NEW YORK–Last April 5, the MIT Enterprise Forum held a fireside chat with Malcolm Gay who talked about his debut book, “Brain Electric: The Dramatic High-Tech Race to Merge Minds and Machines,” at the Pryor Cashman LLP offices and its sprawling view of Times Square.
Gay is an award-winning journalist who holds an MJ from the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism. His writings and essays have appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, and Time.
He regaled us with stories of scientific leaders, their labs, startups and careers and their perseverance and vision in leading the world toward an era when lost limbs and paraplegias are only obstacles of past generations.
On the cusp of decoding brain signals that govern motor skills, neurologists are developing new technologies to enable paraplegics and wounded soldiers to move prosthetic limbs and manipulate computers and other objects through thought alone.
Part life-altering cure, part science fiction, these cutting-edge brain-computer interfaces reportedly promise to improve lives—but also hold the potential to supplant combat capabilities of, say, soldiers.
He talked about emerging technologies behind the scenes — in operating rooms, start-ups, and research labs where the future is unfolding. He asked us to rethink our relationship to technology, our bodies, even consciousness itself—challenging our assumptions about what it means to be human.
The notion of joining the human mind to a machine used to exist only in science fiction, but Gay’s own research made him believe that we have moved past concept stage.
Winslow Burleson, associate professor of NYU College of Nursing, conducted the fireside chat.
The MIT Enterprise Forum of New York City has for forty years supported entrepreneurs in their efforts to start and run technology-driven business ventures.