When Mark Zuckerberg isn’t smoking meat or cooking up excuses for data harvesting scandals, the 34-year-old Facebook CEO and his wife Priscilla Chan are high-fiving over their investments in the mind-control game, according to Business Insider.
Funded by their for-profit biomedical research company, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), the Silicon Valley power couple is helping to fund research that could vastly improve the lives of people suffering from neuromotor disorders – or create an army of compliant cyborgs trained to take Mark seriously.
Mark Zuckerberg and his paediatrician wife Priscilla Chan have sold close to 30 million shares of Facebook to fund an ambitious biomedical research project, called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), with a goal of curing all disease within a generation.
A less publicised component of that US$5 billion programme includes work on brain-machine interfaces, devices that essentially translate thoughts into commands. One recent project is a wireless brain implant that can record, stimulate and disrupt the movement of a monkey in real time. –Business Insider
In a new paper published in Nature on Monday, the ZCI-funded researchers outline a wireless brain device implanted in primates that can record, stimulate and modify brain activity in real time – at least in primates. The device can sense a normal movement and immediately stop it, according to researchers at the Chan Zuckerberg BIohub, a non-profit medical research group within the CZI.
If the technology translates to humans, it could be used therapeutically for those suffering from diseases like Parkinson’s or epilepsy by stopping involuntary muscle movements just as they start.
“Our device is able to monitor the primate’s brain while it’s providing the therapy so you know exactly what’s happening,” said study co-author Rikky Muller – a professor of computer science and engineering at UC Berkeley, and a Biohub investigator.
The applications of brain-machine interfaces are far-reaching: while some researchers focus on using them to help assist people with spinal cord injuries or other illnesses that affect movement, others aim to see them transform how everyone interacts with laptops and smartphones. Both a division at Facebook formerly called Building 8 as well as an Elon Musk-founded company called Neuralink have said they are working on the latter.