Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Brain to Brain

Is it just a matter of time before brain-to-brain communication will replace the Internet? If we merge our brains with computers, is there a risk the Internet will become sentient and evolve into a life-form?
These are some futuristic questions discussed by scientists these days. There is no doubt humanity is quickly entering a new technological level, but what does it really mean? Not long ago, scientists from the Berkeley University successfully demonstrated it is possible video of your thoughts.
This is done by mapping brain wave response to 18 million seconds of random YouTube videos. Then, patients view a series of videos, and those brain waves are matched with the correlating visuals from the first test.
The result is this video of the clip watched and the matched brain wave activity. As you can see, it is remarkable how close some of them appear to the original, and it is equally amazing how some images become written words in our thoughts. The procedure may eventually help create visuals of our dreams.
Dr. Michio Kaku
So, if our thoughts can be filmed, does it mean that our brains can be plugged into computers and we can begin communicate without typing on the keyboard?
According to Dr. Michio Kaku, brain-to-brain communication would involve not just the exchange of information, but also the transmission of emotions and feelings, "because these are also part of the fabric of our thoughts."
            "There's no doubt that the internet is creating what is called an intelligent planet, that is, the skin of the planet earth is becoming a network by which intelligent creatures communicate with each other. '
But that's just the first step. Some people think that the next step in the coming decades is not going to be the internet.
It's going to be Brain Net because we're at the point now where we can actually connect computers to the living mind.
In fact, I ( Dr. Kaku) was just at Berkeley a few weeks ago where I had a demonstration of this: we can actually create videos of your thoughts.
These videos are not perfectly accurate, but I saw a demonstration in a laboratory at Berkeley where you can actually see in a video screen what people are thinking," Dr. Kaku says.
"So with electrodes, perhaps, or EEG sensors in a helmet connected to our brain, perhaps one day we'll be able to have brain-to-brain communication, and that gives us the possibility of Brain Net. In fact, some of the leading neurologists doing these experiments have seriously proposed a brain net whereby you would exchange not just information like typing, but also emotions, feelings, because these are also part of the fabric of our thoughts.
And then what comes beyond that? Well, of course, beyond that is science fiction, and science fiction gives us all sorts of horror stories of things like Sky Net: maybe one day the internet will become sentient; maybe one day the internet will think that humans are in the way and perhaps the internet will take over just like in the Terminator series. Well, I don't think so, "Dr. Kaku continues.
This is an image of an internet map. Will the Internet one day evolve into a life-form?
"The internet is simply a way in which minds can communicate with other minds. We see no self-awareness in the internet. Now some people say, "Well, what about some kind of collective consciousness that arises by an emergent phenomenon?" Well, that's a lot of gobbledygook. That's a lot of nice words. Maybe. Maybe not. But it's pure speculation at the present time. Even in the laboratory with our finest instruments and the latest developments in artificial intelligence, we cannot make a computer become self-aware.
I personally think that we don't have to worry that that internet is going to become sentient," Dr. Kaku says.
There are of course scientists who suggest that peoples' thoughts should be recorded and made public, but that would imply a total lack of privacy and it is unlikely it will happen.