The human brain remains biology’s great, unconquered wilderness, and while the idea of meshing the raw power of the human mind with electronic stimulus and responsiveness has long existed in both science fiction and — to some degree — in reality, we likely won’t be controlling our devices with a thought in 2020 as Intel has predicted. While it’s currently possible to implant a chip in the brain and even get one to respond to or stimulate gross neural activity, we simply don’t understand the brain’s nuance well enough to create the kind of interface that would let you channel surf by simply thinking about it.
“Neural communications are both chemical and electrical,” Liebhold says. “And we have no idea about how that works, particularly in the semantics of neural communication. So yeah, somebody might be able to put electronics inside somebody’s cranium, but I personally believe it’s only going to be nominally useful for very, very narrow therapeutic applications.”
We might have chips in the brain by 2020, but they won’t be doing much.
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