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These Brain-Hugging Transistors Will Make Real-Life Cyborgs

Illustration for article titled These Brain-Hugging Transistors Will Make Real-Life Cyborgs

Transistors were one of the most revolutionary developments in modern computing. And that was without directly implanting them in our brains. Now, the first microscopic organic transistor arrays promise to let us do just that.


Developed by French scientists building off prototypes designed by the Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility, these new flexible transistors can record brain activity with unparalleled accuracy. Current electrocorticography electrodes can already pick up on your neurons' jolts to grab data, but the problem is that every good bit of info is surrounded by a whole bunch of noise. The new transistors are ten times better at filtering all the crap out.


The electrical "sounds" that your neurons make are quite quiet, so getting close to the source is key. By hopping right inside the brain and cuddling up to it's curvilinear shape, the implants can put their ears right to the source. This increased fidelity could mean huge advances in mapping the brain for tumor removal, hunting down areas responsible for epileptic seizures, or setting up interfaces for brain-controlled prothestics.

Having developed prototypes is far from having working units, but the proof of concept is there. The thought of a brain implant is a little icky, but the benefits could be revolutionary. Just start getting used to the idea of real cyborgs now, while there's still time. [Kurzweil AI]

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First you're talking about tumour removal, detecting seizures or making prosthetic implants to supplement for lost function. Then you jump to cyborgs. Does - not - follow. You need to prove first implants can improve function, not just substitute it (to some degree, btw, not entirely).