonstration of paralyzed patient using robot arm from Nature Magazine YouTube
- Demonstration of a blind patient with a Retinal Implant reading from Discovery Magazine YouTube
- Achieving the Singularity with Brain-computer interfaces by Vernor Vinge
- Beyond Boundaries by Miguel Nicolelis on Amazon.
- A Framework for approaches to transfer the Mind's Substrate by Sim Bamford