Tech Startup Kernel Says It Can Boost Your Intelligence With Computer Chip Brain Implants That Let You Hack Your Mind

Friday, 23 March 2018 - 1:42PM
Friday, 23 March 2018 - 1:42PM
Tech Startup Kernel Says It Can Boost Your Intelligence With Computer Chip Brain Implants That Let You Hack Your Mind
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Image credit: Pixabay
Do you ever wish you had a photographic memory? Or the ability to learn new skills quickly and easily, without all the hassle of having to study or practice?

How about the ability to override your natural senses and enter a digital world that's so totally immersive it'll make all Oculus Rift owners blush with embarrassment?

Tech startup Kernel is looking to offer computer chip implants that can be inserted into a human's brain in order to give them greater in-built processing power. This "neuroprosthetic" will essentially turn people into cyborgs, allowing them the potential to hack their own brains (the good kind of hacking that allows more freedom, not the bad kind that installs malware).

According to Bryan Johnson, the company's founder:

Opening quote
"For example, could I have a perfect memory? Could I delete my memories? Could I increase my rate of learning, could I have brain-to-brain communication? Imagine a scenario where I say 'I want to know what it's like to be a cowboy in the American West in the 1800s?' and someone creates that experience mentally. I'm able to take that and purchase that from that person and experience that."
Closing quote

Currently, the company is working specifically on memory tools, with the intention of offering their brain implant as a treatment for Alzheimer's. Patients would, in theory, be able to back up their memories on their computer chips, proving useful storage that could, in theory, bypass the disease's effects entirely.

As appealing as this might sound, there's something off-putting about the idea of technology that can alter or erase our memories, as well as potentially activating hallucinations within the user.

Hackers have proven to have the ability to remotely take control of children's toys and sex robots, so why should our brains not be similarly susceptible to hacks (the bad malware hacks this time).

On the other hand, there is a pressing need for humans to integrate with machinery. AI technology is advancing at an incredible rate, and before too long, humans will be ousted from many common areas of the workplace in favor of cheaper, more efficient digital alternatives.

If our species doesn't want to run the risk of becoming obsolete, we might need to all become cyborgs.

Of course, obsolescence is a pressing issue even for those who might consider going digital. There are plenty of other companies that are hard at work at creating robot-human connectivity, and with quantum computers just a few years away, Kernel's chips might end up woefully out of date in a short period of time.

Nobody wants to have someone drill a hole in their skull and insert a computer chip in their brain, only for it to be surpassed by a faster, more advanced chip a few weeks later.

No matter what happens here, brain hacking isn't something that anyone should enter into lightly. It's probably for the best that we're still a long way from seeing Kernel make any headway with their ridiculous cyborg creation plan.
Weird Science