There are videos all over the internet of young children and adults seeing and hearing for the first time as a young child is given a hearing aid or an elderly person is given a cornea transplant and they can suddenly see and hear for the first time. And the joy on their own faces and on the faces of all of their friends and family around them is, well, it’s more than infectious. I have to be honest. It brings a tear to my eye. This is Throw Forward Thursday.
My name is Graeme Codrington, and come with me to the near future, where artificial eyes and ears are absolutely normal. It is a remarkable thing that we are able to understand the intricacies of sight and hearing in such a way that we can actually create artificial ears and eyes. And we already well underway, as I record this in 2022, with transplants and implants that are able to do this, of course, we understand that the brain’s experience of sight and sound and by the way, taste here’s all actually electrochemical impulses. And so one of the things that we do is simply try and replace the physical mechanisms that are broken in an eye or an ear. So cornea or cochlear implants, which replace the physical mechanisms of those organs.
That’s the first step, and we’re pretty much getting that done. The second step, of course, is to bypass the organs themselves and send the electrochemical signals directly to the brain. We’ve got to learn a lot more about the brain to know what signals the brain nearly needs in order to be able to actually see what that little hole in your eyeball actually allows it to see or hear what the mechanisms of your ear allow you to hear. But we’re getting there. And in the very near future, we will be able to send those electrochemical signals to your brain without the use of the actual eye or ear itself.
And that will then open up all sorts of possibilities. And of course, at that point, we can then move into human and machine hybrids, creating not just a replacement for faulty eyes and ears, but maybe enhancing and creating machine assisted Bionic eyes and ears, ears that can hear things that humans can’t hear right now. They can see things in ways we can’t see. So maybe infrared, for example, or a wider scope of vision, artificial ears and eyes. The science is moving quickly.
We know we can replace broken bits of the human body right now, but we can go a step further in the future to create Bionic humans, whether we want to do that or not. Well, that’s a question for you and your friends to discuss. Thank you for joining me. In the future, as always, we jump into the future, see what’s going on there, and wonder how it might impact and change our world today. Medical Marvel certainly have a remarkable future in the next few years.And if you’re in that field, wow there are amazing opportunities and futures opening up for us.
As always, thank you for joining me in the Throw Forward Thursday studio.
Don’t forget that you can interact with me, ask a question about the future give a suggestion for a future episode by going to askaboutthefuture.com or I would ask about thefuture.com or you can contact me and follow me on the socials sign up for my future of work podcast whatever ways you need to stay connected with the future.
I’ll see you next week in the Throwforward Thursday studio.
For the past two decades, Graeme has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands, travelling to over 80 countries in total, and speaking to around 100,000 people every year. He is the author of 5 best-selling books, and on faculty at 5 top global business schools.