Our brains are amazing things. Everything that we have today has come because of the human brain. Our cars, our computers our entertainment and everything else and in something that has only been the realm of science fiction it may now be possible to communicate directly between brains. 

Science Fiction

Lifeforms that have become brains are a staple of most science fiction franchises. From the Gamesters of Triskelion of Star Trek that attempt to enslave Captain Kirk for their entertainment to the Brain Spawn of Futurama that attempt to take over the world only to be stopped by Phillip J. Fry and his lack of intelligence, it has been a major theme. 

It may be science fiction no more. Scientific tests have successfully linked together the brains of several rats in a laboratory setting creating the first organic computer. The animals in the network learned to synchronize themselves to the point that they became a single brain. Tests were performed and it was determined that these networked brains significantly outperformed individual animals. 

Reality

So, if rat brains can be networked into a single organic brain and outperform individual rats imagine what could be done with human brains? Testing is already underway. Three humans were linked together by electrodes were able to collaborate to correctly orient a series of blocks to orient them into a gap on a video game (think Tetris). Two individuals acted as a sender who was able to see the orientation of the block with the third as a receiver. The senders focused on a light flashing to convey instructions on whether to rotate the block.

With the senders hooked up to EEGs the brain responses were captured by a computer and sent to the receiver via a magnetic pulse that would display a flash of light in the receiver’s visual field as a cue to turn the block. Over the course of the test it was found that the blocks were rotated at 80% accuracy.

Right now this is a start. At this point all it is incorporating is a yes or no signal to play a Tetris-like game. Of course when Alexander Graham Bell developed the first telephone it looked nothing like a modern smartphone and when Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first powered flight it looked nothing like a modern fighter jet.

Limitless Possibilities And Questions

At this point the possibility of this is seemingly limitless. Imagine networking everyone’s brains together to provide limitless computational power. Imagine being able to communicate with someone else in real time from across the world without needing a computer or phone. Of course there are also plenty of negative possibilities as well, from a Matrix-esque situation or just simply someone using this to coerce people into doing something that they do not want to and of course kiss goodbye to any privacy in your life. It could also potentially end crime as we know it too. The possibility is there.

The Internet of Things is the big thing right now. Could the Internet of Brains be next? Chances are something like this will not be available for commercial use probably until most of the people reading this are old, if it ever is. The military will certainly be interested in such technology (in fact they are already developing their own neural interface) and it will be integrated there long before it is allowed to be used by the general public. There are plenty of ethical questions and certainly many technical ones that will need to be overcome, but will one day soon antivirus or security software be needed for your brain?

We just hope that should it be necessary to help a Philip J. Fry can be found to destroy the Infosphere if it is constructed. Get your Scotty-Puff Sr. ready.

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