When will we have nanobots?

Ray Kurzweil about nanobots in our brain and god-like cyborgs

Imagine a science fiction film that features cyborgs and robots. Compared to humans, they are mostly more intelligent, but are also often portrayed as emotionally cold and inhuman. Can you imagine a future where we walk around with a robot in our head? Aren't we pretty much dependent on machines, do we still have to plant them in our heads? Ray Kurzweil has a slightly different opinion ...

The futurist and inventor Ray Kurzweil predicts that in the future people will be able to connect their brains to a computer and thus develop emotions and character traits of greater complexity. Kurzweil is involved in the development of artificial intelligence at Google. In a discussion at Singularity University, he speaks about the future of humans and computers, but represents his opinion and not that of Google.

Ray Kurzweil predicts that in the 2030s, the human brain will be able to connect to a cloud so that emails and photos can be sent directly to our brain and also our thoughts and memories can be saved. He says that this could be made possible by tiny nanobots made from our DNA strands. These would then swim around in our brain. Kurzweil sees the expansion of our brain in non-biological thinking, as the next step in human evolution. This extension would then not only improve our logical intelligence, but also our emotional one.

His views are in stark contrast to a common perception. In science fiction, it is often shown that cyborg technologies make us more robots and therefore less emotional and less human. Dr. Miguel Nicolelis, head of the neuroengineering department at Duke University, fears we are over-reliant on the machines. We would lose the diversity of our human behavior because computers only calculate in ones and zeros, without distraction and without emotions.

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Kurzweil disagrees. He believes that when we are connected to a computer, we will become more human, more unique, and even more godlike. For him, evolution creates structures and patterns that, over time, become more complicated, more knowledgeable, more creative and more able to express higher feelings like love. So in his opinion evolution is a spiritual process and brings us closer to God. At this point I would like to point out that I am not a believer and that I see evolution as a biological process.

Evolution creates structures and patterns that over time are more complicated, more knowledgable, more creative, more capable of expressing higher sentiments, like being loving. So as we evolve, we become closer to God. Evolution is a spiritual process. There is beauty and love and creativity and intelligence in the world - it all comes from the neocortex. So we're going to expand the brain’s neocortex and become more godlike.

First of all, let's clarify another question: how realistic are these nanobots in the brain? Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the MIT Media Lab, thinks these tiny robots can become the future of learning. For example, you could learn certain languages ​​better. James Freund, a professor of mechanical engineering at UC San Diego, studies medical nanotechnology and says we are only two to five years away from using nanobots for our brains. However, these would then also be used for medicine, for example to prevent epileptic seizures. Other scientists believe that there are too big barriers to finding a power source for the nanobot to bypass other cells in the brain that attack foreign objects or not destroy cells.

But we also learn with other techniques that do not involve implanting nanobots. For example, researchers have already been able to send a message from one brain to another by stimulating it with electromagnetic induction. There are brain chips that Parkinson's patients use to gain better control over their motor skills. A study in the United States also placed implants in human brains that gave off electrical surges and thus improved memory.

Even if we humans are still a long way from using tiny robots in our brain, the method is already being tested on animals. For example, last year researchers injected DNA nanobots into live cockroaches that were able to follow specific instructions, including orders to dispense drugs. This year, researchers want to go even further by injecting nanobots into the stomach lining of mice. But when it comes to non-medical purposes, there are ethical and safety concerns. A survey last year found that 72 percent of Americans are not interested in a brain implant that could improve memory and mental performance.

In the 2030s, we will be able to send nanobots into living people’s brains and extract memories of people who have passed away. Then you can really make them very realistic.

For a while, the medical field is of little interest because it believes that people with a nanobot in their brains get better at all things. His theory is very visionary and still relatively utopian, at least at the present time. Kurzweil goes so far as to say that in 2030 it will be possible to take memories of deceased people and possibly insert them into so-called avatars.

I'm not exactly sure if I should be scared of this development or if I think it's cool. The 2030s are 15 years from now, plus minus, and that's not a long time. I think it's cool that you use brain implants for medicine and also that you can use electromagnetic induction to send messages back and forth between two brains, but what Kurzweil describes is awesome! I don't think I would have a nanobot implanted in me with which I can access a cloud and save all my thoughts and memories. Clouds are not the safest places to do this, clouds can be hacked. And that with the memories of deceased people, so I don't even want to start with that. Please let the dead rest! For me that would be a very worrying development!

Source: huffingtonpost