Re: Brain on the Back of an Envelope

Geoff Smith (
Mon, 8 Dec 1997 11:41:40 -0800 (PST)

On Mon, 8 Dec 1997, Alex Tseng wrote:

> ---Steve Witham <> wrote:
> But using components specialized for being brains might slow you
> down because it's harder to get chips designed and built than to
> program PCs. On the other hand, such brain-chips could already
> have become an industry by 2027, used inside insect-robots or spy
> cameras starting a decade earler...
> That's really inspiring, man
> How about organic interfaces e.g. processor drivers to nerve
> tissues ; neuro-chip replacement for spinal nerve connection
> etc etc ,... that's going to be a reality as well ...
> so that people like Christopher Reeves could possibly be walking
> again by 2027 or earlier , right ?

Much, much earlier. Although, it will probably be using real nerve
tissue instead of silicon. Rats have already been cured of paralysis by a
grafting procedure, and the "grafted" cells can be incited to grow by
neural growth factors. Neuro-chip interfaces are in the midst, though...
a non-toxic two-way interface is now possible, and hopefully soon we'll
know how to exploit such an interface, and have the surgical techniques to
connect all the nerves correctly ( or just connect them haphazardly and
let the brain rewire its somatosensory/motor cortices to accommodate...
although this may not be feasible considering how difficult a time the
brain has with rewiring after amputation, ie. "phantom limbs") ... this is
where Anders elaborates on my mickey mouse understanding of