LeWeb 2013, Paris – Day 3 of the next 10 years: Hardwiring the human brain

The most inspiring talk of the day in the last part of LeWeb 2013 in Paris was the talk delivered by Ramez Naam, Computer Scientist, Futurist & Award-Winning Author. He talked about “The Wired Brain” and the astounding research going on in labs all over the world.

The progress that technology is making with connecting the human brain to certain devices and even with other brains is amazing. There is this tremendous potential for tapping into the most complex computer into he world – the human brain – and boosting its performance. But it’s not only about that. It’s also about achieving medical miracles by giving people their senses back: hearing, sight and probably even more in the future.

So what are we looking towards? Well, there will be things like:
LCD contact lenses
– sensors with wireless transmitters imprinted on skin in the form of electronic tattoos
– the pill cam
– hearing implants (cochlear implants), that allow data data to be digitally being sent into the brain
– eye implants with 256 data channels and it produces limited mobility vision in the form of the bionic eye
– images reconstructed from brain activity with the aid of MRI imaging
– the hippocampus chip – replaces the damaged part of the brain and it can restore memories and help people learn and even improve memory
rats – thousands of miles away, share information and one of them learns from another how to perform a task
– the hippocampal bridge.

Beyond upgrading the human mind, the applications are mind-blowing. But technology retains a fascinating aspect to it: it is profoundly human. Every business model, idea and prediction for the next 10 years we’ve seen these days at LeWeb and the entire year that’s about to end are tied to human motivations, behaviors, patterns, wishes, needs and emotions.

This is probably the fundamental thing we need to remember about technology: it reflects the human condition in all its variety. Maybe it should be something to reflect upon anywhere between now and the next 10 years.

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