The topic of brain-computer interfaces and human intelligence augmentation has been in the news a lot lately. I think this is for a good reason. Elon Musk and other notable individuals have come to recognize that enhancing brain function is critical to humanity’s progress. To me, nothing is more important than unlocking the full potential of all people and maximizing the capabilities of our brains.
Having spent a long time working on brain implant technologies, I have learned that there are many ways to leverage technology to improve brain function. While Elon and others are focused primarily on invasive approaches, many of the most promising and nearest term opportunities do not require implants into the body. We are seeing, for example, that experiential technologies can have a profound impact on health, mind-body wellness, accelerated learning and training, and cognitive performance.
There is an entire ecosystem of exciting new companies forming a robust “human performance” industry that leverages the convergence of neuroscience and technology. We formed JAZZ Venture Partners to invest in entrepreneurs who are pioneering this new industry. We featured many of these technologies at our recent JAZZ Venture Partners XTech 2107 Conference.
Momentum is building behind the efforts that JAZZ Venture Partners is spearheading: Some of the most prominent and influential individuals and institutions in the world have joined JAZZ as Limited Partners. These entities, leaders in technology and finance, control many hundreds of billions of dollars of capital. Some of JAZZ’s partners have made enormous strides in closing the gap between neuroscience and technology commercialization.
For example, Sandy Weill, former Chairman and CEO of Citigroup, has leveraged his financial genius to the benefit of brain science. He and his wife Joan recently catalyzed the creation of the largest neuroscience institute of its kind in the world, the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, with a philanthropic contribution of $185 million. Sandy serves as a Limited Partner and Senior Advisor to JAZZ Venture Partners.
Adam Gazzaley, UCSF Weill Institute Professor and JAZZ Venture Partners Co-founder and Chief Scientist, has lectured extensively on the subject of technology and neuroscience converging to improve human performance. Adam’s lab Neuroscape at the UCSF Weill Institute is an amazing hotbed of human performance science and innovation. Adam gave a great keynote at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society 2017 annual meeting that lays out his vision for the future of human performance and experiential technology. See the video below. Enjoy!