Brain to brain communication has been realized by the University of Washington, and the brains were humans’! How does the future of this development look like?
Doctor Gregory had all the documents of his patient in front of him. Pages of medical records, examinations and expert diagnosis were not helping to shed a light on that mistery. And the lady had a few months or maybe just weeks of life in front of her. An alarm blinked and reminded him of the “meeting” with Doctor Liang in Shangai. He put his “brain connector” helmet on and got in contact with his mate via skype. They had already examined the case together, without big improvements, but they were pretty sure it was about the language barrier; Greg did not speak chinese and Liang did not speak english. They exchanged the connection codes and started the interface, Liang was leading, 55 years of experience on rare deseases made him the real guru on the topic. Liang started to stare at the exams through the eyes of Greg; Greg’s oculus were moving controlled by Liang in Shangai and the same for his fingers leafing through the pages. Greg was mentally reading and Liang was receiving. About an aggregated century of experience begun to work in synch without the different languages being an obstacle. The real essence of brain to brain. Liang didn’t lose a second of concentration in half an hour and Greg tried to relax his body as much as possible, just to avoid useless interferences and remained focus on the papers. They suddenly stop to a paragraph, then back a few pages, then quickly to the CAT scan… “how the hell we dind’t get it before?”… it was “obviously” a rare Wilson-Silverstone syndrome.
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Brain to brain studies
The idea of sharing knowledges and experiences accumulated in many years by different brains may be a bit far in the future, but the “simple” connection between two human brains has been realized by the University of Washington in November 2014. Their official page describes well what they did and how they made it possible. Researchers were able to transmit the signals from one person’s brain over the Internet and use these signals to control the hand motions of another person within a split second of sending that signal. This is the evolution or let me say, the second great chapter, of reasearches appeared in August 2013.
And they are not alone in the capital. In parallel, at Stanford, scientists are trying to map the billions of neurons transmitting messages over some 100 trillion specialized connections. This is starting to be interesting also for governments, if President Obama announced the BRAIN initiative, a $300 million collaborative research project with the ambitious goal of mapping every neuron in the human brain. Brain to brain communication is becoming a reality.
What’s next? It seems possible that, if we are able today to connect brains to control the hand motion of another person in another place, we will progressively move to involving other parts of the body and then transfer information related to more complex phenomena like processes, rules, ideas, concepts, thoughts and then complete experience.
To do what? We are far from understanding any commercial application (or implication) of this new technology, but there are some fields very potential: a paralyzed person could communicate with people around him or her, a plane can take off or land with just one pilot “remotely” controlled from the control tower, a surgeon can help a colleague in action on the other side of the ocean, a blind man can be helped in performing actions which are too complex for him, the brain of a guru or a consultant can be hired and shared for a few hours on a specific topic (without any travel expenditure…)! As the Nobel award Rita Levi Montalcini said “I am the mind, the body can do what it wants”.
Assuming the parties have agreed to share bodies and knowledges and opted in, that would represent the real “collective intelligence” in action; obviously there would be a risk of “hacking” or improper non authorized use of “a brain”, but that’s another story.
Newsletter: because there’s much more than brain to brain here!
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