In response to the advancement of artificial intelligence, technology entrepreneur Bryan Johnson is looking for a way to enhance the human brain so that in the future we don’t get wiped out by machines. Johnson, founder of Braintree, recently launched the company Kernel, which builds hardware and software to boost human intelligence.
The question now is, “if you could implant a device in your brain to enhance your intelligence, would you do it,” as stated by Jessica Hamzelou at New Scientist.
Photo (cc) Ryan Somma / cropped original
Today, Johnson is investing $100 million, from his own savings, into developing that kind of device. He has been working with others in order to understand the brain’s memory function by studying the hippocampus. As of right now, their goal is to understand and recreate those functions, in order to restore memory in people with memory disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
The hope is that “chip” or “neuroprosthetic” will be small and easy to implant, but complex enough to help brain cells communicate by hacking the “neural code” that allows our brain to hoard information and go back to it. The ultimate goal is to make sure the chip enhances all cognitive tasks, not just memory.
“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?” Johnson said to Hamzelou. “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?”