What challenges did you overcome throughout this inquiry project? How did you go about overcoming these challenges?
One challenge that I faced during this inquiry was selecting which information was most necessary to include. Because my question could be interpreted with several sub-topics I had to choose which information and which details to research to best answer the question. Because the Neuralink and the chip the brain was what motivated me to pick the question, I chose to look into that as well as the persistence of memory because memory storage was a direct aim of the chip. Because I had looked into the physiological factors of the combination of humans and technology I decided that I had to also look into the physical aspects – which led me to research prosthetics and bionics. Finally, I touched on ethical concerns as that is highlighted in any theoretical idea. Another challenge I faced was finding the necessary sources to answer by subtopics and questions. To overcome this challenge I learned to first find very reliable sources by typing universities or specific departments and then I would look for consistencies with more general sources. For example, one source simply stated that there were possible features of bionics that may revolutionize it but a more reliable, detailed source informed me of how the amputated limb continues to receive signals from the brain which could be redirected into a prosthetic limb.
How did this inquiry change the way you think?
I think my inquiry impacts my thinking because it allowed me to theorize of a possible future with several of the factors I discussed in my inquiry research. I talked about the combination of humans and technology and I learned that this reality is not too far off from the world we live in today. This made me realize just how much innovation and technology have expanded and I made sure to open my thinking to accept the possibility of more radical scientific theories such as teleportation or even the ability to download information into our brains – A direct aim of the chip in the brain topic that I was researching. When I was researching prosthetics I learned more about bionics and how the smallest details can lead scientists to make large conclusions. Such as how the signals from the brain received by the nerve endings of an amputated limb led scientists that they could be redirected and someday almost exactly mimic a real limb. I think the inquiry allowed me to look at more far-fetched ideas through the lens of process and development and made me understand that any innovation or project had to have started with an idea.
How did this investigation impact your future decisions?
I think the research into my inquiry impacted my decisions because it allowed me to see that there is more to some things than meets the eyes. The inquiry project showed me all the small functions and mechanics of things that are seemingly simple at first glance. For example, a large part of my inquiry project was aimed at researching the Neuralink – an idea for the chip in the brain. Even though it is the smallest chip, there are many things that I overlooked when I first started research, such as the barriers and limits of the brain, what materials must be used, how it can be inserted, how memory works, how that could possibly be encoded and much more. Another example would be when I was looking into the ethics of combining technology and humans and realized how any creation can almost have a butterfly effect of sorts. For example, if a human cyborg with increased strength were to be created, it may change the justice system of who can do what, which may change the function of the police and public defenders as well as just public security. I think this made me realize that every decision I make – even though it may not have as much of a monumental effect as a chip in the brain – can have a lasting impact. And so, it made my decisions more deliberate and careful
What impact will this investigation have on others locally and/or globally?
Even though many people know that we are continuously advancing with technology, they don’t exactly know the specifics. I think this new knowledge would help others locally understand the blueprint of what is being done in terms of advancements. Something like a chip in the brain could change everything from the justice system to politics or even education, which means that common people around the world would be affected. For example, if a chip in the brain were to succeed, the need for a formal education may not be necessary. If a student were learning about medicine and disease, he or she would simply be able to record information into the brain through the memory chip or upload information into it instead of having to actually learn something. Another example could be the effects of prosthetics and bionics, which may perfectly mimic the loss of an arm or leg and perhaps someday be considered an upgrade. This would affect the community of amputees both locally and globally the most or even patients struggling with cancer. Certain doctors are hesitant to amputate a limb without being sure of cancer spreading but having the assurance of a technological limb that perfectly replaces the amputated one could even prevent cancer from spreading.
Thanks for reading!