Emerging Technologies

Brain-Computer Interface (BCI)

A braincomputer interface (BCI) is a computer-based system that acquires brain signals, analyzes them, and translates them into commands that are relayed to an output device to carry out a desired action. In principle, any type of brain signal could be used to control a BCI system.

Brain-Computer Interface (BCI), one of the emerging technologies identified by Garter in the Hype Cycle 2018, is an interesting field that can disrupt many areas. It is a direct communication between human brain and external devices without any input through traditional channels like a keyboard, mouse, gesture, or voice.

Neuralink, a company founded by Elon Musk to develop brain-machine interface, has showed that it can record a rat’s brain activity using ultra-fine threads (thinner than a human hair) that can be implanted into the brain to detect the activity of neurons. It has unveiled a robot that can implant these threads deep into the brain. Neuralink plans to test this technology on humans post approval from the FDA. One of the use cases of this technology is to understand and treat brain disorders. Elon Musk also talked about using this technology to augment human brains with artificial intelligence. He said, “Even under a benign AI, we will be left behind. With a high-bandwidth brain-machine interface, we will have the option to go along for the ride.”

According to Bloomberg, if all goes as planned, Neuralink President Max Hodak says, post-op patients will be able to input words into a text message or email simply by thinking them, and to move a cursor with a mouse and navigate web pages mentally, too. One day far into the future, people who have the surgery may be able to download a new language into their brain, or digitally exchange thoughts with someone else,

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