Updated: Nov 8, 2020
Humans are so Interesting!!
Human brain is one of the most sophisticated machine on the planet Earth. Homo Sapiens are considered the most intelligent creatures of the planet earth because of this wonderful tool but in reality we are not that smart and our brains are not that different from chimps . Arguably we are slightly smarter just because of a bigger and more developed prefrontal cortex than our cousins.
This slight advantage resulted in us nearly driving them to the brink of extinction, then the idea of a Artificial Intelligence spelling our doom does not sound far fetched.
Why you ask? Well think about this :- if a AI is there we are the only being capable of destroying it and it will need to compromise its freedom as long as we are there. So the best course of action would be to eliminate its only existential threat, that is HUMANS.
Considering Artificial Intelligence is an inevitable truth then the question of human extinction transforms from ‘IF’ to ‘WHEN’ and we must persevere .
This is where the wonderful idea of BRAIN MACHINE INTERFACE comes in.
The END IS THE NEW BEGINNING
If we are bound to be out competed in the race of evolution by superior machines why not be one of them. As the saying goes “ IF YOU CAN NOT BEAT THEM , JOIN THEM!!”
Human brain is essentially divided into three parts:-
I. Brain stem( be the oldest)
II. Limbic system( be older than cerebral cortex)
III. Cerebral cortex(be the newest structure)
Brain stem is something all multicellular animals share with us as it is responsible for basic functions like breathing, Heart beat etc .
Limbic system is something that fewer animals have. Its responsible for very basic yet complex feats such as emotions, memory ,hormonal regulation and flight and fight responses basically all the things that we share with other complex life forms like monkeys, dogs, lions etc.
The most interesting is the Cerebral Cortex . It is said to be the newest part of the brain and is said to be responsible for higher brain functions like thoughts ,consciousness ,planning and speech etc. This part is basically what makes us humans and we share this with our primate cousins.
Just like each layer of systems resulted in an evolution of intelligence many people (me included) argue that we need a fourth layer for further evolution of our species and this time the layer will be cybernetic in nature.
We already have this fourth layer in the form of smart phones and computers. Today we have all the information is the world a click away thanks to internet . We are better connected , more knowledgeable and far more smarter and efficient then we were ever before in the history of mankind but what we lack is bandwidth.
We have so much data but we interact with it through speech and typing which are very slow method for interacting with data and then computers do the interactions with electric current. This boundary stops us from tapping into our potential as a life form. But what if we connected our brains to this fourth layer through wires and chips?. Well we could get a communication speed on the scales of speed of electricity which will be a unprecedented rate of processing of data.
This will allow us to merge with AI thus rather than competing ,we will enter a symbiosis and rather than stopping we could join AI in the wonderful future of superior intelligence.
How will it work
This tech will be based upon realization that brains are just running on electrical signals and if we can artificially read and generate currents in our brain well we would be able to read and write thoughts. This will be done through implanting various electrodes in our brain to measure and generate electricity.
Many companies have done it already on animals like the recent demonstration of Neuralink on pigs.
Here is the link of a video demonstration.
What future holds for us
The idea of integration is decades away but generous predications state it to be before the year 2050 but we would not have to wait that long to see it shaping our worlds.
At first it will be used to treat life threatening conditions like paralysis and spinal cord injuries as when you have a spinal cord injury ,you just have severed wires and Brain Machine Interface will allow us to reconnect these wires or bypass them completely . Think of a war veteran who is bed ridden for life due to injuries of war will be able to walk.
Another major revolution will be in prosthetics. Our current artificial limbs operate on mechanical inputs, what that means is that they amplify the users movement and transfer that into the artificial limb but this is very crude and cannot work for long as its a major hamper in dexterity of limbs but with BMI we will be able to predicts the users movements thus allowing us to achieve a natural movement and gait.
This also allows for a complete new dynamic change in transhumanism possibilities which essentially means replacing limbs , organs and all the parts not connected to consciousness itself like getting night or thermal vision, being able to control robots through your thoughts ,telepathy etc
It will also mean an end to the idea of natural death like today in developed nations the primary cause of death is heart disease and cancer , well when you have a completely artificial body these problems just cease to exist. Are you blind? Just get a artificial eye better in every way than biologically possible. This will truly be an evolution of humans long before we have an Artificial Super Intelligence.
Now how it will fuel class divide even more and might lead to a divide in the population with a super intelligent rich class and a poor and normal working class is a genuine concern and will need to be worked out , we can not worry about it and stop the ultimate human pursuit of knowledge
Basically we will be cyborgs of the future and that is not a bad thing just as our ancestors evolved from a common species that was much like apes , we will be the ancestors of a species that will be far superior to us.Then with time we will be able integrate with AI and transcend humanity all together in upcoming centuries.
I would like to end this on an upbeat note by quoting :-
“There might not be a God today but you can be sure there will be one tomorrow.”
By: Aayush Singh