The ideas of fiction tend to drive real-world technology development. People read or experience stories, then sit and wonder, “So just how would that work, exactly?”
One such source of inspiration is the brain chip, a mainstay of cyberpunk fiction. Fictionally, the devices are implanted into the human skull or spine in order to grant improved access to computer systems, as well as often provide additional ways to learn or store memories.
Bryan Johnson, CEO of Kernel, is seeking to develop something along similar lines. His startup is working to develop a neuroprosthetic, which potentially could ease neurological issues such as problems related to strokes, concussions or dementia. Long term, the system could expand to include other functions, including improving cognition. Johnson is not the only one working in the field: In March, for instance, Elon Musk announced that his firm Neuralink is pursuing the goal of creating and improving brain-machine interfacing.
This kind of technology is very much still a work in progress, but it does raise some interesting questions. Is it really possible (or practical) to install a device or system inside the human brain with the goal of augmenting thought or communication? And, even assuming it can be done, is it wise?
Below, members of Forbes Technology Council give their take on the issue.