Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. The Trump Stock Market Trap May Be Triggered - Barry_M_Ferguson
2.Why are Central Banks Buying Gold and Dumping Dollars? - Richard_Mills
3.US China War - Thucydides Trap and gold - Richard_Mills
4.Gold Price Trend Forcast to End September 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Money Saving Kids Gardening Growing Giant Sunflowers Summer Fun - Anika_Walayat
6.US Dollar Breakdown Begins, Gold Price to Bolt Higher - Jim_Willie_CB
7.INTEL (INTC) Stock Investing to Profit From AI Machine Learning Boom - Nadeem_Walayat
8.Will Google AI Kill Us? Man vs Machine Intelligence - N_Walayat
9.US Prepares for Currency War with China - Richard_Mills
10.Gold Price Epochal Breakout Will Not Be Negated by a Correction - Clive Maund
Last 7 days
US Housing Market Real Terms BUY / SELL Indicator - 16th July 19
Could Trump Really Win the 2020 US Presidential Election? - 16th July 19
Gold Stocks Forming Bullish Consolidation - 16th July 19
Will Fed Easing Turn Out Like 1995 or 2007? - 16th July 19
Red Rock Entertainment Investments: Around the world in a day with Supreme Jets - 16th July 19
Silver Has Already Gone from Weak to Strong Hands - 15th July 19
Top Equity Mutual Funds That Offer Best Returns - 15th July 19
Gold’s Breakout And The US Dollar - 15th July 19
Financial Markets, Iran, U.S. Global Hegemony - 15th July 19
U.S Bond Yields Point to a 40% Rise in SPX - 15th July 19
Corporate Earnings may Surprise the Stock Market – Watch Out! - 15th July 19
Stock Market Interest Rate Cut Prevails - 15th July 19
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast Current State July 2019 Video - 15th July 19
Why Summer is the Best Time to be in the Entertainment Industry - 15th July 19
Mid-August Is A Critical Turning Point For US Stocks - 14th July 19
Fed’s Recessionary Indicators and Gold - 14th July 19
The Problem with Keynesian Economics - 14th July 19
Stocks Market Investors Worried About the Fed? Don't Be -- Here's Why - 13th July 19
Could Gold Launch Into A Parabolic Upside Rally? - 13th July 19
Stock Market SPX and Dow in BREAKOUT but this is the worrying part - 13th July 19
Key Stage 2 SATS Tests Results Grades and Scores GDS, EXS, WTS Explained - 13th July 19
INTEL Stock Investing in Qubits and AI Neural Network Processors - Video - 12th July 19
Gold Price Selloff Risk High - 12th July 19
State of the US Economy as Laffer Gets Laughable - 12th July 19
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast Current State - 12th July 19
Stock Market Major Index Top In 3 to 5 Weeks? - 11th July 19
Platinum Price vs Gold Price - 11th July 19
What This Centi-Billionaire Fashion Magnate Can Teach You About Investing - 11th July 19
Stock Market Fundamentals are Weakening: 3000 on SPX Means Nothing - 11th July 19
This Tobacco Stock Is a Big Winner from E-Cigarette Bans - 11th July 19
Investing in Life Extending Pharma Stocks - 11th July 19
How to Pay for It All: An Option the Presidential Candidates Missed - 11th July 19
Mining Stocks Flash Powerful Signal for Gold and Silver Markets - 11th July 19
5 Surefire Ways to Get More Viewers for Your Video Series - 11th July 19
Gold Price Gann Angle Update - 10th July 19
Crude Oil Prices and the 2019 Hurricane Season - 10th July 19
Can Gold Recover from Friday’s Strong Payrolls Hit? - 10th July 19
Netflix’s Worst Nightmare Has Come True - 10th July 19
LIMITLESS - Improving Cognitive Function and Fighting Brain Ageing Right Now! - 10th July 19
US Dollar Strength Will Drive Markets Higher - 10th July 19
Government-Pumped Student Loan Bubble Sets Up Next Financial Crisis - 10th July 19
Stock Market SPX 3000 Dream is Pushed Away: Pullback of 5-10% is Coming - 10th July 19
July 2019 GBPUSD Market Update and Outlook - 10th July 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Top AI Stocks Investing to Profit from the Machine Intelligence Mega-trend

TransTech Digest: Move Over, Skynet - Brainet’s in Town

Companies / Technology Jul 17, 2015 - 09:42 PM GMT

By: John_Mauldin

Companies

About once a week, I get a call from someone with a strong East Asian accent named Martha or Ralph or something else traditionally American. They tell me that they are calling from the “Microsoft Service Center” or “your computer service contract provider” because my computer is generating error messages, which they would like to help me fix.


Obviously, this is a scam. I never let them get far into their pitch, so I’m not sure what they want to do. They’re probably just selling some sort of diagnostic and cleanup program, but who knows, they may be trying to get people to install malware controlled by someone with bad intentions. The last few times I got one of these calls, I said, “Oh, thanks for calling. Could you wait a minute while I turn on call recording? I always record my service calls.”

