Put AI Chips in Your Brain for Better Thoughts

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Facebook is researching a device one wears on the head, like the design above, that can read your thoughts. Credit: (GETTY IMAGES)

By AI Trends Staff

Some technologists are exploring implanting chips with powerful AI in the human brain to create superhuman capabilities.

“You won’t need to memorize anything” anymore, said Nikolas Kaironos, CEO and founder of Fountech.ai, in an interview in the DailyStar. You could ask a question in your head, such as how to say something in French, get the information from the AI implant, “then be able to say it,” he said.

Fountech helps companies integrate AI into their businesses. Its work includes the Soffos project, which uses AI to try to deliver new learning experiences, tailoring content and methods to the individual. The brain implant subject is a talking point for the company.

Northwestern University neuroscientist Dr. Moran Cerf is working with Silicon Valley companies he declines to name on a smart chip for the brain. “Make it so that it has an internet connection, and goes to Wikipedia, and when I think a particular thought, it gives me the answer,” he said to CBS Chicago.

He calls the work of brain implants to increase intelligence no longer a “science problem” but a “social problem.”

An intelligent monkey has an IQ of about 70; the average human IQ is about 100; a genius IQ is considered to begin around 140. People with a smart chip in their brain could have an IQ of about 200.

“They can make money just thinking about the right investments, so they’re going to get richer,” Cerf said.

Big Name Players Seek Brain Territory

Meanwhile, big tech players are not sitting on the sidelines. Facebook for example, is working on a “brain mouse,” a non-invasive brain interface that could allow users to control artificial reality applications.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talked about the research during  a recent interview at Harvard University with Harvard law school professor Jonathan Zittrain, according to an account in Wired.

Asked about the ethical implications of a Facebook machine that could read minds, Zuckerberg said, “Presumably, this would be something that someone would choose to use as a product.”

It would not be an implant, but a shower-cap type of device that one wears on the head. It could potentially assist the headsets manufactured by Oculus VR, for virtual reality, now owned by Facebook. In a sign of progress, Zuckerberg said the researchers have distinguished when a person is thinking of a giraffe or an elephant, based on neural activity.

Zuckerberg added, “We’re working on a system that will let you type straight from your brain about five times faster than you can type on your phone today. Eventually, we want to turn it into a wearable technology that can be manufactured at scale.”

Not to be undone, Elon Musk is also stepping up with an implant entry. His company Neuralink announced in July plans to develop a brain-machine interface (BMI). One goal is to implant microchips into the brains of paralyzed people, to enable them to work on smartphones and computers.

In a paper he authored on bioRxiv, Musk said he company has built arrays of small electrode “threads” with over 3,000 electrodes per array distributed across 96 threads. The company built a neurosurgical robot capable of inserting six threads per minute. Each thread can be individually inserted into the brain with micron precision, targeting specific brain regions. The electrode array is packaged in a small, implantable device that contains custom chips.

In one reaction, cognitive psychologist Susan Schneider issued a caution. “The worry with a general merger with AI, in the more radical sense that Musk envisions, is the human brain is diminished or destroyed,” Schneider said in an interview with TheNextWeb. “Furthermore, the self may depend on the brain and if the self’s survival over time requires that there be some sort of continuity in our lives — a continuity of memory and personality traits — radical changes may break the needed continuity.”

Schneider adds, “The issue is also philosophical: What is the nature of the self or mind? If the mind is just the brain, a full merger with AI wouldn’t work. I suspect those advocating a mind-machine merger think the self is a program.”

Read the source articles in the DailyStar, at CBS Chicago, in  Wired, in bioRxiv, and at TheNextWeb.