Artificial Intelligence + Brain-Computer Interface = The Ultimate Human Hack

Alan Smithson
4 min readMay 7, 2019


By Alan Smithson, CEO MetaVRse

Hijacking our visual and auditory senses using virtual and augmented reality is only the start of a new revolution in computing where we will seamlessly blend computers into our everyday lives…and our brains.

Brain-Computer Interface as envisioned in Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams

Brain-Computer Interface, also known as Neural Lace is being studied in small research labs around the world and even Elon Musk has invested in such a company with the goal of integrating all the benefits of VR/AR and artificial intelligence into our brains so we can experience the ultimate human hack, becoming one with the network.

UPDATE: June 27, 2024 — Past, Present & Future of BCI — Roland Masis-Obando

(UPDATE: Jan 12, 2024 —

Imagine walking down the street and smelling fresh baked cookies subtly getting stronger the closer you get to the Starbucks. Or arriving home to your 5,000 sq. ft beachside house with the sounds of birds, the smell of sea breeze and the lapping of the ocean, except you, are in a 500 sq. ft apartment in the Bronx in the middle of winter. How about walking down the street and every person you see is wearing red pants because you downloaded the ‘Red Pants for Heart’ campaign that donates to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Imagine the ‘Red Pants’ AR app where everyone is wearing digitally red pants

What if all of this was happening without the need for fancy electronic glasses, scent machines or spatial audio headphones. What if this was just an edge computing wearable that is connected directly into your cerebral cortex?

Does this seem far fetched? Does this scare you? Do you have ethical concerns? You should.

But, regardless of your reservations, we WILL see this type of human-computer connection within the next 20 years and perhaps sooner; so how do we prepare humanity for a world where being connected takes on a whole new definition?

XR Pundit, Cathy Hackl from Magic Leap trying the Neurable device. (

As you can see there are more questions than answers, but let’s start to unpack each of these in this presentation of AI + BCI = The Ultimate Human Hack.

By not only collecting data from our brains to control computers, but we will also be connecting our computers to control our brains. So what kinds of fantastical superpowers will this give us?

We will most certainly enjoy trippy, mind-altering states instead of using pharmaceuticals. But will we end up living in a world like the one depicted in Keiichi Masuda’s Hyper-Reality?

Keiichi Masuda’s 2016 Hyper-Reality

The truth is, we don’t know where this will end up, but one thing is for certain. We WILL develop bi-directional brain-computer interfaces and we WILL start hacking humans to create experiences that are as real which begs the question:

Are we living in a simulation now?


About Alan Smithson

“Alan’s purpose in life is to inspire and educate future leaders to think and act in a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable way.”

Alan is the CEO of MetaVRse, a global leader in XR Technology (Virtual, Augmented & Mixed Reality for Marketing, Retail, e-Commerce, Education & Training). Alan is a TEDx speaker and LinkedIn XR thought leader with millions of views of his articles and videos each month.

He is an Independent Global Advisor on the Business of XR to a select group of the world’s largest companies, chief investment advisors, and ultra high net worth family offices.

To book Alan for speaking engagements, email your request to:

About MetaVRse

MetaVRse is a leading Virtual, Augmented & Mixed Reality (XR) product development company focused on the business applications of XR technology. CEO Alan Smithson is an XR Advisor to SXSW, TechStars & TKS mentor and a Judge for Auggie Awards. COO Julie Smithson is the President of the VR/AR Association Toronto Chapter.

For more information, visit



Alan Smithson

Alan’s purpose in life is to inspire and educate future leaders to think and act in a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable way.