A Human Brain/Cloud Interface

What if your brain was connected to the cloud? Sounds crazy, right? Research from UC Berkeley and the US Institute for Molecular Manufacturing suggest this idea may not be as crazy as once thought.

In their paper, published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience, the authors predict that advances in nanotechnology, nanomedicine, AI, and computation could lead to a system where areas of the human brain (neurons and synapses) are connected to cloud-computing networks in real time.

The researchers postulate that one way for this Human Brain/Cloud Interface (HB/CI) to become a reality is the reliance on neural nanorobotics. Nanorobots, of which neural nanorobotics is a subset, is already showing great potential to assist medical providers with the diagnosis and eventual curing of hundreds of conditions. Neural nanorobotics is expected to do the same with brain-related ailments that impact people today. By passing the blood-brain barrier and positioning themselves within the region of the brain responsible for intelligence and conscious thought, these neural nanorobots could wirelessly transmit data to and from a cloud-connected supercomputer.

Does this all still sound like science fiction? BrainNet, a thought-driven information exchange via the cloud between individual brains, has already been experimentally proven to work. Additionally, work to detect and amplify brain signals in mice has already succeeded in a lab setting. In addition to practical trials, infrastructure considerations, such as internet bandwidth, would also need to be analyzed.

The authors believe this kind of system could be available, in some capacity, within several decades. Where moral and ethical concerns would need to be addressed, this kind of technology could enable humans to have instant access to any facet of human knowledge. Additionally, the impacts on education, entertainment, travel, and other interactive experiences are just the start of the applications. Naturally, this technology will not be here tomorrow. But, if you are to believe the researchers at Berkeley, this may be a reality sooner than once expected.

This was Article 115 from the Studio Quick Facts Series.


References:

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Chang, V. (2013). Brain segmentation–a case study of biomedical cloud computing for education and research.

Chang, V., Walters, R. J., & Wills, G. (2012). Business integration as a service. International Journal of Cloud Applications and Computing (IJCAC), 2(1), 16–40.

Heads in the cloud: Scientists predict internet of thoughts ‘within decades’. (2019). Neuroscience News. Retrieved 6 May 2019, from https://neurosciencenews.com/internet-thoughts-brain-cloud-interface-11074/

Martins, N. R., Angelica, A., Chakravarthy, K., Svidinenko, Y., Boehm, F. J., Opris, I., … & Hogg, T. (2019). Human Brain/Cloud Interface. Frontiers in neuroscience, 13, 112.

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