Sep 16, 2020

The brain-computer interface is coming, and we are so not ready for it

Posted by in categories: computing, law, neuroscience, physics, wearables

Are you ready?

“if you were the type of geek, growing up, who enjoyed taking apart mechanical things and putting them back together again, who had your own corner of the garage or the basement filled with electronics and parts of electronics that you endlessly reconfigured, who learned to solder before you could ride a bike, your dream job would be at the Intelligent Systems Center of the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University. Housed in an indistinct, cream-colored building in a part of Maryland where you can still keep a horse in your back yard, the ISC so elevates geekdom that the first thing you see past the receptionist’s desk is a paradise for the kind of person who isn’t just thrilled by gadgets, but who is compelled to understand how they work.”

Then there are the legal questions: Can the cops make you wear one? What if they have a warrant to connect your brain to a computer? How about a judge? Your commanding officer? How do you keep your Google Nest from sending light bulb ads to your brain every time you think the room is too dark?

A wearable device that can decode the voice in your head is a way’s off yet, said Jack Gallant, professor of psychology at University of California, Berkeley and a leading expert in cognitive neuroscience. But he also said, “Science marches on. There’s no fundamental physics reason that someday we’re not going to have a non-invasive brain-machine interface. It’s just a matter of time.

”And we have to manage that eventuality.”


Comment so far

  1. Lee Miller says:

    This is amazing! But some of the ethical implications are horrifying.

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