SmartAB™ Wisdom #5: Master The Speed Of Thought
When the music stops and the sound of bursting bubbles prevails… the world of venture capital takes notice. And as a consequence, we are being bombarded almost daily by the alarming messages by Crunchbase describing in great detail the acceleration of tech layoffs and the hiring freezes.
Perhaps it is not easy to force Vladimir Putin to abandon the madness and change his deadly political aspirations in the Russian Duma - but the shareholders, BODs, and VCs can force the tech CEOs to listen. It is time to start cutting costs, prioritizing profitability, and innovating once more - big times....
But it’s not just the shrinking “Unicorn Rolls” that are so alarming, All the share buybacks worked for a while for the public companies, too (and I wrote about this ad nauseam) - until they didn’t anymore. So, it’s time to start paying less attention to the form and more to substance…
According to B&P: “Mind-controlled exoskeletons and advanced neuroprosthetics; virtual and augmented reality; wearable devices that use brain-based data to influence a user’s emotions and moods – these were once the domain of science-fiction. Today, they are increasingly within the realm of scientific-fact, and will impact everything from health care, to gaming, to national security and defence. With the anticipated growth of this field, a boom in patent filings is sure to follow.
It is an exciting era for brain-computer interface (BCI) technology. Many countries around the world have massive ongoing funding programs for brain-based research, and these initiatives include funding streams for AI and brain-inspired computing.
The European Union’s Human Brain Project, for example, will provide an estimated EUR 1.19 billion over its mandate,[i] while the United States’ BRAIN Initiative will invest an estimated USD 6.6 billion through the year 2027[ii] and includes funding for public-private partnerships.[iii] Some of the major innovating markets in Asia are also investing heavily in this area of R&D.
The China Brain Project is estimated to be worth USD 1 billion through 2030,[iv] while Japan is investing an estimated JPY 40 billion (more than CAD 435 million) in their Brain/MINDS project.[v]
Patents on emerging technologies tend to trail a few years behind the underlying foundational research, so a surge is expected over the next decade. In fact, some predict the BCI market will almost double in value between 2021 and 2026, alone.[vi]
Quick surveys of the medical and patent literature both show exponential growth in annual BCI publications over the past 30 years, which has not yet begun to taper off (Figure 1). Figure 1 likely represents an underestimate of the true numbers of publications on BCI technologies, as results are limited to the search terms used.
BCI In Medicine
NIH’s National Library of Medicine further explains:
“Humans interact with computers through various devices. Such interactions may not require any physical movement, thus aiding people with severe motor disabilities in communicating with external devices. The brain–computer interface (BCI) has turned into a field involving new elements for assistive and rehabilitative technologies.
Most people know someone or have heard of someone who suffers from paralysis. In most cases, people become paralyzed because of accidents or medical conditions that partially or entirely affect the way their muscles and nerves function. People with disabilities do not usually receive the support they need because caring for them can be very expensive.
Brain–computer interface (BCI) technology is now implemented in the treatment of patients suffering from physical impairments. This technology promises to significantly enhance the quality of life of such patients by considerably improving their autonomy and mobility.
Moreover, the idea of interfacing brains with machines has long captured the human imagination. Paralyzed people with neurological diseases (e.g., locked-in syndrome, muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, brainstem stroke, and spinal cord injury) experience difficulties, such as in walking, speaking, and writing, because they lose fine motor control or lack a complete control of their voluntary muscles.
However, their thinking capabilities are usually the same as those of nondisabled individuals. Generally, such patients are conscious and their mental abilities are unimpaired. Consequently, research in neurology focuses on monitoring brain activities and incorporating the resulting data into BCIs.
For instance, brain data can be used to allow patients to control home appliances or the movement of a wheelchair in four directions, send a message], or write an e-mail. The brain activities can be noninvasively recorded using sensors on the scalp or invasively recorded using terminals set on the brain surface or inside the cerebrum.
The popularity of such technologies is increasing because they can support the daily activities of people suffering from severe motor disabilities. Healthy people can also use BCIs with other applications, particularly in games such as Tetris and Brain Invaders, using the P300 paradigm with the OpenViBE platform. They can also be used in virtual environments (aircraft simulators).
A BCI device’s main objective is to re-establish the usable capacities of individuals with neuromuscular disorders. BCI procedures require the extraction of signal features from the cerebrum. Then, these features are analyzed and transformed into commands. An overview of a typical BCI system is illustrated below:
VRilock Psionic Metaverse aims to extend the BCI innovations to the RPG gaming and utilize the same principles of medical progress in the world of entertainment using commercially available products.
The Metaverse is here and IMHO, the next chapter in its digital evolution will combine the VR/AR virtual landscapes with the brain activities. And the powerful combination of BCI and AI will turn the artificial experiences into a reality.
I have been impressed with Neuroscience technology for a very long time – starting with attending IEEE First Annual International Conference on Neural Networks in San Diego, California June 1987 – see many of my LinkedIn posts on AI.
Already 30 years ago, my startup: International Neural Machines Inc. (INM) - was the ONLY, product-oriented neural network AI company in Canada! At that time, I dealt with the complexities of risk management running a whole slew of Fraud Detection & Money Laundering Detection projects at financial institutions - linked to Visa Fraud at Canadian banks, World Bank, and the Workers Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB).
Back in the 1990s, I also used to be an Associate Professor at The University of Waterloo, School of Optometry - and helped graduate students, to become proficient at advanced image processing. I’ve been involved with both: the funding and the receiving end of entrepreneurship. Example: taking a tiny start-up and turning it into a $125MM Market Cap - by merging with a publicly-traded company on Toronto Stock Exchange and employing 150 people.
Besides, I’m extremely proud of the work I did at the Microelectronics and Computer Consortium (MCC) in Austin, Texas. MCC was the first, and - at one time - one of the largest, computer industry research and development consortia in the United States, headed by Navy Admiral, Bobby Inman. At its peak, MCC housed over 400 PhDs under one roof, and I was supervising for 3 years a large group of the world’s brightest neural network and Artificial Intelligence researchers – on behalf of $7B NCR Corporation – see: CGE's Past - Take 1, The Director's Cut...
The human brain is the ultimate REAL INTELLIGENCE able to combine NLP, speech recognition, imaging, artificial intelligence, VR/AR, and our accumulated knowledge, experience, and expertise.
Will managing human thought remain as elusive as Tesla’s Level 5 Self Driving Mode – remains to be seen. But we already know quite well that what can be measured, can be managed. Hence, the rising prominence of BCI is so evident – even if we resort to Psionics and the psychic powers to entertain…
For More Information
Please see my additional posts on Linkedin, Twitter, Medium, and CGE’s website.
You can also find additional info in my book on amazon: “AI Boogeyman – Dispelling Fake News About Job Losses”, and on our YouTube Studio channel… Thank you.
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