3 Scenarios for Brain Computer Interface

I made this graphic to organize some of my research in Neuroprogramming for When Everything is Programmable.


Full-size image here.

Steady progress in medical & military implant BCI over the next 10 years, with significant
advances in repair of sensory, motor, and neurological impairments. Finer resolution,
amplification, and interpretation for EEG headsets yielding reasonable engagement with
simple computation, communication, & services. Minimally interactive commercial eyewear
for media & information content, with most advances emerging from military R&D. Society
will gradually evolve towards tighter integration with machine computation.

Better treatment. Finer resolution. Augmented eyewear.

Economic, religious, and sociopolitical factors push R&D deeply into medical and military
segments, with limited but consequential flow into black markets. Minimal commercial
applications will surface, while cultural penetration proceeds primarily through invasive
and state-mandated use for control, surveillance, and tracking. Socioeconomic differences
between agents fitted with augmentations and those without will widen the Transhuman Gap,
further reinforcing class disparity and tensions while putting increasing pressure on
insurgent groups to acquire BCI technologies for logistic & disruptive advantage.

Restricted research. Control mechanisms. Black markets & insurgency.

Medical advances in BCI & BMI eradicate sensorimotor afflictions and bring physical
augmentation into the common fabric of society. Military research pushes R&D into
highly advanced applications that rapidly move into the civilian marketplace. Widespread
adoption of Augmented Reality establishes a new baseline for human functionality while
freeing creatives to experiment with novel modalities of expression. Profound advances
in nanotech & neurocomputation remove the boundaries between mind, brain, computation,
machines, & AI, revealing a deeply interwoven fabric of hypermind.

Ubiquitous bci. Transhumanity. Hypermind.


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  2. garymaloney

    I think the not too distant future is not going to look much different from the present. Just because we can do something does not mean we will. Look at the ancient Chinese. It is 2010 Sir Arthur Charles Clarke; do you know where your children (of your mind) are?
    Who is going to opt for brain surgery what with health care as it is, or will be; should we be optimistic here?
    The use of drone weapons coupled with the suicide bomber mentality plus the rising cost of (I assume) and demand for warfare promises the BCI an application.
    My own theory concerns the inner world; that we will discover a new way of Being: Movement distilled from other bodily senses with the brain fully engaged with not necessarily any skeletal-muscular correspondence.

  3. chris arkenberg

    Yeah, Gary, I tend to agree, though outliers can happen. The most consumer-friendly BCI developments are non-invasive, typically in the form of headgear using transcranial magnetic stimulation.

    To your latter point, I find it really fascinating how the process of integrating with machine prosthetics and merging digital networks more closely into our heads is changing the very nature of the self. What We Are is changing with the pace of technology.

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