Two years of low-key preparation, neurolink, a brain computer interface company founded by musk, ushered in the highlight moment. It is what neurolink is committed to do to implant the chip into the brain and realize the exchange of ideas.
Before that, Facebooks research on brain computer interface technology had been low-key for many years, and Chen Tianqiao devoted himself to brain science research. Han Di, a preferred capital partner and investor, once told CV Zhizhi that in the United States, a professor engaged in brain signal perception research can be poached with an annual salary of up to US $10 million.
In addition to continuous breakthroughs in brain science research, the commercial application of brain computer interface technology. In 2019, more new technologies stimulate peoples nerves: the popularity of artificial meat, the revival of the dead pigs brain, the birth of gene editing babies in controversy, and the realization of scientists to cultivate lambs with artificial uterus
With the development of it, Internet and artificial intelligence in full swing, the wave of information technology has been upgraded one after another, and machines have been made more and more intelligent. At the same time, human research on another vast universe - human itself - has never stopped, and this process, every step is wonderful and exciting.
In the process of making powerful machines to conquer the world and explore the universe, human beings are paying more and more attention to ourselves - a person is a universe.
From physical universe to human universe
The new technology of sudden fire in 2019, without exception, is deeply tied with human beings themselves: while looking out to the world, human beings also pay more attention to themselves.
In May this year, three MIT scientists successfully used the artificial neural network created by themselves to control the neural activities of monkeys cerebral cortex, making AI control the brain become a reality; brain computer interface equipment is becoming more and more simple and easy to use, a small head ring can realize the idea typing.
In 2016, Chen Tianqiao privatized Shanda company for half of his life and spent a billion dollars on brain science research. A year later, musk founded neurolink, a brain computer interface company, to put chips into the brain and realize the exchange of ideas or even surpass artificial intelligence, which is Musks ultimate goal.
There are two goals of neurolink. In the short term, some products will be put on the market to help solve some serious brain damage. In the long term, the ultimate goal of neurolink is to eliminate the process of transforming peoples thoughts into language, and then transferring them into computer through keyboard, mouse and other input tools, avoiding the survival threat that musk thinks: artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence.
Musk once said: it can help people who are old, have memory problems, and cant remember their childrens names through memory enhancement, and it can extend the time for them to remember their normal functions. These are the brain problems that all of us may have when we are old, and the medical progress brought by solving these problems is undoubtedly of great significance.
More dizzy than the brain machine interface, there is the resurrection of the dead pig brain. In April this year, the nature cover released Yale Universitys latest research: the pig brain successfully revived four hours after death, and maintained for at least six hours.
Of course, everything is not always so calm and smooth. Behind a few remarkable breakthroughs, there are also heavy and irreparable costs. When mask, Chen Tianqiao and others brought us ecstasy, the bad news came from Europe. The European Union invested a billion euros in a simulated human brain project 10 years ago and declared it a complete failure.
it happens that there is a similar case. He Jiankui, a Chinese scientist, used a gene knife on a pair of twins. A pair of gene editing babies named Lulu and Nana were born in China in November. Although he Jiankuis team claims that genetic modification can make them naturally resistant to AIDS after birth, for such a radical approach, the world is in a uproar for a while, and the voice of criticism is like a flood, once Pandoras box is opened, who will come to the end?
On December 30, he Jiankui was sentenced to three years in prison for illegal medical practice in Nanshan, Shenzhen. As he Jiankui is sentenced, the gene editor baby will become history.
New technologies that subvert peoples traditional concepts are constantly emerging. If he Jiankui has made a stab in human genes, some scientists hope that biology can get rid of the traditional fertility process and let the embryo develop in the artificial uterus.
American scientist Alan flake of childrens Hospital in Philadelphia developed the artificial uterus and successfully tested it on lambs. In the next three to five years, an artificial uterus may be able to be tested on critically ill babies.
These sci-fi scenes that human beings could not imagine happened in the world. Whats more, unlike a computer, a mobile phone, or software, these innovative technologies are all closely related to people themselves.
Strong demand and capital boost
Scientists are still making surprises for us. In todays increasingly close and inseparable relationship between capital and technology, these emerging technologies with a hint of magic realism are also rapidly moving to the market with the help of capital.
This year, the most eye-catching case of commercialization of new technology is beyond meat, the first unit of artificial meat concept.
In May this year, beyondmeat, an American Meat making company that uses plants to make fake meat, went public on NASDAQ. Its share price rose 163% on the day of IPO, setting the best first day performance of NASDAQs IPO since the 2008 financial crisis.
Before that, beyondmeat also received investment from celebrities including Bill Gates, former CEO of McDonalds, and Hollywood actor Leonardo. Recently, Coca Cola companies CFO Kathy Waller and twittercfonedsegal joined the board.
From the perspective of global environment, the total population of the world is expected to reach 9.8 billion in 2050. Scientists predict that the consumption of meat by humans in 2050 will increase by 70% compared with 2005.
In addition, according to statistics, the same pound of protein produced from animals is less environmentally friendly than that produced from plants. It will consume 4-25 times more water, 6-17 times more land, and 6-20 times more fossil fuels.
This means that when people are used to eating meat and eat more and more meat, it is likely to cause the rise of meat prices and environmental degradation. And artificial meat was born in such a big environment.
With a huge demand, we have endless commercial potential of new technology. In the age of starvation, when people are already out of clothes and hungry, people begin to pay more attention to themselves - from healthy diet to living environment, from womens equality to disease prevention, the ultimate pursuit of efficiency, in every aspect. New technologies, such as gene detection, frozen egg, brain computer interface, etc., have also come out of the laboratory in this context.
