An Ohio man paralyzed in an accident while diving in waves can now pick up a bottle or play the video game Guitar Hero thanks to a small computer chip in his brain.
Ian Burkhart's hands and legs were permanently paralyzed in a diving accident when he was 19 years old. But now with the help of a new, breakthrough computer chip - implanted in his brain - the, now, 24-year-old is playing guitar hero.
"When we first hooked everything up, you know for the first time being able to move my hand, it was a big shock because you know it was something that I have not moved in three and half years at that point, now it's more of something where I expect it to move."
The small pea-sized computer chip relays signals from Burkhart's brain through 130 electrodes to his forearm, allowing his mind guide his hands and fingers, bypassing his damaged spinal cord.
On Wednesday, scientists and neurosurgeons describing this quadriplegic's accomplishments as a milestone in the evolution of brain-computer interface technology.
"This really provides hope, we believe, for many patients in the future as this technology evolves and matures."
Burkhart says the progress is moving along faster than he imagined.
"The biggest dream would be to get full function of my hand back, both my hands, because that would allow you to be much more independent, not to have to rely on people for simple day to day tasks that you take for granted."
Scientists are working to improve the technology, which for now can only be used in the laboratory, and move toward a wireless system bringing Burkhart another step closer to his dream.
Is the 'Brain Chip' Another Step on the Path to Transhumanism?
Transhumanism is a philosophical and cultural position that encourages human advancement through technology. More specifically, transhumanism encourages the use of artificial enhancements to push mankind towards something “more than” human. Fundamentally, it is a form of Utopianism, the belief that human beings can change themselves and create a heaven on earth. The basic idea of improving the human condition is perfectly compatible with the Bible. In fact, it’s one of the purposes of a Christian lifestyle (John 10:10). But transhumanism contradicts the Bible when it assumes that humanity is completely sovereign and capable of self-directed change without the need for God (Jeremiah 17:9).
Like any other cultural movement, there are subsets and sub-genres of thought under the transhumanist tent. There are some admirable motivations behind transhumanism. For some, the intent is to reduce suffering or improve quality of life (Luke 12:33). Taken to an extreme, though, it can become a pursuit of immortality, an escape from moral boundaries, or a form of religion in and of itself. The ultimate redemption of mankind is something that will be accomplished by God alone (Revelation 21:1), not by technology.
Credit to Trunews