In 2018, two groups began administering tests on individuals who suffer from seizures and weak memory due to tramatic brain injuries.
Bloomberg Businessweek reports both groups have tested their devices only on epileptic patients with electrodes already implanted in their brains to monitor seizures.
Michael Kahana, professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, and the company Medtronic Plc created the memory device.
The second group participating in the testing is a team from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. They are also receiving research assistance from colleagues at the University of Southern California.
“Just like meteorologists predict the weather by putting sensors in the environment that measure humidity and wind speed and temperature, we put sensors in the brain and measure electrical signals,” Kahana told the website. “There are concerns over safety, costs and the benefits of these implants causing a considerable amount of surgical and long term risks. “
Implanting brain chips points out ethical concerns citing Michael Dertouzos in his paper Ethical Assessment of Implantable Brain Chips who writes “Even if it would someday be possible to convey such higher-level information to the brain — and that is a huge technical “If” — we should not do it. Bringing light impulses to the visual cortex of a blind person would justify such an intrusion, but unnecessarily tapping into the brain is a violation of our bodies, of nature, and for many, of God’s design.”
The progress already made in therapeutic devices, in prosthetics and in computer science indicate that it may well be feasible to develop direct interfaces between the brain and computers,” Dertouzos continued.