The 21st century has brought to us a myriad of possibilities with the expansion of new technology and discovery. The progress that has been achieved in the past 100 years is immeasurable – with the most promising advancement being brain research.
The bane of every dystopian novel is a computerized future, where humans are made aimless cyborgs. We have, as a society, been thoroughly fascinated with the idea of artificial mechanics within the brain.
The idea of guiding an individual's thoughts and actions is both frightening and exciting. Science continually pushes us to boundaries, and whenever groundbreaking visions come to surface, they are initially treated as impossible. And that's precisely what's happening right now.
Several key figures in the tech industry (namely Elon Musk and Bryan Johnson of Kernel) are chasing after a new pursuit known as neural lace. It's name coined from dystopian author Iain Bank, it configures itself with the brain to control signals within.
It's been called a "mesh electronic", with the lace being so thin and wired that it behaves similar to a mesh.
A neural lace mesh within a solution of water (Lieber Research Group, Harvard University)
It's implanted via an injection, and is expected to connect itself with the brain watching over any brain signals. It familiarizes itself with its environment, and eventually creates a brain-computer interface. Although it may become wireless in the future, it's only been tested on live mice as of now. But some are ready to change that.
Musk's new company of Neuralink intends to do something very similar utilizing this neural lace technology. He hopes to create a "direct cortical interface", and is joined by Johnson, who is creating his own company of Kernel.
Both intend to further the advancement of this nanotechnology to its limits.
But now we must ask, what are the repercussions? Recently, the phenomenon of 'ethical science' and 'bioethics' has gripped the base of mainstream STEM. What is ethical? What is right? Is advancing this moral? Should we, in the first place?
I can only give you my opinion, and that what I intend to do. Technology, fundamentally, has saved a plethora of peoples.
Therefore, it is only right that we research this field extensively and document its impacts.
The advancement of society is critical and of the utmost importance.