Chapter 5: What Might Radically Change Things? #

ML Assisted Creation #

[TODO] https://cleanvoice.ai / https://www.descript.com, https://magenta.tensorflow.org, https://runwayml.com, https://auphonic.com/landing, etc.

Body Modification and Bio-Engineering #

Another point is the idea of biohacking and body augmentation. The most common biohacks include implanted RFID tags (which I actually have) and magnets for sensing electromagnetic fields, but these are still pretty mundane. This Ted Talk I think shows what might be possible a bit better:

But I still think there’s room for a lot more. Last semester I was fortunate enough to take a class with Dr. Massimilliano Pierobon who is currently the director of the Molecular and Biochemical Telecommunications Lab (MBITE) at UNL, and while I’m far from knowledgeable enough to understand everything that they do there I know they’re doing some very interesting work that could be summarized as hacking the chemistry and existing networks in biological systems (inc. humans). Here’s some work from the MBITE lab I found particularly interesting:

Bi, D., Deng, Y., Pierobon, M., and Nallanathan, A. “Chemical Reactions-based Microfluidic Transmitter and Receiver Design for Molecular Communication,” IEEE Transactions on Communications (Early Access), 10.1109/TCOMM.2020.2993633, May 2020. [PDF]

Marcone, A., Pierobon, M., and Magarini, M. “Parity-Check Coding Based on Genetic Circuits for Engineered Molecular Communication Between Biological Cells,” IEEE Transactions on Communications, vol. 66, no. 12, pp. 6221-6236, December 2018. [PDF]

Hanisch, N., Pierobon, M. “Digital Modulation and Achievable Information Rates of Thru-body Haptic Communications,” In Proceedings of the SPIE International Conference on Defense + Security (DCS), April 2017. [PDF]

These articles, and others from the MBITE lab at UNL, can be found here

Seeing this makes me wonder if the future of bio-hacking might be a bit more tightly integrated into how our bodies already work, rather than just tossing some electronics inside some silicon or glass to implant somewhere.

Brain Computer Interfaces #

I don’t know that BCI are really the future. Elon Musk is working on Neuralink which is neat and all, but I’m not sure I’m convinced. I would welcome the faster computer to brain link as the keyboard->eyes->brain loop is far to slow, but I don’t really see anyone going in to have their skull drilled into for elective surgery unless it’s to correct or treat something else neurologically. There have been efforts to do BCI without implants, but I suspect that would suffer from a lack of bandwidth.

I do very much hope to be wrong, as I think BCI has the opportunity to be the biggest leap humanity has ever taken. Soon, it may even be necessary to even deal with how quickly our would is changing and the amount of information we need to process every day.

Brain Computer Interface article on Wikipedia

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