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Divya Chander, neuroscientist: "Just like a phone, our neural code can also be hacked"

2023-01-27T10:57:33.730Z


Singularity University Chair of Neuroscience discusses the ethical challenges posed by advances in brain-machine interfaces and shares her vision for the future


Divya Chander, neuroscientist, during a day of the Future Congress event, held at the Teatro Oriente in Santiago, Chile.sofia yanjari

Neuroscience expert Dr. Divya Chander (New York) warns that the development of brain-machine interfaces (BCIs) are fundamentally changing what it means to be human.

“We are redirecting the human species.

Everything we implant changes the brain”, says the president of Neuroscience at Singularity University, the University of Silicon Valley.

Chander, a specialist in issues of consciousness and brain mapping, attends this interview during his visit to Chile on the occasion of his participation in Congreso Futuro, a meeting held last week of world-class scientists and humanists in which the problems he faces are discussed. the society.

The forum celebrated its tenth anniversary in different parts of the South American country, "a model" for Chander,

neuro-rights

at the constitutional level.

Question

.

You talk about us having a “neural code”.

Are we

hackable

?

Answer

.

Yes, there are two ways we can be hacked.

One is through an electronic device for personal use, such as your phone or computer.

You may have information you want to protect and someone finds a way to access and take that data or listen to something you don't want.

If you have an implantable device, such as a brain-machine interface or a cardiac defibrillator, the signal can be hijacked, just like your phone can be tampered with.

It's like a very basic type of digital electronic hacking.

The other really interesting way is to intervene in the neural circuitry and change it or move patterns of learning and memory.

That's even weirder and scarier, but I'm not saying we're at that point in the Matrix.

Q.

At what point are we?

R.

In the recreation of very basic motor patterns.

For example, experiments with mice point to a spatial map, which is very mathematical and therefore easy to measure.

A lot of the patterns in our brain are learned, stereotypes, a code that we can hack into that we could technically record and put into another brain.

There are aspects that worry me.

Will we try to “rewire” neural circuits so that people do things they otherwise wouldn't?

People, for example, generally don't like to kill and have limited tolerances for risk.

If they tap into a brain, they could make a soldier a human optimized for killing.

If you combine that with bionics and exoskeletons, you could make them physically nearly invincible.

That kind of coercion worries me.

Another is for someone to apply for a job,

for example, and in the interview they say “put this on” on your head.

A technology that makes it possible to read activity patterns in the brain that reveal information about addiction circuits or if it has abnormal frequency oscillations that indicate that it could be developing Alzheimer's or Parkinson's.

Then they'll tell you that you didn't get the job for fear that you'll get addicted even though you've never had a drink or used a drug or maybe they're worried you'll get Parkinson's early.

It can give rise to a lot of manipulation.

Then they'll tell you that you didn't get the job for fear that you'll get addicted even though you've never had a drink or used a drug or maybe they're worried you'll get Parkinson's early.

It can give rise to a lot of manipulation.

Then they'll tell you that you didn't get the job for fear that you'll get addicted even though you've never had a drink or used a drug or maybe they're worried you'll get Parkinson's early.

It can give rise to a lot of manipulation.

Q.

How can technological intervention affect identity?

R.

In a longevity talk I said: I'm like an old car, 'this doesn't work', 'my cartilage is deteriorating', so I'm going to get a brain-machine interface to improve it.

Let's just say that with silicone, bionics and maybe 3D printing I replaced 60% of who I am, who knows if I stop being human?

I don't have good answers to that question.

I think your sense of self is probably created by some kind of continuity between the brain and the body.

Our sense of identity is built through our body, our physical senses, looking in the mirror and seeing a reflection, noticing our body getting sick, our breathing.

I believe that as long as that cycle of connection between body, brain and perception continues, our sense of self-identity will probably remain intact.

The definition of what is human I think is completely different.

If you ask me from a homo sapiens perspective, yes, we are one species, but I think we are already redirecting human evolution.

Everything we implant changes the brain, which must be rewired to accept it.

People who put on organs, vibration sensors, magnets, multispectral cameras... reconfigure their entire sensory cortex to accept this information.

That's not a homo sapiens brain.

Are they like a 2.0 or maybe 1.5?

We are already on that path.

I think identity and what it means to be human are different issues.

which must be reconfigured to accept it.

People who put on organs, vibration sensors, magnets, multispectral cameras... reconfigure their entire sensory cortex to accept this information.

That's not a homo sapiens brain.

Are they like a 2.0 or maybe 1.5?

We are already on that path.

I think identity and what it means to be human are different issues.

which must be reconfigured to accept it.

People who put on organs, vibration sensors, magnets, multispectral cameras... reconfigure their entire sensory cortex to accept this information.

That's not a homo sapiens brain.

Are they like a 2.0 or maybe 1.5?

We are already on that path.

I think identity and what it means to be human are different issues.

Q.

How realistic is it for us to have a device implanted to increase concentration or memory?

R.

