Will we be able to connect directly to the internet without a pc, phone, or tablet with a brain-controlled internet or brain internet interface?
For those born in the digital age, it seems as if the issue of personal information on the internet is not an issue to be taken seriously. What if technology could transfer our thoughts directly to the internet without any transfer tools, filters or editing?
For some, this is a terrible scenario; it means both the disappearance of personal information and the complete disappearance of logic and reason that have barely survived on social media.
Is this technically possible? What does it mean as an application?
Overcoming the barrier between the brain and digital networks
Today, those concerned about the insecurity of electronic communications may find that their deepest thoughts can be read like an open book, and the concept of privacy is obsolete.
Although such a scenario may seem like science fiction today, it may be possible in the future. There are already developments in the medical field that allow brain neurons to be stimulated externally with electrodes.
Transdermal nerve stimulation is used for pain and movement control.
With spinal electrodes, nerves can be stimulated to provide leg movement in patients with spinal damage. And then there are smart prosthetic limbs, which users learn to control by simply thinking they’re moving as if they were natural limbs. We understand from here that the electrical information in our nervous system can communicate with digital devices.
Still, there is a long way to go before interfaces that connect directly between our brains and the network can become reality.
The first big problem here is philosophical as well as technological. What does it mean when our thoughts can be transmitted directly to an electronic network?
Can thought exist independently of expression?
Currently, thoughts are easily communicated because they can be translated into a common unit called language and word. What happens in the brain is mostly either nonverbal or pre-verbal.
If we could listen to the electrical activity in the brain, could we somehow translate the underlying thought?
But does this electrical activity involve meaningful thoughts, or is it like a meaningless
conversation, like the humming of a crowded party?
For more than a century, neuroscientists have been trying to decipher brain activity, with some successful ones among them. Sleep researchers are trying to distinguish between different states of sleep and wakefulness through characteristic patterns of electrical activity in the brain.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging is also useful in investigating which parts of the brain are active during which cognitive activities. But that doesn’t solve the problem of complex noises at a crowded party.
We know that neural networks and electronic networks can communicate with each other through electrical signals. Although this is
not a huge result, it is important because electronic systems can learn, so using an electronic limb well is possible with both the control system and human learning.
Considering that both parties can play a role in improving communication, we can say that many things are possible in theory. Suppose a brain interface is developed as well as a top-quality modem, how can it work?
Direct transmission of ideas to the digital network: Fields of application
While it is possible to derive intelligible thoughts from jumbled neural beats, it is of course very difficult. What can be inferred is also unlikely to have any communicative value since this knowledge is unlikely to rise to the level of ordinary words in an ordinary language.
Despite these difficulties, it may be possible to translate some kind of output with computer programs using machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Thanks to digitized brain outputs, psychologists can unravel the mystery of the difference between sleep and wakefulness. Some discoveries may also be made regarding the differences in brain function associated with schizophrenia, depression, and other abnormal states.
The brain is not linear like a DNA molecule but consists of many information processing systems that work in parallel. This makes it extremely difficult to record its electrical output. Yet even attempting to do so can provide clues as to how the brain functions as an integrated whole.
Over time, electronic simulators can be developed that mimic brain activity. In this way, we can get one step closer to understanding the holistic functioning of the brain.