Brain Implants – The Future Has (Almost) Arrived: SX Speaker Series

SXSW Atmosphere

Every week in our Conference Community Newsletter, we mine the minds of some of the best and brightest speakers headed to Austin in March.

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Here’s what this week’s round of participants had to say about a tricky topic we’ll be grappling with before we know it: we are beginning to see real evidence that brain implants can create positive outcomes. Are you kind of thrilled or a bit repulsed that the cyborg future has almost arrived?

Alon Grinshpoon / Build Cloud-Connected AR/VR Apps in 15-Min or Less:
"Thrilled! Need my brain to connect to the Internet."

Anthony Gellert / Mentor:
"Thrilled. Especially for mental health treatment."

Cara Gresser / Mentor:
"I'm thrilled that brain implant research is progressing, as the previous technology has not been able to trick the brain and caused a foreign-body response, inhibiting the ability to gather useful information. The advancements occurring now could provide information that could help treat diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s as well as brain cancers. *information sourced from The Harvard Gazette."

Dave A. Liu / Changing Faces: Media Representation and the Path to Positive Portrayals of Facial Differences:
"I'm generally a technophile so I like this future. Especially if it can help alleviate or even stop the inevitable degradation of our brains that we are all destined to endure together!"

David S. Rose / Finding the Right Angel Investor for Your Startup:
"There's no point in being either thrilled or repulsed. Technology is — and always has been — growing exponentially."

Gabo Arora / Building Futures In Emerging Tech For Everyone:
"It will be used against us. The mind will no longer be the last refuge for private thinking. It is the true end of privacy."

Heather Malenshek / The Rural-Urban Divide and How Brands Can Make a Difference:
"As the wife of someone who has a TBI and suffers from PTSD, I love the idea of being able to help people like my husband live better lives."

Joseph Jaffe / Mentor:
"The gut reaction is repulsion, but if you think about a starting point which can help a certain medical condition, then it becomes a natural foundation to build upon."

Joseph Litzinger / Mentor:
"I'll take anything that helps us have better mental health! Where do I plug in?"

Kate Baucherel / From the Fireside to the Future: Stories in a Changing World:
"Having read all the Iain M Banks novels, this is perfectly in tune, and it's amazing to see the medical applications changing lives already."

Marc Nathan / Super Connectors Meet Up:
"Thrilled! I'm an avowed cyberpunk enthusiast and I welcome any kind of human enhancement through technology."

We hope you've enjoyed this edition of the SX Speaker Series! Learn more about the budding brain implant industry at these two sessions at SXSW 2024: The Neurotech Revolution is Here: What Now? and This is Your Brain on AI: Neurotech's New Horizons.

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Photo by Tico Mendoza

By Hugh Forrest