With the maturation of frozen egg technology and the improvement of survival rate after thawing, the American Society of reproductive medicine (ASRM) formally removed the experimental label of frozen egg technology in 2012. Frozen eggs have become a means of assisted reproduction for more and more foreign women.
According to data released by the American Society for assisted reproductive technology (SART), the number of frozen eggs cases in the United States was 8825 in 2016 and increased to 10936 in 2017. A similar trend has taken place in the UK, where the number of frozen eggs has risen from 234 in 2010 to 1463 in 2017 and could reach 78000 in 2018, according to data released by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).
As a country with a large population, Chinas gene detection industry is developing rapidly. According to data statistics, the scale of Chinas gene detection industry will reach 60.329 billion yuan in 2018, and the market scale is expected to reach 101.549 billion yuan by 2020, with a compound growth rate of 37.8%.
According to the white paper on consumer gene testing industry 2019 jointly released by Amway gene and airy, Chinas consumer gene testing services will first break out in the first tier and new first tier cities in comparison with the consumption and cognitive level of the United States. In 2019, the total number of consumer gene users in China will reach 2.207 million. Among them, the first-line and new first-line cities have a penetration rate of about 1.1%, accounting for 95%. With the increase of market penetration, the total number of users in China will exceed 20 million in the next two years.
Compared with frozen eggs, gene detection and other technologies that have formed industrial chain, more cutting-edge brain computer interface is releasing greater potential. From the perspective of market scale of equipment, the data of allied market research shows that in 2020, the market scale of brain computer interface will reach 1.46 billion US dollars; if we look at the application fields that brain computer interface can affect, whether it is medical treatment, education or consumption, it will bring a huge market space far beyond 1 billion US dollars.
In fact, brain computer interface has been applied in a small range at present: it is used to help the disabled improve their lives in medical treatment, and it can also tap the potential of human body. In 2017, Bolu ajiboye of Case Western Reserve University successfully helped the paralyzed bill to control the robot arm through his mind. Bill could eat mashed potatoes and drink coffee by himself, becoming the first human to use his mind to restore his motor ability.
Driven by technology and market demand, human beings have seen the chance to interpret the brain and make their dreams stronger.
Disputes that cannot be avoided
The rapid commercialization of new technology has also brought about many disputes. In the process of commercialization of brain computer interface, frozen eggs, artificial meat and other dazzling new technologies, the disputes about ethics have never stopped.
Brain Co, a brain computer interface company founded by Han Bicheng, a Chinese American, is widely questioned for its representative products, such as monitoring students, violating the original intention of education and suspected of collecting students privacy data.
The prospect of BCI makes some people excited and worried. Pew, a research center in the United States, once conducted a survey of the public, and the results show that brain computer interface has become a more worrying cutting-edge technology than gene editing.
Since brain computer interface can bring the possibility of walking recovery for wounded or paralyzed soldiers, help paralyzed patients to use their consciousness to type, or install bionic limbs for amputated patients to restore their consciousness, once the brain is invaded , these BCI functions mentioned above still have a place to use -- manipulate him People or... Murder.
Tom Baden, a neuroscientist and professor at the University of Essex in the UK, told CV that human brain research is still at a very early stage. In his opinion, mask and others are too radical.
We dont know much about the brain, Song Nan said The reason why it is difficult to commercialize BCI is that normal people are not willing to accept invasive electrodes in fact, which leads to a very limited number of cases that can be tested. The lack of accurate data is a common problem that vertical applications cannot be commercialized. On the other hand, the activity of brain neurons that can be monitored by BCI is still too small. At present, the number of electrodes is still in the thousands. According to the prediction of scientists, the number of electrodes implanted in the brain should be at least in the hundreds of thousands, so the data generated can really support comprehensive data analysis.
Similar ethical disputes also arise in the field of gene editing. More than 20 days before he Jiankuis first judgment, MIT Technology Review shared his unpublished manuscript with four experts, a legal scholar, an IVF doctor, an embryologist and a gene editing expert.
However, all the four experts expressed negative attitudes towards he Jiankui: he Jiankui and his team put forward key statements without data support; the parents of the baby may be under some pressure to agree to participate in the experiment; the welfare assumed by the Research Institute for the medical field is questionable; before the researchers confirm that their editors are effective, they start to create a new life People edit genes and so on.
Fyodor urnov, a genomic editing scientist at the Institute of innovative genomics at the University of California, Berkeley, said that he claimed to have replicated the popular CCR5 gene mutation, which was a blatant distortion of the actual data, and this behavior was undoubtedly a deliberate lie.
Carl June, founder of car-t cell therapy and academician of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, believes that different societies have different enthusiasm and willingness to accept and adopt new therapies.
Carl June told CV Zhizhi that as a scientist, his ultimate responsibility is to ensure that cancer can be cured. I hope to achieve this goal in the near future through technological progress. But for the challenge of the whole society, we hope that this kind of therapy will not only be available to those who are rich, but also to all people.
In 2020, technology will still roll forward.
Human beings pay more attention to themselves and their inner world to promote the rapid development of new technology. The ethical problems brought by new technology continue to challenge the inherent concept and life style of human beings. Even so, the surging wave of technology development is still unstoppable.
As Carl June said, the ethical privacy problems in the process of technological development need to be solved by the whole society, but the pace of technological development will not be stopped. Compared with the hidden dangers in ethics, what new technology brings to mankind is still more hope and surprise.
Source: editor in charge of Chinanet: Liao ziyao, nbjs10040