By Oleksandr Kostikov
“A healthy body is a living room for the soul; a sick body is a prison.” F. Bacon
In this article, we will talk about how artificial intelligence will save us from stroke and protect us from Parkinson’s disease.
In the 21st century, stroke has become a very common disease that, together with a heart attack, kills more than 17 million people every year. Stroke spares no rank or merit nor makes a difference between rich and poor and like every real misfortune comes suddenly.
Of the fifteen US presidents since 1900, from Theodore Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan, thirteen (nearly 87%) have died of stroke or vascular disease.
This statistic is not a coincidence, but a mathematical confirmation of reality. The truth is that stroke especially often kills the rich and successful. If you have managed to make your career, become a respected member of society, or have earned a lot of money, congratulations, you have become a “member of the club.”
Neurocomputer interface – the core of a new artificial intelligence system
In the previous article “Individual artificial intelligence: A new technology that will change our world,” we found out that the new artificial intelligence will become a bioelectronic hybrid in which a living human brain and a computer will work together as two parts of a single complex. Systems of this type will work for a single user—they will become a new type of AI—individual artificial intelligence.
The core of the system is a neurocomputer interface in which signals from neurons to the machine will be transmitted using special signal molecules capable of changing their conformational state if there is a neuron in a state of excitation next to them. In the opposite direction (from the machine to biological tissues), the signal will not be transmitted to the body of the neuron (as all surgically implanted interfaces are now traditionally doing), but only to synapses (connection nodes between neurons). It is also important that for selective interaction with synapses, the signal carrier will have a non-electrical nature.
This will allow the system of individual artificial intelligence not only to interact with the brain but also to monitor in real-time how nerve cells live and work with discreteness up to a single neuron.
Artificial intelligence as a personal doctor
Of course, the new system of individual artificial intelligence is, first, a mechanism for connecting the human brain with a computer and with the internet. But the unique ability to “see” how the nerve cells of our brain work 24 hours a day will turn this type of AI into an excellent electronic doctor. A kind of medical bodyguard capable of not only passively observing, but also from time to time actively checking the performance of all systems of the human brain.
On guard day and night! How is this possible?
The most important element of the interface is a scanner that reads information from molecular beacons (binary marker objects). The main part of the scanner is a dense network of sensor elements based on specially modified and isolated multilayer carbon nanotubes. In the test version, the scanner can be installed on the surface of the epidermis (on the scalp), but in operating mode, it must be in the inner layer of the scalp (in the fibroblast layer).
To install a scanner for a new brain-computer interface, you will need to undergo a procedure like a scalp tattoo.
The very procedure for installing the scanner will resemble the procedure for applying a tattoo, without a subsequent long-term inflammatory reaction, since the cells of the immune system (macrophages) will not be able to “eat” particles of the scanner material.
As a result, the most important element of the individual artificial intelligence system will not interfere with its owner in everyday life and will be practically invisible to others. In fact, it will be perceived as a tattoo on the scalp.
The functional state of the unusual “tattoo” will need to be monitored.
After installation, the scanner should remain operational for 2-5 years. After that, individual elements of the scanner may need to be restored, which can be done by replacing carbon nanotubes in non-working sensor elements.
In general, a person equipped with a brain-computer interface will not experience any inconvenience or restrictions. With the new system, you can take a shower, steam in the steam room, walk in the cold, dive into the water, or play any sport. The level of subjective sensations will be comparable to what a person with a regular tattoo feels.
Ordinary life as we are all used to… with one exception
In the dead of night, when a person is sleeping, and a suddenly detached blood clot blocks the main vessel, and the brain cells begin to slowly fade away from hypoxia—an individual AI will notice deviations in the work of neurons and immediately begin to fight for life. AI will not be able to dissolve the clot, but it will have time to report the problem and accurately determine the affected area. As a result, individual artificial intelligence will do the main thing—it will win time. According to medical statistics, if doctors reach the victim of a stroke within 2-3 hours, the consequences can be eliminated.
Improving the quality of life or how individual artificial intelligence will become the development of DBS technology – deep brain stimulation.
DBS is the latest and quite effective method of treating epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, and other diseases associated with functional disorders in the central nervous system.
During a five-hour neurosurgical operation, special electrodes are implanted into the brain tissue. After that, a small subcutaneous generator acts with electrical impulses on certain parts of the brain.
Despite the rather high cost ($50,000), the technique is becoming more and more popular. Nearly 180,000 people around the world have benefited from this extraordinary medical technology.
An individual artificial intelligence equipped with a new neurocomputer interface will have all the functionality of a conventional DBS neurostimulator with one important advantage: instead of direct electrical impulses directed to brain neurons, targeted non-electrical stimulation of synapses will be used.
At present, after the installation of the DBS device, it takes several more weeks to visit the clinic for the final adjustment, which the doctor makes with the help of a special programmer. Individual artificial intelligence will be able to do all this on its own, and the doctor will monitor the process remotely.
As a result, the method of deep brain stimulation performed by individual artificial intelligence will turn into a simple, convenient, and most importantly, painless treatment procedure that can quickly and effectively improve the quality of life.
It’s only beginning
Neuroengineering is a new and young scientific direction. The creation of an individual artificial intelligence based on the direct exchange of information between the brain and an electronic device is a newborn concept at the intersection of biomedical engineering and informatics. It can be said that technology capable of changing and extending the life of each of us is being born before our eyes.
Let me know what you think about this new type of AI in the comments section. As the author of this concept, I am very interested in the opinion of every person who is keen on novelties in the field of new technologies. Perhaps it is your thoughts that will influence the formation of a new direction.
About the author
Dr. Oleksandr Kostikov is a medical doctor by education. He previously worked in a research group dealing with molecular systems in human neocortex synapses at the Department of Physiology of the State Medical University and the Department of Physics of the Ivan Franko University in Lviv, Ukraine. He is now in Canada, where he is working on a new theoretical concept about the nature of intelligence but also allows that aims to create a completely new unusual type of artificial intelligence.