They may be on their way to making “super humans.”

In 1924, in the early days of the Late Qing Dynasty, Lenin died, and the Soviet people renamed St. Petersburg Leningrad in memory of the revolutionary leader. That same year, in Germany, the Soviet Union’s world war-time adversary, a doctor named Hank Sberg, for the first time discovered a sign signal in the human brain, the electrical signal.

With electro-electrical signals, the brain’s activities can be converted into electronic signals for reading, and people have found a way to get information from the mysterious brain.

At the time, Hanks Berger might not have realized that, based on his findings, decades later, top laboratories around the world would be exploring something called a “brain-machine interface.”

“The Hacker Empire” forms the original imagination of the brain-computer interface, in which the protagonists connect with a computer through the interface behind the brain and enter the virtual world.

People who live today say that if the core of artificial intelligence is to make computers as understandable and understandable as humans, then the “brain interface” may make humans themselves stronger.

This “stronger” may be to restore normalcy to people with disabilities, perhaps super humans, or even eternal life.

Pandora’s Box is open.

Back in 1969, a monkey became the first experimental object of the brain-machine interface, marking the formal formation of the brain-machine interface technology. Soon after, the U.S. Defense Research Agency quickly set up a research team on brain-machine interface technology, and the importance that state machines attach to them is evident.

For the next 40 years, however, the brain-machine interface, as an extremely avant-garde technology, did not get out of the lab. The technology is still very advanced today, as scientists struggle to figure out how to connect the human brain to computers. After a small accumulation of progress, in 2009, Professor Theodore Berger of the University of Southern California conducted an experiment in which he put a chip in the brains of a mouse that could record and stimulate nerves.

Then he put the mouse in the cage, and if it went to eat the left, he electrocuted it, and then the mouse stopped eating the left, but chose the right. Slowly, the mouse began to eat automatically to the right, proving that it had a memory.

Later, Musk’s company did a similar brain-machine interface experiment with mice. Neuralink

Theodore Berger then put the chip from the mouse into the brain of another mouse that had never been to the experiment. As a result, the mouse automatically ran to the right to eat, never to the left.

This means that memories are likely to be transplanted from one mouse to another. So what if the subjects are humans?

Bryan Johnson, an American businessman, was very interested, and he wondered if consciousness could be transplanted as well if memories could be transplanted.

American philosopher of science, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Putnam has come up with an hypothesis called “the brain in the tank”: if the brain is soaked in a cylinder filled with nutrients and the nerve endings of the brain are connected to a computer, which constantly sends messages to the brain, including “feelings”, the brain thinks it is living in the real world.

In Reason, Truth and History, Hillary Clinton. Putnam presents his “brain in the tank” hypothesis . . . wikimedia

Bryan Johnson thought, if human consciousness can be transplanted into a water tank, like the “brain in the tank”, then humans have achieved some sense of eternal life?

Perhaps with that expectation, Bryan Johnson found Professor Theodore Berger, who co-founded Kernel, a brain-machine interface startup, in 2016. In the same year, Neuralink, the brain-machine interface company that Elon Musk invested in, also kept a low profile, with Musk saying, “If you can’t beat a machine, you become a machine.” “

At the same time, researchers at Stanford University managed to get a monkey to connect to a computer through a brain-machine interface for “mind typing” — 12 per minute.

It was also during this period that, in addition to the aforementioned companies that adopted invasive solutions, BrainCo, a brain-machine interface team born at Harvard University, was trying to bring “non-intrusive brain interface” technology into everyday consumer electronics. As the name suggests, the “non-invasive brain interface” is that there is no need to open a chip-mounted hole in the brain, but the sensitivity will be weaker than the intrusive brain machine interface.

The Pandora’s box of brain-machine interfaces seems to have been opened. Since then, brain-machine interface start-ups around the world have been born, bringing this avant-garde technology into the commercial exploration period.

Recent “Future”

In July 2019, Elon Musk held his first launch in three years of neuralink. At the time, they also followed Professor Theodore Berger’s example of an invasive brain-machine interface in mice. Elon Musk unveiled four technologies at the launch:


Second, similar to the “sewing machine” machine, can quickly put a lot of electrodes into the brain;

Third, ultra-low power, high-performance chip. Musk said the chip could solve any brain and could be used to restore vision, hearing and movement of the limbs.

Four, the algorithm.

From the technical results published by Elon Musk, we can also see the composition of an intrusive brain-machine interface scheme. At the same time, these are also the major challenges that intrusive schemes are currently facing.

Neuralink’s proposal to install an intrusive brain-machine interface on the human head Neuralink

Competitor Professor Theodore Berger said Kernel would test more people with epilepsy before introducing the technology to healthy people, helping them recover and helping people with Alzheimer’s improve their memory. This also means that “superman” with a strong memory may first appear in patients.

However, this is still a relatively distant “vision”. The latest development is that, not long ago, with the help of the Bartel Memorial Institute, a quadriplegic named Ian Burkhart recovered while exercising and tactile through a brain-machine interface.

The brain-machine interface device that has been implanted into the cerebral cortex on Ian Burkhart’s head Bloomberg

This is a landmark feat in the field of paralysis treatment.

In the past, because of an accident, Ian Burkhart’s neck was all gone to consciousness. In 2014, Ian Burkhart plucked up the courage to take part in the Bartel Memorial Institute’s brain-machine interface project , opening a hole in his brain and implanting a chip. It then connects a computer or intelligent assisted prosthesis through a chip on his head.

Through the brain-machine interface, Ian Burkhart’s brain can be directly connected to a computer, intelligent prosthesis, and concurrent instructions . . . Bloomberg

With the team constantly improving the algorithm and Ian Burkhart’s six years of persistence, he was finally able to control the movement and touch of his right arm.

In addition to this latest scientific development, NASA has earlier trained its astronauts through brain-machine interface technology to increase their concentration and concentration, and thus increase their productivity. For example, what can be done in the last 4 hours, and maybe 1 hour later.

However, the imagination space of the brain-machine interface definitely does n’etre.

The brain-computer interface is “opening up” the secrets of the brain, allowing more data in organisms to be captured, and on the other, it can connect to supercomputers that are stronger than the human brain, or to more powerful machines than the human body.

As Musk says, the brain-machine interface is just one small step he hopes Neuralink can achieve. In the long run, he hopes to develop a device that can achieve a “symbiosis” between humans and AI.

It’s easy to think of the main characters in the films Arrieta, Shell Inglis and The Hacker Empire.

The main character of the film Arrieta: The Battle Angel is a semi-robot, which may also be the future of mankind.

Movies are sci-fi, but they are also a mirror of the future we meet. When on earth, when will we get there? In China, what progress has been made in the “development” of super humans? Where is China Brain Interface In the World? Who has already used the brain interface product? How will the brain-machine interface change human society?

From June 19 th to June 21, log in to Station B to watch “Rebuild 2020: Move on!” co-hosted by Geek Park and bilibili! “Online conference, there’s an “all-star lineup” of more than 30 scientists, entrepreneurs, and B-station UP owners.

On June 20, Han Yu, founder and CEO of BrainCo, a brain-machine interface company, will talk to us about the application and thinking of brain-machine interfaces to see the “near future” of brain-machine interfaces for humans.

Let’s play and talk and cheer for a better future!