Elon Musk, our real-life Tony Stark, plans to announce this week the progress of his company Neuralink, which is dedicated to developing a Body Machine Interface (BMI); specifically, implanting a computer connection into the human brain.
Musk has described how robotic surgery will sew ultra-fine filaments into the cerebral cortex, which will be able to “stream full broadband electrophysiology data” into a computer, whereupon a “single USB-C cable provides full-bandwidth data streaming from the device.”
So reports Claudia Glover, in Computer Business Review, in her article Your Brain, With a USB Port in It: Elon Musk’s Neuralink Vision Divides Experts.
The ambitions of those working closely on BMI include, for some, the hope that technology could eventually to be used to connect the human race via a bona fide “neural network”; allowing people to communicate using thoughts and images rather than words, and even give over their motor function to others, with their consent*. The ideas behind this have their roots in a dizzying transhumanism. . . .Ideally in the next 50 years some BMI advocates hope to equip those who can afford it with tech that will ostensibly enable them to communicate without speaking, access a “hive mind” for any information they need and sense their houses and the appliances in them as easily as if they were on their bodies: no more “Alexa, do this…”, or “Hey Google…” You just think it and it happens: an “Internet of Things” in which you are at one with the things.
Glover comes around to this, more fundamental difficulty. She quotes Oliver Armitage, who himself is working on BMI technologies (my bolds):
Armitage summed up the complexity of the human brain with what he called a theoretically intractable problem: “Famously, there aren’t enough atoms in the universe to build a full model of what every cell is doing [in the brain]. It’s a theoretically intractable problem, you can’t even conceive of a computer large enough because there isn’t enough material in the universe to make it.”
We sometimes feel overwhelmed at how small we are in the vastness of the universe. But it appears that as vast as the universe is, your brain is vaster still. That is to say, you are vaster still.