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We have arrived at the final frontier of humans and computers. Much like Star Trek V, the final frontier we face is a journey inward, towards the center, as much as it is an expansion. Surely, there will be more barriers to cross in our evolution, yet few hold as much promise, and as much peril as bridging the gap between brain computer interfaces – BCI and artificial intelligence – AI.

When I talk about bridging this gap, it’s not mere speculation. At Upward Arrow we’ve successfully connected brain computer interfaces to neural nets in the early stages of our development. We’re crossing the final frontier of humans and computers, now.

There are plenty of ethical and moral concerns as we make our way through this uncharted territory. We feel that this requires an absolute commitment to core principles of openness and compassion. In a future where we can trade our thoughts at will, and collectively solve problems with the power of our minds linked together, we ought to begin freely trading our thoughts and carefully watching out for the best interests of others, now.

This is not intended as a philosophical treatise, yet technology companies do not spend enough time considering the larger impact that technology has on our lives. Each new technology shapes the way we think and act, how we see ourselves and others, how we perceive the world and our place in it.

That’s a huge responsibility to bear, and not one that we are willing to shy away from. It is in this interest that we are pursuing our efforts to create a practical bridge between brain computer interfaces and artificial intelligence. In the act of creation itself we will learn the lessons to ensure that this final frontier is but one of many to come and this next stage of our human evolution is taken with great care despite the hurried nature of the times around us.

As it stands now, artificial intelligence is still quite dumb, but oh boy, is it fast. A lot of it is pattern recognition, and it’s really a matter of comparing apples to oranges. The latest artificial intelligence has grown to a complexity where it is more like comparing every type of apple to every type of orange in many different ways – very quickly.

Computers in that sense are now faster at telling us whether something is an apple or an orange. Yet, they still can’t tell us what an apple or an orange tastes like. There’s a deeper meaning within our lives that continues to evade binary computation, the singular aspect that makes us human.

Standing on the other side of the singularity, human consciousness remains unique – singular. While much thought has been given to the amplification of our own thought processes by connecting AI to BCI, in that direction, much less has been given to the amplification of computing intelligence by connecting BCI to AI.

Considering the development of neural nets based on the modeling of neurons themselves, you may say that all great advances in AI have been the result of heading in this direction: from the human, the very human center of our being, then outward towards the technology and tools that we use in our lives.

Our goal is to remain at the frontier exploring this bridge and ensuring that technology continues to serve humanity as we evolve towards the next great milestone on the horizon.