Humans who merge with machines will become telekinetic. They can be in two places at the same time. They will be able to “sense” physical objects that are half a world away. They will have thousands of times the strength of purely organic humans. They will not be limited to a single physical manifestation of their existence. They will have powers usually reserved for mythological superheroes. What are they going to do with it?
If you think these statements sound like prep work science fiction novel, think again. These are concepts that I will be discussing with Dustin Tyler, the director of the Functional Neural Interface Lab and the Human Fusions Initiative at Case Western Reserve University on January 28 when I host “NeuroReality ™: The Future of Telepresence”.
Tyler’s biomedical engineering mission includes neuromimetic neuroprosthesis, laryngeal neuroprosthesis, clinical implementation of nerve electrodes, cortical neuroprosthesis, minimally invasive implantation techniques, neural stimulation modeling, and neuroprosthesis.
The goal of these research initiatives is to improve human neurological health and functioning through the integration of technical devices into living systems with the primary goal of advancing the field of neural engineering.
This team is investigating clinical implementations of neural prosthesis systems, which include human sensation and control in the loop for amputees, neuro-inspired stimulation paradigms, spinal cord stimulation for pain management, and electrodes. peripheral nerve to restore function after spinal cord injury. This team is also researching advanced devices to improve information extraction and activation of the human nervous system. And this team is developing and studying neuromimetic interfaces between neural tissue and engineered devices.
The applications of interfaces developed at the Human Fusions Initiative go far beyond prosthetics. The educational, industrial, commercial, military and purely personal uses of human / machine interfaces are practically limitless. But they come with some really big questions: what is reality? What are “we”, “I” and the extent of “me”? What is the future of human / machine relations? What are the opportunities? What are the risks? What are the threats?
Just a few years ago, a discussion like this would be so hypothetical that it would be of no value to anyone except the most intellectually curious. Today, these questions require our attention as we attempt to create a framework for the application of biomedically designed human / machine interface technologies in the real world.
How do you separate the living room stuff from the paradigm shift? What are the real world use cases that should be developed first? What are the security and privacy risks? What happens when you incorporate 5G (low latency, high bandwidth)? Ultra wideband (UWB) technology? WiFi6E? How much on-board computing will take place at the edge? How many in the cloud? What happens when your human / machine interface is hacked? Does mind control work in reverse?
the LITTLE has just approved commercial autonomous drone flights below 400 feet above sea level. Will we control them with our mind? Can this technology improve productivity? Do Highly Skilled Human / Machine Partners Really Become Superhuman? What are the ethical implications? What are the economic implications? The list of questions is extensive.
The aim of “NeuroReality ™: The Future of Telepresence” is to introduce you to an area of applied research and engineering that has practical implications. This technology is real and we need to think about it now. Can you use fused humans to drive your business growth? Can you use human / machine partners to increase productivity? Can you create new products with them? What problems do humans fused with machines solve and what problems do they create?
Join me on January 28 for a deep dive into the state of man / machine fusion and biomedical engineering here.