DARPA Funding "Direct Cortical Interface"

DARPA - the research division of the Department of Defense in the US - is putting up $60 million to work towards a much better brain-computer interface. While we already have such things, they can generally only interface with a small number of neurons in the brain. The neuron is the basic working unit of the brain, a specialized cell designed to transmit information to other nerve cells, muscle, or gland cells.

The DARPA version of this interface (direct cortical interface) would hope to connect with as many hundreds of thousands of neurons, obviously a dramatic improvement.
A fully functional brain-computer interface on this scale would, in theory, turn a person into a programmable, debuggable machine—just like a computer. What used to be accomplished through drugs, training, education and psychotherapy could someday be achieved by more direct means. The goal is something akin to the scene in “The Matrix” where Keanu Reeves’s character learns kung fu from a quick download.
While one could see issues with this approach, I feel a lot of momentum moving towards this sort of interface. With this and DNA manipulation, I think some potential future humans might be literally "something else".

Wall St Journal

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