My brain contains approximately 100 billion neurons, each connecting to other nerve cells through synapses. These interactions process signals entering the nervous system, and then produce output responses that stimulate my bodily functions, everything from thinking to walking to kissing.
“... enhance normal cognitive functions”—I immediately thought “... replace normal cognitive functions”. Might I not like that they are replaced with? Will I notice? Might I be missing some of the nuance of which I was capable before? That the future enhanced brain may be more complex doesn’t necessarily mean it will bee preferable—at least not subjectively.
Brain enhancement referred to in this opinion piece cannot happen until much more is known about human consciousness. What is the mysterious trait that controls so much of our lives?
In addition, molecular nanotechnology must be developed to provide the non-biological neuron replacement materials – probably carbon nanotubes – that because of their tiny size, would allow a substantial increase in number of neurons. This increase would allow much faster processing of thoughts, enabling us to simulate hundreds of alternate choices in a split second of decision-making.
Finally, before anyone would opt to undergo a brain enhancement, the repercussions would need to be clearly understood. We definitely would not want to become a ‘Frankenstein’ character.
Posted by contraterrine on 02/03 at 10:55 AM
This is without doubt the key technology that will transform all others.
If the tech can be made to work without destroying our ephemeral, fragile consiousness and functionally inrease our general intelligence then this will pull us out of the tribal-instinctual morass we are all currently wading through with our intellects mostly unawares.