The brain chip of conspiracy theories

Home / Future Tech
By Aline-Mwezi Niyonsenga
@aniyonsenga
Jan 08, 2017,  10:03 PM

If you think brain chips are a thing of conspiracy theories, think again. Ongoing research on microchips has led to the bionic hybrid neuro chip; a brain implant that can record brain function for up to a month at 15x the resolution of traditional chips. 

What's new about this chip?

Traditional microchips either record at a high resolution or record for long periods of time. A previously released article on Quantumrun also mentions a chip that uses a soft polymer mesh to reduce cell damage caused by the chip recording for longer time periods.

This new “bionic hybrid neuro chip” uses “nano edges” that enables it to both record for a longer time period and have high quality footage. According to Dr. Naweed Syed, one of the authors and scientific director at the University of Calgary, the chip can also assimilate “what Mother Nature does when it puts networks of brain cells together” so that brain cells grow on it thinking it’s part of the crew.

What will it do?

The researchers at the University of Calgary explain how this neuro chip can come with a cochlear implant for people with epilepsy. The implant can dial their phone to let the patient know a seizure is coming. It can then give the patient advice such as ‘sit down’ and ‘don’t drive.’ The software can also dial 911 while turning on the GPS locator on the patient’s phone so that paramedics can locate the patient.

Pierre Wijdenes, the paper’s first author, also explains how researchers can make personalized medication for patients suffering from seizures by testing different compounds on the brain tissue where seizures occur. They can then use the information gathered from the neuro chip to figure out which compounds work best.

Impact (ONLY use the 'Paste From Word' button to safely copy and paste text from a Word doc) 

According to Colin Dalton, co-author, “human cells are smaller and therefore require more sensitive electronic tools to be designed to pick up signals. This new neuro chip is already more sensitive than traditional ones, so they’re closer than ever to developing neuro chips for humans.”

Some worry that this technology could potentially be used to monitor and manipulate people against their will. Add neuro chips that will help humans control electronics, and later others with their minds, and their worry is understandable.

At the same time, within the next few decades, we could uncover the origins and cure of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, epilepsy and other neurological diseases, as well as depression. This will allow humans to live longer, healthier lives and contribute to an aging population that will outlive retirement benefits. 

We are moving towards a future where the old will outnumber the young and both will remain part of the workforce well past their 60s. As we continue to unlock secrets of the brain with cybernetic implants, our longevity will keep increasing. 

Could immortality be in the works?

Public Release Date: 
2020
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