What can be told about the human brain? Not too much. Not even enough. It is a fairly complicated organ. We all do our best to understand more about the brain, as it is central to future issues like privacy, transhumanism and The Singularity. Ray Kurzweil is one of the persons that seems to understand a little more what brain really is.
But let’s see some general facts about the brain:
Center of the human nervous system
Most complex organ on earth
Weighs on average about 3 lb (1.5 kg)
Consistency similar to jelly
Estimated 50–100 billion neurons
People believes that the mind is in the brain. But what the mind is? Current philosophies of the mind seems to be as foggy as a morning hangover. How does the brain’s processes generate the stream of consciousness we call the mind? There is no adequatly answer to this question at the moment, science can not say for sure yet. But that may change, thanks to merging technologies like artificial intelligence, imaging, nanotechnology and supercomputers.
Future breakthroughs in neuroscience could have a great effect on society. What will the world be like when technology can tell us without a doubt that the accused is guilty of a crime, a spouse has cheated, or an employee would likely steal? How about uploading your memories for posterity or downloading the skills you need for that new job? Record your dreams for later viewing or control your computer (or any device), just by thinking about it. Many of these futuristic technologies are already in development.
Some of the most controversial issues to face society in the future will come from cognitive breakthroughs. In my mind it comes down to this, the more we understand about the human brain, the more we know about ourselves, and that can be a bit unnerving.
Now, there are brain machine interfaces (BMIs) that allow for activity in the brain to be sent to, or received from, a computer.
Some BMIs use sensors mounted in a removable cap or MRI technology to read signals from the brain. Others connect directly to the surface of the brain, through tiny wires and an array of nano-electrodes. BMIs can also be entirely implanted in the brain.
Brain machine interfaces are currently assisting paralyzed patients communicate, control robotic arms, computers and other devices.
In the future, BMIs could provide a path to brain enhancement and memory upload/download.
Here is a video from Ray Kurzweil: The Mind and How To Build One