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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

Can Machines Control Our Brains?


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R. Douglas Fields

"Neuroscientists do not yet understand how thoughts, emotions, and intentions are coded in the pattern of neural impulses zipping through neural circuits: The biological obstacles of mind hacking are far greater than the technological challenges."

Neuroscientist R. Douglas Fields is a senior investigator at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, USA.

Billionaires Elon Musk of Tesla and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook are pouring millions of dollars into developing brain-computer interface technology. Musk says he wants to provide a "superintelligence layer" in the human brain to help protect us from artificial intelligence, and Zuckerberg reportedly wants users to upload their thoughts and emotions over the Internet without the bother of typing.

But fact and fiction are easily blurred in these deliberations. How does this technology actually work, and what is it capable of?

From Quanta Magazine
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