Elon Musk and his venture, Neuralink, announced in July their plan to directly enhance people’s minds with brain implants. More specifically, his company wants to use the brain tech to augment people’s motor skills, first on people with ailments like paralysis and eventually on healthy individuals.
Other parties like Bryan Johnson’s startup, Kernel, initially wanted to develop implants but for memory enhancement back in 2016. Their implants would electrically stimulate people’s brains causing development in memory-related regions.
These surgical procedures are controversial because they require cutting open patients’ skulls to access their brains, and current USC Professor of Neural Engineering Dr. Dong Song was one of Kernel’s consultant’s at the time.
Kernel has since shifted its focus away from enhancement and toward treating ailments, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Dr. Song now no longer works for Kernel and now runs his own research at USC, now developing with his PhD students at USC his own brain implants designed for hippocampal-memory-enhancement as well as a computer algorithm that figures out how to shock each patient’s brain.