Of course, the caller hangs up immediately. I admit that this is a very clever con, though. The area I live in is full of wealthy older people who use computers but lack much expertise. Some are essentially clueless. I suspect quite a few people in this demographic have fallen for this scam and paid for the right to install who-knows-what on their computers. My kids, however, would know better—which brings up the generational divide in tech savvy.

It’s not always the case, of course, that older people are technologically illiterate and young people are up to date on computer issues. In general, however, there’s an odd inversion of knowledge, with older people knowing less about emerging technologies than younger people. You’d expect this with things like contemporary music, but it’s somewhat troubling that many seniors seem oblivious to the technologies that are changing the world.

I guess the reason I’m bringing this up is that I’ve been thinking a lot about direct brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) and their consequences, including the construction of group and augmented minds. As I’ve said here before, I think the ability to connect brains with computers as well as other brains is profoundly important. It will, in fact, change human society in ways we have only begun to consider.

However, it seems to me that when I talk to older people, the general reaction to this subject is incomprehension or skepticism (el Jefe John Mauldin is a clear exception). When I talk to my kids or their friends, they quickly extrapolate the implications and consequences of the biological brain’s ability to communicate on a deep non-verbal and unconscious level with machines and other brains.

This is good, for my kids at least, because extraordinary progress is being made in BMI research. Two recent reports published by Nature make this case powerfully. Both involve Dr. Miguel Nicolelis of the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, who has been driving this field for some time. I’ve written about him before and undoubtedly will again.

One of the articles, which is available free of charge online and for download, is “Computing Arm Movements with a Monkey Brainet.” I love the title. Brainet is a great word for what he created. It also references Skynet, the embodiment of artificial intelligence that scares so many people.

Nicolelis, using neural implants, linked monkeys to one another and to a robotic arm. Though each of the three wired monkeys could only control part of the robot’s movements, the monkey Brainet quickly learned to use the robot for its own purposes. The other article, “Building an organic computing device with multiple interconnected brains,” describes the use of linked rat brains to solve “useful computational problems, such as discrete classification, image processing, storage and retrieval of tactile information, and even weather forecasting.”

Both of these papers fulfill predictions I’ve made in the past, based on the nature of DNA and animal brains. To survive and replicate, animal brains have to be extraordinarily good at recognizing patterns and solving problems. We know from observing animals and humans that have suffered brain damage that brains are incredibly adaptive—they’re capable of converting parts of the brain to take over functions that were previously performed by missing parts. I’m convinced this means that human brains could utilize and control computers.

I have enormous respect for Nicolelis, but I think even he would admit that the real brains behind his experiments are… the brains. To get a good overview of his recent work and the astonishment it has caused in the scientific community, you should really read this article in the New Scientist titled, “Animal brains connected up to make mind-melded computer.”

One scientist (who was not involved in the experiment) believes electronically linked human brains might be able to perform complex tasks outside the capabilities of the individual members of the Brainet. Andrea Stocco of the University of Washington in Seattle speculates that the technology might even enable non-verbal communication of complex mathematical concepts.

A device that allows information transfer between brains could, in theory, allow us to do away with language—which plays the role of a “cumbersome and difficult-to-manage symbolic code”, Stocco says.

“I could send thoughts from my brain to your brain in a way not represented by sounds or words,” says Andrew Jackson at Newcastle University, UK. “You could envisage a world where if I wanted to say ‘let’s go to the pub’, I could send that thought to your brain,” he says. “Although I don’t know if anyone would want that. I would rather link my brain to Wikipedia.”

I share Stocco’s queasiness about communicating with another brain through electronic telepathy, but I’m intrigued by the prospect of having direct neural control of a Blue Gene/Q supercomputer. If this seems farfetched to you, it doesn’t to many scientists. One company in my portfolio, a maker of sophisticated medical devices, is thinking hard about this area and is currently pursuing technologies and IP that could help make it happen. (If you want to learn more about that company, you can give my Transformational Technology Alert a risk-free try.)

The impact of human/computer Brainets is bound to be interesting. Already, stock traders are disadvantaged by supercomputers running sophisticated algorithms to profit from trends that take place within microseconds. The competition is so fierce that major brokerages pay fortunes to place their machines near the computers that run stock exchanges because the electron signals traveling at the speed of light can win by virtue of proximity. However, these algorithms are static, so a human element would deliver a significant advantage over simple machines.

Many of the most difficult biotech problems, such as protein folding and DNA data analysis, are now being tackled in silico by supercomputers. I’d love to see what a human brain could bring to the process. Of course, we don’t really know yet how this developing technology will play out, but I’m pretty sure the impact will be surprising and enormous. I’m also willing to bet that the first people who have the hardware installed to link with computers are not going to ask the FDA’s permission.

I’m talking a lot more about direct brain interfaces (DBIs) and the biotech singularity in my upcoming ebook, to be released this summer. Sign up here to be among the first to get a free copy.

Patrick Cox

From the TransTech Digest research team: To begin reading Patrick’s Tech Digest newsletter for free each Friday, simply click here. At Patrick’s Transformational Technologies site, you can join Tech Digest by entering your email address at the top right of the page. Thanks for reading.

The article TransTech Digest: Move Over, Skynet - Brainet’s in Town was originally published at mauldineconomics.com.
John Mauldin Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules