Start-up Developing Chips to Unlock Full Potential of the Human Brain

Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Kernel, a technology start-up, is developing a microchip that aims to unlock the full potential of the human brain.

According to a report from Express, Los Angeles-based tech startup Kernel is designing a microchip that aims to unlock the potential of the human brain. “Kernel is building advanced neural interfaces to treat disease and dysfunction, illuminate the mechanisms of intelligence, and extend cognition. We are on a mission to dramatically increase our quality of life as healthy lifespans extend,” Kernel’s website reads.

Kernel says their first goal is to design a chip that helps to fight neurological diseases. Their secondary goal is to design a chip that expands the power of the brain to superhuman levels.

“At Kernel, our primary aim is to develop technologies to understand and treat neurological diseases in new and exciting ways,” founder Bryan Johnson said recently at a tech summit. “We will then interpret the brain’s complex workings in order to create applications towards cognitive enhancement.”

Johnson says that the technology should be available for regular use within the next two decades. “I would expect in around 15-20 years we will have a sufficiently robust set of tools for the brain that we could pose any question we wanted,” he said.

He listed examples of the possible applications for the microchips: “For example, could I have a perfect memory? Could I delete my memories? Could I increase my rate of learning, could I have brain to brain communication?”

“Imagine a scenario where I say ‘I want to know what it’s like to be a cowboy in the American west in the 1800s?’ and someone creates that experience mentally,” he continued. “I’m able to take that and purchase that from that person and experience that.”

Johnson is the former founder of Braintree, a payment service provider that was acquired by PayPal in 2013 for $800 million. Johnson plunged $100 million of his own money into the Kernel project. Thus far, Kernel chips have tested on epilepsy patients to help prevent seizures.