A new study predicts that the progress in nanomedicine, nanotechnology, and computation shall develop a “Human Brain/Cloud Interface” (B/CI), that will connect the synapses and neurons in the human brain to the vast cloud-computing networks.
The concept of B/CI was originally proposed by Ray Kurzweil and Robert Freitas, Jr. who suggested that the neocortex of the human brain could be connected with a “synthetic neocortex” in clouds using neural nanorobots.
“These devices would navigate the human vasculature, cross the blood-brain barrier, and precisely autoposition themselves among, or even within brain cells,” said Freitas. “They would then wirelessly transmit encoded information to and from a cloud-based supercomputer network for real-time brain-state monitoring and data extraction.”
“A human B/CI system mediated by neuralnanorobotics could empower individuals with instantaneous access to all cumulative human knowledge available in the cloud, while significantly improving human learning capacities and intelligence,” said Dr. Nuno Martins, the lead author.
“While not yet particularly sophisticated, an experimental human ‘BrainNet’ system has already been tested, enabling thought-driven information exchange via the cloud between individual brains,” explained Martins. “It used electrical signals recorded through the skull of ‘senders’ and magnetic stimulation through the skull of ‘receivers,’ allowing for performing cooperative tasks.”
“With the advance of neuralnanorobotics, we envisage the future creation of ‘superbrains’ that can harness the thoughts and thinking power of any number of humans and machines in real time. This shared cognition could revolutionize democracy, enhance empathy, and ultimately unite culturally diverse groups into a truly global society.”
“This challenge includes not only finding the bandwidth for global data transmission,” said Martins, “but also, how to enable data exchange with neurons via tiny devices embedded deep in the brain.”
“These nanoparticles have been used already in living mice to couple external magnetic fields to neuronal electric fields – that is, to detect and locally amplify these magnetic signals and so allow them to alter the electrical activity of neurons,” Martins further explained. “This could work in reverse, too: electrical signals produced by neurons and nanorobots could be amplified via magnetoelectric nanoparticles, to allow their detection outside of the skull.”
“A detailed analysis of the biodistribution and biocompatibility of nanoparticles is required before they can be considered for human development. Nevertheless, with these and other promising technologies for B/CI developing at an ever-increasing rate, an ‘internet of thoughts’ could become a reality before the turn of the century,” concluded Martins.