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Modern Neurotechnologies and Their Influence on the Development of Human Capital

26 May 2018
Современные нейротехнологии и их влияние  на развитие человеческого капитала


Neurotechnology has a wide range of applications

“When we speak of neurotechnology and the real-life opportunities neuroscience offers to people, we can highlight a few areas where real practices already exist. These areas concern healthcare, and rehabilitation processes in particular, and also things principally tied to science.” – Kirill Kaem, Senior Vice-President for Innovations, Skolkovo Foundation

“The field of neuromarketing examines and interprets the brain’s responses. It examines where a person looks and so on. Using these indicators, it becomes clear what emotions a person experiences when watching an advertisement, for example. This then allows us to give advice and explain what could be done to improve the advertisement, and increase the conversion rate.” – Yury Kardonov, one of the leaders of the NeuroNet Society; member of the Society of Young Neurotechnologists

The state, funds, and private investors all support projects to develop neurotechnology

“Russian startups operating in our area receive support from scientific institutions such as Moscow State University. They receive financial support from the Skolkovo Foundation and Bortnik Foundation. Essentially, the state has established an entire range of organizations which are capable of providing an expert assessment of a project, and appraising its commercial potential.” – Kirill Kaem

“Currently, revenue from startups selling their products, scientific consulting services, and intellectual property is in excess of RUB 27 billion. This figure continues to grow. Several hundred new patents are generated every year. What’s more, around 16–17% of all international intellectual property patent applications go through Skolkovo – intellectual property generated by our startups.” – Kirill Kaem

“Neurotechnology is not something from the pages of science fiction – it is already not far away. <...> I call upon everybody to immerse themselves in this field, to develop their skills, knowledge, and abilities, and create new startup projects infused with no less ambition than those of Elon Musk.” – Denis Gusev, Director of the Innopraktika Centre for Neuro-Information Technologies


Insufficient knowledge to develop modern technologies

“We still have a poor understanding of cognitive mechanisms and the interrelations that exist between neurons. We understand how a signal from a neuron is transferred from one point to another, but alas, we are still a long way off from understanding the entire complex array of neurons that we have in our cerebral cortex. What is more, we are preoccupied with stable and unstable connections, and all these connections rapidly and constantly change.” – Kirill Kaem

“The problem – even for a genius such as Elon Musk – is that <...> the product is so vague, that it is a complex task to sum it up. And I am not even talking about the scientific challenges which projects are faced with.” – Kirill Kaem

Machines are a potential threat

“Elon Musk is absolutely convinced that the rise of the machines is looming. He claims that artificial intelligence is developing so fast, and in such leaps and bounds, that at some point, we as humanity will fail to notice the point of no return, and <...> will one day wake to a world inhabited by some higher being.” – Kirill Kaem

Insufficient international cooperation

“The total volume of investment raised by companies is approaching USD 300 million. The share of foreign investment fluctuates from year to year, but is around 15% on average. There was a lot of foreign money in 2013–15, but now foreign investors are more cautious, owing to the formal decision-making structures in place.” – Kirill Kaem


New ways of applying neurotechnology need to be found

“We need to significantly broaden the transmission range of our communication with machines. I am not referring to driving cars, but a wide transmission range, enabling the human intellect to be integrated with a machine.” – Kirill Kaem

Data protection needs to constantly develop

“Given that we are living digital lives more and more, we are gradually learning how to protect our personal data.” – Kirill Kaem

Artificial intelligence should be developed independently, without attempting to copy human intelligence

“At our current understanding of human cognitive processes, the concept of developing a form of artificial intelligence which could completely copy and imitate human thought is impossible. We all live in the physical world, and reach a stage of consciousness by a specific age. This gradual development enabled by the physical world is not accessible to a machine. Perhaps it isn’t required either. Perhaps the mechanisms and rules which govern artificial intelligence, and the applied tasks which they are required to solve, require a different method.” – Kirill Kaem

More detailed information is available on the website of the Roscongress Foundation information and analytical system