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First human head transplant surgery could be just 8 years away

A viral video shows the concept of an AI-assisted head transplant system. Vancouver-based BrainBridge aims to develop a technique within 8 years for incurable patients.

By Rashaad Ather
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AI-assisted Head Transplant By US Startup, BrainBridge

AI-assisted Head Transplant By US Startup, BrainBridge

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EVER heard about head transplants?

A viral video on social media simulates how an actual head transplant would look in reality.

No, it’s not a clip from some Hollywood movie.

There’s an actual AI startup claiming to have been developing the technique.

Vancouver, USA-based startup BrainBridge says it aims to help patients suffering from untreatable conditions such as stage-4 cancer, paralysis, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

The video shows two autonomous surgical robots performing simultaneous surgeries on two robotic bodies. They take out the head from one and transplant it into another robotic body. 

According to BrainBridge, a neuroscience and biomedical engineering startup, the procedure involves using AI robots to transplant a patient's head onto a healthy, brain-dead donor body, to preserve consciousness, memories and cognitive abilities.

It has announced its ambitious goal to perform its first head transplant surgery within 8 years.

Co-founded by Ali Dibai, BrainBridge has so far been operating in stealth mode but now wants the world to understand more about the work it does. It aims to offer new hope to patients suffering from untreatable conditions such as stage-4 cancer, paralysis, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

BrainBridge’s website:

The startup’s website says it’s developing the world’s first head transplant system which is safer, faster, and reliable. It’s a groundbreaking device that will represent a landmark achievement in the fields of neuroscience, human engineering, and artificial intelligence.’

Social Media Reaction:

The video has blown up social media.

One user wrote: “I actually hopes this happens in my life. Imagine if this can be become reality. So many lives would be saved. Yay!! From medicine and science.  Fun fact: there was a time in human history that doing autopsies was absolutely illegal. Look at today now.”

Another user wrote: “Called it when I was 10 but thought I’d be 50 before seeing it. With this concept I’d reckon we are 10 years out. Wouldn’t be surprised if new cloning precedents are set very soon.”

"This probably would be only available for the rich," a third user said.

If the startup's project is successful, co-founder Ali Dibai will be among the leaders in the development of brain-computer interface technology, alongside Elon Musk. Other companies in this space include Neurable, Emotiv, Kernel, and NextMind. The most well-known company is Elon Musk's Neuralink, which recently implanted a computer chip in the brain of a patient.