This article is about the power of the Internet as a learning and research tool, and the role that young, Internet-savvy innovators are playing as they develop the future of healthcare.
Easton, a 17-year old inventor, spoke recently at TEDxMileHigh about his 3D printing & animatronics project and the future of prosthetic & animatronic limbs. He started this work at age 14 and used the Internet to research and learn about electronics & sensor technologies, programming & modeling software, 3D printing & industrial design, and wireless networking. He’s now living in Houston and working at NASA on robotics projects.
Tan is the CEO of Emotiv Lifesciences, a bioinformatics company that is offering a unique platform for crowd-sourced brain research. Emotiv leverages cloud computing, big data and mobile technology to accelerate brain research globally. She raised money on Kickstarter to fund development of her next generation headset, which is introducing electroencephalography (EEG) for consumer use and enabling projects like Easton’s (above). An earlier article showed how a similar headset was being used for mind control of small helicopters.
Mind-machine interface (and my response)
Scientists believe it may be possible in the future for human brains to survive death in robotic bodies. but would we want to? This article from FastCompany explores whether it’s possible to remove a human brain from a body, put it in a tank, and give it a robotic body. The moderator apparently rejected my comment below.
I find it interesting that a group of neuro scientists would come to one set of conclusions about the future of a brain-computer interface based on what they know of biology, and a computer scientist would come to different conclusions. See www.mhealthtalk.com/2013/07/moores-law-and-the-future-of-healthcare/.
My computer science perspective causes me to ask, “Why would you keep the brain at all if a $1000 computer could be more powerful by 2023, and possibly even more powerful than the human race by 2049?” Ten years after that it could be a $0.01 embedded computer that has that power, eventually networked with other systems in a massive grid like individual neurons, but where each “neuron” has the power of the human race. The wealthy, of course, would get this technology before the less fortunate, so that brings huge implications for society and public policy.
Not to ignore the wonder of the human body, my point is that biology evolves slowly over centuries while information science evolves exponentially with Moore’s Law and is only limited by our imagination.