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IPFS News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Will You? The Brain-Computer Interface Is Already Here


People talk about brain implants as if they're an imagined biohorror in the distant future. This is a misconception. Hardwired trodes already exist, they're more widespread than you think, and they'll only be more prevalent as time goes on.

Today, it's an iPhone 14 under the Xmas tree. Come the Singularity, transhumanists hope and pray, it'll be an iTrode 666 in your cerebral cortex.

Synchron and Blackrock Neurotech, alongside numerous labs funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), are at the forefront of this human experimentation.

Neuralink is racing to catch up—burning through lab animals like so much kindling—and will likely take the lead once they're approved for human trials.

Currently, a brain-computer interface (BCI) can provide quadriplegics and locked-in stroke victims a superior hands-free experience. Patients can move cursors onscreen. They can type text with only their thoughts. They can operate robotic arms to move beer bottles to their lips. The late Matthew Nagle, who received the first proper BCI in 2006, was able to play Pong "telepathically."

Enjoying a decent head start, Blackrock Neurotech is the most prolific brain-jack racket. "36 people around the world have an implanted brain-computer interface," their website states. "32 of them use Blackrock technology." (If I had to wager, the former number is likely greater.)

These silicon seeds have been planted in a bed of gray matter, and after recent rounds of generous financing, they're growing fast.