CHIP GIANT ARM is teaming up with US researchers on a project develop human brain implants aimed at helping paralysed patients as well as stroke and Alzheimer's patients.
The new chips will actually sit inside the skull and provide sensory feedback as well as carrying out every day tasks.
The project already has some early prototype devices, but we're a long way from the first implant. The processors are being added to implants in development by the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineeering (CSNE) at the University of Washington.
"The challenge is power consumption and the heat that generates. They needed something ultra-small, ultra-low power." ARM's director of healthcare technologies, Peter Ferguson, told the BBC.
With early research into restoring mobility after paralysis showing signs of success, and Elon Musk's recent claims that without becoming interfaced with computers, we would become obsolete, the battle is on for the human-machine integration.
MIT Technology Review said the end result would be "decoding the complex signals formed within the brain, digitizing them so they can be processed and acted upon, with the end result of controlling the body's muscle functions".
With cyborgs already recognised in UK law after a case brought by artist Neil Harbrisson, who has a skull implant to combat his severe colour-blindness, the question is now a case of not if, but when we see the first proper superhumans.
The challenge comes from the huge amount of compute involved in interfacing with the brain. So far, the average system-on-a-chip (SoC) that would fit in the skull in an unobtrusive way would barely power Katie Hopkins, let alone a function of a real human being,.
The quandary here has always been the issue of hacking the technology, such as the fears expressed over Dick Cheney's pacemaker, but also that because computers chips have a direct link that the human brain does not have, there's the risk of creating a side effect of "telepathy"
And if that sounds like the plot of the next series of Black Mirror - Mr Brooker - our lawyers are watching and if you use it, well… we'll be honoured to be honest. µ
Presumably 'Richard' is your next security worry
Good news if the kids need a summer job
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That's another good reason not to see it