The Cyborgs Are Coming: Mankind Is On The Cusp Of Human Brain Augmentation With BrainGate Technology

Kim McLendon

BrainGate technology is no longer the stuff of science fiction. The science of interfacing human brains and other biological neurons with computers has been developing for well over a decade and now, the progress is amazing. While the human mind is an amazing organ, that surpasses any computer ever made. Many fantasize about improving on natural skills and abilities using technology in the form of some sort of brain implant. That dream is about to become a reality. In some ways, it already has according to the BrainGate website.

"BrainGate Company's current and planned intellectual property (the technology) is based on technology that can sense, transmit, analyze and apply the language of neurons. BrainGate consists of a sensor that is implanted on the motor cortex of the brain and a device that analyzes brain signals."

As a self-proclaimed cyborg, Dr. Kevin Warwick was encouraged to do a series of speaking engagements where he developed a certain demographic of followers who called themselves transhumanist enthusiasts. These transhumanists were willing to engage in self-styled, do-it-yourself biohacking. They either made the incisions themselves or employ body modification artists because most doctors refused to assist these projects.

"It started when I was about 18. I was seeing expensive adverts for life-extension companies, and I would see expensive procedures that you could get only if you had a spare hundred quid. It seemed that it was all very much directed to people who had money. I wanted to do some experiments to find a way of getting the same technology out into the hands of people who didn't have that kind of money."
"I think it's important that the artists are doing what they're doing, because there aren't really a whole band of scientists investigating this at the moment."
"Our mission is to improve on the quality of life for all disabled humans. We additionally seek to increase the usage of BrainGate related technology in both medical and non-medical applications and facilitate innovation in invasive and non-invasive brain research."

Human Enhancements are Lepht Anonym's greatest concern. Or rather her greatest concern is that economic inequality would lead to a whole other level of elitism, in which economic advantage would give even more important advantages to the elite. If only the wealthy could enhance their brain activity or physical performance using expensive implants, they would become unstoppable in their superiority over the masses.

"Yes. The haves and the have-nots. That to me is a huge fear, with all of these technologies. As soon as it starts to get commercialized, you start getting this divide between people that can afford these implants and the people that can't."

Will BrainGate technology enhance human beings with cyborg-like abilities, and will the distribution of these abilities be fair?

[Image by Agsandrew/Shutterstock]

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