Artificial Intelligence: Today you can already type on a screen without a keyboard or move a robotic leg as if it were your own. Artificial intelligence has changed our lives and can do it even more.
Probably in the future, the technology applied to the brain can increase vision, muscle strength, or memory.
Technology applied to neuroscience is exciting because it opens up endless possibilities that are currently science fiction and soon become a reality.
And it is exciting because it could greatly affect our way of life.
Will technology make us smarter? Will we become cyborgs (people who have electronic devices implanted as another part of their body or as an extension of the senses)? Can we move objects with thought?
As an article published in Science Direct suggests, research in this area promises:
Great transformations in the cognitive processes that we carry out daily and in areas such as medicine, primary care, entertainment, education, learning self-control, and emotion regulation, and marketing and advertising.
“Artificial intelligence is about to cause radical changes in our ways of living as happened in past industrial revolutions, with the invention of the printing press or electricity,” says Bourdin, professor of Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunications Studies at the UOC.
To this day, the image of a society controlled by cyborgs is science fiction, but according to Bourdin, an evolution in this sense cannot be ruled out:
“In the future, there is on to be a fusion of man with machines, ” he acknowledges.
But the human-machine connection has already started, and there are some examples of this:
We already live with technological elements that facilitate direct communication between the brain and the external device.
For example, this allows that someone can type on a screen without the need for a keyboard; or that a person with an amputated leg can move their robotic limb (artificial leg).
To achieve this connection between the central nervous system or brain and a computer program, it may be necessary to install connectors in the mind that require surgery, although this is not always necessary.
Professor Bourdin emphasizes that most of these advances apply to the brain, although there are also applications to the spinal cord or the musculoskeletal system.
“There are neuroprostheses for paraplegic people that allow them to stand and walk. In the long term, we can imagine implants to improve muscle strength, vision, or memory. ”
The technology for connecting the brain to machines is still very primitive, Bourdin warns, but it is constantly growing.
And it recalls the project of the company Neuralink, which works to achieve interfaces that allow us to manage the mobile phone or the computer only with the mind.
This sector shows that it is a technology that is about to become a commercial reality.
Artificial intelligence, like all advances in our society, has also generated an ethical debate.
Raquel Viejo-Sombra, a professor in the UOC’s Health Sciences Studies and specialist in non-invasive brain stimulation techniques.
Basically identifies three dilemmas that artificial intelligence applied to neuroscience faces :
The human control of machines. Machines ‘learn’ from the information provided by the people who develop them.
“Therefore, this information can present the same biases as a society, such as machismo or racism. If there is no active control over it, sexist, racist, or xenophobic artificial intelligence can be created, ” he warns.
Data protection. In this sense, Viejo-Sobera assures that it is important to ensure that these data collected massively by artificial intelligence systems will be treated confidentially and respectfully.
The high energy consumption. Processing large amounts of data (high-level computing) are very energy-intensive.
It will then be necessary to see if ” artificial intelligence is sustainable and how cases it is justified,” says the professor.
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