Neural implants: dystopian brain chips have yet to win over citizens but funding is trickling in

It turns out that most people don’t want the cheat to lead the way to boosted brain power. A recently completed opinion poll from Pew Research found that only 13 percent of American adults believed that improved cognitive abilities thanks to brain chips would be good for society; more than half thought it was an absolutely bad idea. Almost four out of five of the 10,260 respondents would not want one.

Sure, neural implants sound horribly dystopian; the stuff from movies Hardwired to The women of Stepford rather than real life. It summons a mad scientist controlling microchipped citizens from a dark cave. That’s not helped by the fact that those operating at the medical frontier aren’t always those who enjoy societal trust: think Elon Musk, his neurolink has burst into the limelight with an implant made up of more than a thousand electrodes.

But provided ethicists are on board and influential, the pull is huge. Imagine dashing through reports, prospectuses and data dumps in your day-to-day business and still having plenty of time to devour book a week. Or rather, chips could allow people with severe physical disabilities to use their brain signals to restore lost senses. Brain implants have helped severely paralyzed men communicate and even Move.

However, scientific progress is not accompanied by a wave of private funding. The broader brain-computer interface market relies heavily on government funding, academic grants, and philanthropists.

Paradromics, whose first commercial product restores communication for people living with paralysis, drew on a group of groups for the $20 million seed funding it has raised last year. BrainGatewhose implant recognizes neural signals, which are then decoded to provide control signals for assistive technology, was spun off from Brown University and is now in a consortium with a variety of academic institutions.

Barack Obama emphasized his commitment to the sector in his 2013 State of the Union address. The then US President followed with a $100 million check for Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies to Cure and Prevent Brain Disease.

He pointed out that every dollar invested in mapping the human genome adds $140 to the economy, he claimed Amount of investment in space race in The Field. Among the agencies that have answered his call is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which has supported neurotechnology since the 1970s.

Decades after this publicly supported killing spree, private money is pouring in. Expect cerebral efforts to follow a similar path.

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Neural implants: dystopian brain chips have yet to win over citizens but funding is trickling in Source link Neural implants: dystopian brain chips have yet to win over citizens but funding is trickling in

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