As science and technology continue to converge, it's becoming clear that the so-called singularity will likely be led by augmented humans rather than artificial intelligence housed in robots. Yet another sign that this forthcoming man-machine hybrid is set to gain more traction is a new idea involving brain-machine interfaces (BMI) from researchers at the University of California Berkeley.
The system as envisioned would rely upon thousands of devices called neural dust, tiny chips that would function as ultrasound nodes delivering neural information. Aided by a subdermal transceiver located just below the skull, and an external transceiver with long-range transmission capability situated on the person's scalp, the system would effectively bridge the gap between digital and neuronal control signals.
While the external transceiver can be modified and have its battery changed, one challenge for such a system lies in the inability to easily upgrade the implants. Nevertheless, with such a system in place, it would suddenly become easy to imagine artificial telepathy from between two people implanted with neural dust, and even a kind of artificial telekinesis whereby a person would have the ability to move objects and control systems with a mere thought.
Although the research paper doesn't offer a timeline in terms of when neural dust will become a viable human interface solution, the practical methodology discussed for executing the neural dust system appears to have the scientific community excited about the possibilities in the coming years.