Use the future to build the present
Brain-Machine Interfaces
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1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy
1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy

Sub-Field:

2.4.3Brain-Machine Interfaces

Brain-machine interfaces can help to augment human consciousness in three different ways.16
First, augmenting the sensory inputs that define existing consciousness could redefine the resulting consciousness. Restoring and augmenting sensory inputs to consciousness is already done by gene therapy, cochlear and retinal implants. Secondly, interfacing with a different type of body could augment consciousness by expanding the human body map. Robotic appendages with different, non-human degrees of freedom are already at work in factories and in surgical suites. These make their operators navigate the world with a different body plan thereby altering their mental model of the world. While all brain machine interfaces start out in the therapeutic space, these will not make a big societal impact until they are in mainstream use. As more occupations and leisure activities incorporate such devices, future brain machine interfaces could couple humans to exoskeletons with different numbers of limbs or entirely different body plans, or to virtual environments. Third, altering the environment we experience in virtual reality could change our perception of and relationship to the spatial world by, for example, putting us into several places at the same time.

Future Horizons:

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5-yearhorizon

Embodied machines go mainstream

Immersive virtual reality systems have vastly greater capabilities than today’s confinement to sound, vision and limited haptics. There is greater adoption of robotic embodiment in factories and for special purpose applications.

10-yearhorizon

The first human-machine interfaces begin to see roll-out

The wider availability of more general-purpose daily use robotic devices means that some models begin to explore the advantages of invasive interfaces.

25-yearhorizon

Neural interface for consciousness sharing

The market grows for an implantable BMI that is useful in everyday life. Brain implants coupled to AI systems accelerate the development of new human-machine interfaces useful in therapeutic settings (e.g. for neuroprosthetics) but also for those wanting to augment evolved human abilities.

Brain-Machine Interfaces - Anticipation Scores

How the experts see this field in terms of the expected time to maturity, transformational effect across science and industries, current state of awareness among stakeholders and its possible impact on people, society and the planet. See methodology for more information.

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