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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Brain Augmentation: How Scientists are Working to Create Cyborg Humans with Super Intelligence

Hannah Osborne
Originally published June 14, 2017

For most people, the idea of brain augmentation remains in the realms of science fiction. However, for scientists across the globe, it is fast becoming reality—with the possibility of humans with “super-intelligence” edging ever closer.

In laboratory experiments on rats, researchers have already been able to transfer memories from one brain to another. Future projects include the development of telepathic communication and the creation of “cyborgs,” where humans have advanced abilities thanks to technological interventions.

Scientists Mikhail Lebedev, Ioan Opris and Manuel Casanova have now published a comprehensive collection of research into brain augmentation, and their efforts have won a major European science research prize—the Frontiers Spotlight Award. This $100,000 prize is for the winners to set up a conference that highlights emerging research in their field.

Project leader Lebedev, a senior researcher at Duke University, North Carolina, said the reality of brain augmentation—where intelligence is enhanced by brain implants—will be part of everyday life by 2030, and that “people will have to deal with the reality of this new paradigm.”

Their collection, Augmentation of brain function: facts, fiction and controversy, was published by Frontiers and includes almost 150 research articles by more than 600 contributing authors. It focuses on current brain augmentation, future proposals and the ethical and legal implications the topic raises.

The article is here.