If you were given the option to implant a device into your brain that would enhance your intelligence, would you consider it?
Kernel, a new company have invested $100 million into developing this exact device, which was launched earlier this year by its entrepreneur Bryan Johnson.
Johnson have asked himself for years how to best contribute to humanity, and landed on improving intelligence, Johnson told NewsScientist.
“I arrived at intelligence. I think it’s the most precious and powerful resource in existence”
His first project out is “memory”, and Johnson aims for enabling human intelligence to expand and develop in the same way as artificial intelligence. To make it happen, Johnson is now collaborating with Theodore Berger, at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, looking at the “hippocampus”, the brain’s region dedicated to memory.
“Berger is currently studying people with epilepsy, who already have electrical implants in their brains to treat their seizures. Rather than using these implants to stimulate the brain, Berger’s team have been using them to record brain activity instead, to tell us more about how our memory works”, NewsScientist writes.
With the aim of restoring the memory of patients suffering from memory loss, Johnson explains that once they learn how a healthy brain works, they will eventually be able to mimic it.
“The idea is that if you have loss of memory function, then you could build a prosthetic for the hippocampus that would help restore the circuitry, and restore memory,” Johnson explains.
In other words, this would not only benefit the people who wish to increase their intelligence, but it could also benefit patients suffering from memory disorders, etc.
“The first super-humans are those who have deficits to start with,” Johnson says.
However, Johnson mentions that the memory enhancement will just be the start.
“If we can mimic the natural function of the brain, and we can truly work with neural code, then I posit the question – what can’t we do?” says Johnson. “Could we learn a thousand times faster? Could we choose which memories to keep and which to get rid of? Could we have a connection with our computers?”
This article has been re-purposed from: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2109868-100-million-project-to-make-intelligence-boosting-brain-implant/