The cognitive increases are very interesting.

We were already there and there are two ways to do it.

The first is to increase the ability of humans to acquire new memories and learn.

We can do it with minimally invasive methods.

For example, stimulating the so-called vagus nerve, which runs through the neck.

I can't even say how it happens, but it increases plasticity in our brain and increases the ability to take in new information, also to change the meaning of incoming stimuli and information going in and out.

There is a device that stimulates the motor cortex that seeks to help athletes and musicians acquire better motor skills.

Now, a brain-machine interface is something completely new because of the connectivity and the computing power.

If we get to the point where this thing is just a wireless wave capable of interacting with the outside world, I think it will expand our awareness as functional connectivity and the ability to compute information will increase.

Something that I am beginning to consider now is what will happen when we enter virtual worlds.

If we enter some Metaverse - I hate that Mark Zuckerberg appropriated that word - it will mean a whole new world of stimuli.

The brain will think, deceived, that it is part of it.

You can imagine plugging your mind into that 3D computing environment and, I don't know, solving new physical equations, traveling through black holes.

It's pretty exciting when you think about it.

since it will increase functional connectivity and the ability to calculate information.

Something that I am beginning to consider now is what will happen when we enter virtual worlds.

If we enter some Metaverse - I hate that Mark Zuckerberg appropriated that word - it will mean a whole new world of stimuli.

The brain will think, deceived, that it is part of it.

You can imagine plugging your mind into that 3D computing environment and, I don't know, solving new physical equations, traveling through black holes.

It's pretty exciting when you think about it.

since it will increase functional connectivity and the ability to calculate information.

Something that I am beginning to consider now is what will happen when we enter virtual worlds.

If we enter some Metaverse - I hate that Mark Zuckerberg appropriated that word - it will mean a whole new world of stimuli.

The brain will think, deceived, that it is part of it.

You can imagine plugging your mind into that 3D computing environment and, I don't know, solving new physical equations, traveling through black holes.

It's pretty exciting when you think about it.

The brain will think, deceived, that it is part of it.

You can imagine plugging your mind into that 3D computing environment and, I don't know, solving new physical equations, traveling through black holes.

It's pretty exciting when you think about it.

The brain will think, deceived, that it is part of it.

You can imagine plugging your mind into that 3D computing environment and, I don't know, solving new physical equations, traveling through black holes.

It's pretty exciting when you think about it.

Q.

What are the risks?

A.

First, being hacked.

There is also a risk of infection when you have something implanted.

What happens if the brain breaks down or burns due to a very high energy need?

There are also ethical risks.

Is it okay to cognitively enhance humans?

When I tell anyone at a conference—regardless of their religion or whatever—that a patient had a stroke and to help him recover I'm going to put a brain-machine interface on him, no one seems to have a problem.

But where is the line between that and increasing your abilities?

Do things you could never do.

I think ethical questions arise, but also that people are going to do it.

So the question may no longer be what are the ethical risks?

If not, what will happen when the world goes in that direction?

Q.

What do you think is going to happen?

R.

My vision is a bit dystopian.

I think these movements promote brain-machine interfaces, cognitive enhancement, bionic limbs, etc.

They will use these technologies.

They will be at one end.

Then, in the middle, there will be people who don't know how they feel about it, but find it great that they are used to heal patients.

And at the other extreme will be the group that says 'I came to earth this way.

This is how God made me.

Do not touch me.

This is morally wrong.' What will happen?

A group is going to do it and it will become incredibly powerful.

They will improve cognitively and physically.

And the group at the other end is going to be left behind.

And there will be wars and terrorism between the two poles and some will try to subjugate others.

Q.

You study longevity issues, what do you think about cryogenic suspension (people who want to freeze and hope to be revived in the future)?

R.

Those who want to be cryonized think they will wake them up in 200 years when we have better technology and their lives will be much better.

By the way, that person may be dead or half dead by then, I don't know.

But what will happen if he wakes up?

The people who awaken it will surely be improved and more evolved.

And you see what we do to animals and how we experiment on them just because we classify them as "other," even though they are sentient and emotionally capable beings.

How will humans treat each other when they characterize themselves as "other"?

Now imagine the gap between the frozen version and any evolved human, when we're at homo sapiens 3.0 or 3.2, who knows.

I worry that the people who wake them up are going to treat them the way we treat our closest neighbors,

primates, who have emotions, family groups, and highly intelligent brains.

They can dissect them to do experiments.

I don't want that future, but I want people to think about this.

Let him realize that it could happen and we make sure that it doesn't.

Q.

Technology seems to be moving faster than legislation to deal with this future

A.

Without a doubt.

That's why Chile is fabulous.

I am impressed by this country, it is like a lighthouse for the world.

Recognizing the dangers and doing something about them ensures that human beings have the right to their autonomy.

I wish the politicians of the United States thought like that.

I know that the United Nations is working to declare biometric data a human right and include it in the Declaration of Human Rights.

That would be very helpful.

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Source: elparis

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