The Coming Battle for Privacy in Consumer Neurotechnology

It’s no secret. Tech companies have amassed vast fortunes by predicting the behavior of online users using rudimentary metrics such as clicks, swipes, and taps. Today, corporate coffers are full and ready to fund research on direct measures of how you think, feel, and react when plugged into the web.

70% of all new economic value created by tech companies in this next decade will be claimed by digital platforms and services that commodify all aspects of our life, predicts the World Economic Forum. …


On the Computational Metaphor for Understanding the Brain

Take a morning walk and look up at the birds. Watch as they leap from a perch, swoop through the wind and land seamlessly on the ground ahead of you, where they scan their surroundings until taking off again, cautious of the approach of a yawning mammal. How on earth does all that dynamic, reactive behaviour emerge from a brain that weighs as much as a graphite pencil? How do we even begin to answer this question? The members of one particular neuroscience tribe would suggest that we think of these phenomena in terms of information processing and computation.

Neuroscience and computation

Computational…


No one told me, so I am telling you.

My first attempt to build a BCI failed completely. I became interested in BCIs while completing my masters in artificial intelligence, and I needed some credits to complete the semester — so there I went, building a BCI in my bedroom. I bought a Muse 2016 headset and, leveraging my background in human movement sciences, attempted to make a movement BCI. My goal was to control a cursor with hand movements, and the best result I achieved was… exactly random. That was disappointing, and I had to put in some extra work in the final report to explain why it…


I

The rolling hills looked beautiful under the crisp spring sun. The greens of the grass could put to shame a toddler with a Crayola in his hand. It took a while for Sally to get used to the format. The colors felt much too close and blinding. Every sense of hers sharpened in a matter of milliseconds, however, as the audio kicked in and she was met with a scream. A woman was kneeling in the grass, holding her baby close to her chest. She was rocking back and forth, hysterically crying. More people began shouting. “SOMEBODY HELP US!”, a…


Elon Musk, armed with resolve and charisma, aims to radically innovate our society and infrastructure. His ventures tackle everything from rocket development, to solar energy production, to long-range transportation using high-speed underground trains. And now his newest company, Neuralink, aims to develop implantable brain-computer interfaces. While other neurotech companies focus on technology and manufacturing, Neuralink ventures into biology and neuroengineering. Over the short lifetime of Neuralink, it has already faced criticism from neuroscientists, experienced difficulty retaining talent and missed the mark on some of its more ambitious goals and promises.

Those familiar with Tesla, Musk’s electric car company, will also…


Image courtesy of Synchron

Heart surgery used to be a Big Deal, and for good reason: accessing the heart required difficult and invasive surgery. Today, many heart operations can be done under nothing more than a local anaesthetic, during which a stent is inserted through an artery in the wrist or groin and guided into its final position close to the heart. This less invasive surgery has made the procedure safer, faster, and cheaper.

It appears that intracranial recording of brain activity is moving in the same direction. To measure high-quality neural signals, electrodes are typically inserted into the brain through small holes in…


For those building in the world of neurotech and innovative products, it’s typically agreed upon that we should be cognizant of what happens to user data. How it’s collected, how it’s stored, and what should be communicated publicly are all critical things to consider when you’re dealing with the personal information of millions of users. Yet, there is little discussion on what that actually means from a data perspective.

As neurotechnology evolves from being a niche innovation into widely-accessible technology, and as we see more consumer-facing hardware and applications develop, it’s important for those of us working in this field…


Artwork by Firas Safieddine

Recent advances in neuroscience have significant implications for the field of architecture and urban design, unlocking insights about people’s emotional states and thought processes as they explore their environment.

The applications span across building construction, the living experience, and architectural thinking, covering the full spectrum of the design process from abstract ideation to final product.

In particular, adopting neurotechnology brings value in two main stages: the initial design process and the responsiveness of the built environment. …


A new year has begun. It is now time to plan for an exciting 2017!

NeuroTechX 2017 — Committees

2016

2016 was the first full year of NeuroTechX. What an amazing year we had. Only few months in, NeuroTechX grew from few chapters to 15+. To what point we had to slow the growth of NeuroTechX to review our processes and guidelines. NeuroTechX is not running a sprint trying to surf the wave of neurotech hype you see in the media. NeuroTechX is running a marathon and is here for the long run. …


NeuroTechX is very proud to support undergrad students interested in neurotechnology via its Student Clubs Initiative!

Neurotechnology has never been this accessible and exciting before. NeuroTechX wants to catalyze the interest and motivation of skilled undergrad students by providing them with goals to work towards and the resources to get there. Having a local student club at their own university gives them the opportunity to explore this emerging field, to meet other students with similar interests and also to develop skills in biosignals (ECG, EMG, EEG, etc.), …

NeuroTechX Content Lab

NeuroTechX is a non-profit whose mission is to build a strong global neurotechnology community by providing key ressouices and learning opportunities

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