Monday, August 13, 2018

Extending the brain

A recent publication (1) that describes a Brain-machine interface (BMI) to control a robotic arm simultaneously with human arms open up interesting possibilities for maximizing brain utilization. By a quirk of nature, humans have been endowed with an organ that far surpasses their routine needs to live and die. With simple objective functions, humans have substantially sub-optimized this endowment. But now, there may be mechanical means to keep the organ interested.

There has been a lot in the literature about the inability of humans to multitask. However, it is possible that multitasking improves with practice just like anything else (2). The quantum computer they carry, albeit being an energy hog, requires little to maintain from an infrastructure point of view. And the calorie requirement to keep it going is very small in the grand scheme of things. Hence, maximizing the use of the brain is an important consideration for every human and humanity in general.

Brain utilization shows an upward trend as people network across the world, surpassing the constraints offered by race, religion, and ignorance. This electronic extension of the brain has been unambiguously good for humanity but it feels like there is still a lot in the tank for every individual. If she can multiply limbs by mechanical multitasking it is likely that such an activity will grow neurons upstairs with unpredictable beneficial effects in the long run.

Extending the brain - mechanically and electronically - is dominant for humans. That will allow them to get over all the tactical problems currently plaguing humanity.


(1) BMI control of the third arm for multitasking: http://robotics.sciencemag.org/content/3/20/eaat1228

(2)