Let’s Talk about BrainTech

It weighs on average 1500g, made up mostly of fat, and sit upon your shoulders, and yet it’s often perceived as the most complicated piece of matter in the universe.

An ancient wisdom said that the greatness of the reward follows the greatness of the challenge; so without any doubt, this journey to explore the brain is one of the most exiting of all time, in which we will discover new worlds and new realities.

When boiled down every matter within our world-reality is fundamentally made up of atoms, so it makes sense to say that to trace the history of our brain is to see the big picture of our universe so that we set the framework in which we can deliver the right perspectives. The fundamental truth about science, is that it is not absolute, and it is based on a world-view, each civilization has created its own narrative to describe the universe, but since the last century with some empirical evidences and the triumph of applied sciences, all those stories are collapsing down to a converged story, that says that our universe had sprouted to existence 13.7 billion years ago, after the explosion of a tiny and yet extreme dense body of matter known as the BigBang, some millions of years after this cosmic blast, and under the right conditions of temperature, pressure and gravity, the atoms could fuse together progressively to form stars that later explode scattering their chemical elements across the galaxy forming dust and gas, that would again collapse, condense and form the next generation of star systems with orbiting planets, and thus, our galaxy, the milky way, a bubble of water among oceans of other galaxies was created, and in it our solar system, a sand among deserts of other systems.

After some 0.5 billion years after the formation of earth (4.5b years), few chemical elements that came from the supernovae merged up to form DNA and that was the appearance of life, a thrilling story of an organization that has evolved from a single cell to you and me reading this with a body made up by the very same chemical elements cooked at the heart of stars.

So what are the most important steps of the evolution of life? There was obviously the appearance of a single cell, then multicellurar forms and differentiation into plants and animals, then life went from oceans to lands, mammals, consciousness, an in the same scale we are witnessing three other events in this timeline today: Life is becoming multiplanetary with the moon and mars missions, the emergence of a potential other intelligence: artificial intelligence besides humans, and rewriting genetics allowing a controlled and designed evolution rather than natural and uncontrolled.

As we saw life is following a steady upright line of complexity, and it is largely due to the progressive complexity of the brain-species, so what is the history of the evolution of the brain?

Triune brain theory: One theory among others.

The three parts follow a sophistication hierarchy that took millions of years for each one to develop.

  • Nature has found 2 ways to preserve the survival of a specie based on the optimization of the survival of the young generation:
  • First one is to prefer the quantity over the quality of the offspring, so the mother produce hundreds of eggs and leaves them living a lonely life, few new individual survive, but it’s enough to sustain the specie. For those species emotions are useless, so they have only the reptilian brain responsible for: primitive instincts: sexuality, territoriality, mating, fighting ..
  • The second way is to prefer the quality over the quantity of the offspring, the mother needs to sustain her sense of protection, so the emotional brain emerges, and to augment the chances of survival for the new generation , it learns to live in a group, therefore all our emotions are derived from three questions necessary for a social life: who is the friend? Who is the enemy? Who is the leader?
  • The Neocortex at the top is the newest and the most sophisticated one: responsible for: language, critical thinking, art, science, rational decision making..

Is there a 4th part?

  • Yes, it’s the digital cloud in internet, the great challenge is to incorporate it in our brains.
  • This is why we should be grateful to live in a very specific time of our evolution.
  • Why take the challenge?
  • to become more intelligent and wiser in order to make a better world
  • to remain in control over Artificial intelligence: the biggest threat to humanity by many experts.
  • purposeful how:
  • Education for all: upload knowledge directly to our brains which will higher the collective human consciousness
  • To surpass the input/output limitation: augment our agency in the world: we receive a relative high amount of data through our senses (input), but after processing it, our physical response could be improved (output): e.g. You see people stuck with a fire in their house, you want to help, but you are physically indisposed to, with a brain machine interface, you can with your mind control devices that extinguish the fire.
Brain-Machine Interface Analogy

The brain machine interface: free up our motor system for other purposes

  • Technical How?
  • Neurolace: Insert a new digital layer above the frontal lobe working in symbiosis with other parts of the brain
  • Nanobots: Multiple Nanobots connected directly to our neurons
  • What are the fundamental limitations?
  • Define exactly the threshold of energy amount supplied to a neuron and beyond wish the neuron explodes
  • Homeostasis
  • Ideas:
  • If you add more components (synthetic neurons, Nanobots..), the path used by the information to reach it’s destination becomes longer which normally lower the effectiveness, so the additive part should outperform this limitation.
  • The World Wide web is somehow mimicking the neural network, it means that we can somehow individually be represented by neurons, so the behavioral social pattern approach could bring new innovations = creativity is about connecting dots.

Author: Azeddine Tebba.

Brought to you by : Moroccan Artificial Intelligence and Medtech Community