Slava Bobrov on Brain Computer Interfaces

In this episode I discuss Brain Computer Interfaces with Slava Bobrov, a self-taught Machine Learning Engineer applying AI to neural biosignals to control robotic limbs. This episode will be of special interest to you if you’re an engineer who wants to get started with brain computer interfaces, or just broadly interested in how this technology could enhance human intelligence. Fun fact: most of the questions I asked were sent by my Twitter followers, or come from a Discord I co-created on Brain Computer Interfaces. So if you want your questions to be on the next video or you’re genuinely interested in this topic, you can find links for both my Twitter and our BCI discord in the description.


-00:00 introduction

-00:49 defining brain computer interfaces (BCI)

-03:35 Slava’s work on prosthetic hands

-09:16 different kinds of BCI

-11:42 BCI companies: Muse, Open BCI

-16:26 what Kernel is doing (fNIRS)

-20:24 EEG vs. EMG—the stadium metaphor

-25:26 can we build “safe” BCIs?

-29:32 would you want a Facebook BCI?

-33:40 OpenAI Codex is a BCI

-38:04 reward prediction in the brain

-44:04 what Machine Learning project for BCI?

-48:27 Slava’s sleep tracking

-51:55 patterns in recorded sleep signal

-54:56 lucid dreaming

-56:51 the long-term future of BCI

-59:57 are they diminishing returns in BCI/AI investments?

-01:03:45 heterogeneity in intelligence after BCI/AI progress

-01:06:30 is our communication improving? is BCI progress fast enough?

-01:12:30 neuroplasticity, Neuralink

-01:16:08 siamese twins with BCI, the joystick without screen experiment

-01:20:50 Slava’s vision for a “brain swarm”

-01:23:23 language becoming obsolete, Twitter swarm

-01:26:16 brain uploads vs. copies

-01:29:32 would a copy be actually you?

-01:31:30 would copies be a success for humanity?

-01:34:38 shouldn’t we change humanity’s reward function?

-01:37:54 conclusion