D r Phil Kennedy is considered by many to be the Indiana Jones des neuroscience: a Limerick-born doctor who became a pioneer in bioengineering, making people excited - then nervous - otherwise worked outside the system.Then finally, in a sensational way, he experimented on himself by having an electrode implanted in his brain at a clinic in Belize specializing in medical tourism.
Kennedy did this to measure the ways in which brain waves can be harnessed for external computing capabilities, helping people with lockdown syndrome or ALS, for example, although what has been specifically performed by implant surgery on itself is not clear. This brief documentary is a partial introduction to the man and his work and it seeks to save Kennedy from his far-fetched reputation, downplaying the maverick side of his personality (there is no mention of his novel by self-published science fiction titled 2051) and it doesn't dwell on the fact that Kennedy is now seen as somewhat eccentric by mainstream neuroscientists - although thes disruptive, pioneers and original thinkers are very often people like him.
However, this film on him gives food for thought: authors such as Mark O 'Connell are asked about the prospects for techno-homo sapiens, a phase of transhuman evolution in which human beings become , indeed, married to computers. "Cell phones in our heads" is how someone imagines the future. So there are two implications: for sick people with ALS whose lives can be improved, and for perfectly healthy people whose lives can be improved… what? Even better? Superhuman? Or less than human? Dangerously dependent on the externalized memory and cognitive ability of computers, what could go wrong?p>
Well, Kennedy says those ideas are here to stay. He's right.