When technology merges with the human body
Things are getting stranger as the fissure between “human” and “machine” is narrowing. Though we still have ways to go before we completely study and interpret the human brain, the most advanced technology inventions have started interpreting the human brain. Machine learning has brought in Virtual Reality (VR) that has the capability to make the feel more “real” than it was before. The processes that were once restricted to the human brain are being reproduced by the Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology today. All these bring technology very close to the human proximity.
The human brain has evolved to make us realize the kind of the world we live in. The brain has taught us not to touch fire because it will cause burns on our body, and not to go near the edge of tall things because we might fall off. The brain determines the way we perceive things around us and help us take decisions.
Imagine standing on the edge of the roof of a huge cathedral in Minecraft VR mode. The experience becomes even scarier since you see yourself on the edge of a very tall structure. When you are looking at things with your naked eye, your brain will caution you in advance due to which you won’t experience the reality in its whole sense. For example, in Minecraft VR, you might be standing safely on the floor, while you experience the situation in real-time. That is, our brain interprets the data which is input by our eyes. What we see is not a reality, but the brain’s definition of what we see. Virtual Reality could be more real than reality itself because our brain just converts the “process of seeing” into “what we see”. That is the difference between how you see things without any external support and how you see things with VR devices.
Scientists and technology evangelists are experimenting constantly to develop technologies that can even con the way human brain interprets things. Modern research disciplines like Neuroplasticity has proved that it is possible to re-train certain parts of the brain so that they can take over when the other parts stop functioning.
It’s not just the sight, but other senses too!
The illusion of virtual reality is not just limited to the human sight, but other senses too. The recent Oculus earbuds tries to offer an “immersive virtual reality experience”. Another example is the eNose company that has come up with a technology which replicates the way human nose functions.
Can you imagine a complete VR kit with a headset, goggles, earbuds, hand gloves, and sensors for nose and mouth? The wall that separates reality from virtual experience is getting demolished now. Experiments are progressing to invent ways by which the virtual experience can be amplified in the future. Some of them even include developing methods to stimulate chemicals in the human brain with which you can sharpen your memories or proliferate your analytical skills beyond imagination. Remember the film Lucy?
Owing to all these, technology is being closely merged to the human body. But it does not just end with VR. When AI joins the mix, things become still queerer as AI strives to recreate brain processes in machines. But we are too far away from the general AI since we need to completely interpret and understand the human brain and its procedures before we actually build a machine that just replicates the human brain.
Developing a totally unsupervised AI will be the most cherished dream and the most daring challenge for technology freaks in the coming years!