Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Putting a Computer in Your Brain is no Longer Science Fiction


Kernel – Small Chip Implanted in Brain – Neurological Damage


Bryan Johnson, a technology entrepreneur, like several in Silicon Valley foresees a future wherein intelligent machine could perform many things such as drive cars on their own and anticipate our requirements before we tend to ask. From his modest office in Venice Beach, his science-fiction-meets-science start-up, Kernel has been building small chip which could be implanted in the brain in order to assist people suffering from neurological damage which could be the result of strokes, Alzheimer’s or concussions.

Top neuroscientists building the chip call it a neuroprosthetic and hopes that in the long run it would be capable of boosting intelligence, memory as well as the other cognitive responsibilities. Johnson admits that the medical device will take several years but he can afford to wait. In 2013, he had sold his payment company, Braintree to PayPal for $800.

Earlier Mormon raised in Utah, he expresses regarding the project with missionary like passion and focus. He further added in an interview regarding the company that he had not spoken openly before, stating that `human intelligence is blocked-in relationship to artificial intelligence and the blocked-in is the degeneration of the body and the brain and this is a question of keeping humans front and centre as we progress’.

Support Cognitive-Enhancement Businesses


Johnson is said to be one out of a set of leading entrepreneurs who is of the belief that Silicon Valley could pay a role in financing large-scale scientific encounters, the types which could intensely enhance home life that could go further than building software. Several of their ventures have been drawn from the values of software.

 Venture capital firms such as Y Combinator, Andreessen Horowitz, Peter Thiel’s Founders fun, Khosla Ventures and several others, in the last two years had invested in start-ups which centred on `bio-hacking’, with the idea that one can engineer the body as one would, a software program.

They have subsidized the companies which focus to arrange the bacteria in the gut reprogram the DNA one is born with or conduct cancer biopsies from the blood samples. They have also supported cognitive-enhancement businesses such as Thync that tend to build headset which sends mood-altering electrical pulses to the brain as well as Nootrobox which is a start-up making chewable coffee complement that associates doses of caffeine with active elements in green tea, thus leading to a accurately planned, zenlike high.

Speed up Scientific Breakthrough


It seems easy to discharge these attempts as the hubristic, techno-utopian illusions of self-involved choice are of the belief that it could challenge death and human deterioration. Though there is no lack of hubris in Silicon Valley, it is also sure that some of these projects would speed up the scientific breakthrough and seal some of the gaps which may have been left in the process of declining public subsidy for scientific study, according to the professor of bioethics and medical humanities at North-western University, Laurie Zoloth. Besides this, techies have been encouraged by the statistic that several biological as well as health challenges progressively comprise of data-mining together with computation which look more like problem than one would know to resolve them.

Kernel is said to be a cognitive improvement and the concept depends on the work of Theodore Berger who was a pioneering biomedical engineer directing the Centre for Neural Engineering at the University of Southern California and is said to be the chief science officer of the start-up.

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