Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thought-Controlled Computers May Soon Be a Reality

Thought-Controlled Computers May Soon Be a Reality
From: Computerworld - 10/19/2011
By: Lucas Mearian

Wadsworth Center's Gerwin Schalk, speaking at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology's Emerging Technology Conference, demonstrated how close real-time
human-computer interface technology is to becoming a reality. Schalk noted
that neurotechnology - a $145 billion market that is growing 9 percent
annually - already has reached several important milestones in human-computer
symbiosis. He said researchers are currently working with the brain's alpha
waves to create systems that can be used to communicate directly with
computers. In one demonstration, Schalk showed video of a patient shooting
monsters in a computer game using nothing but thoughts. Schalk also showed
how a computer can tell the difference between someone thinking of different
sounds, and how a computer can detect the sound level of music a person is
listening to and track it over time. Schalk noted that two major hurdles to
real-time thought-controlled computers is the development of better sensors
to detect alpha waves and better ways to identify the brain's signals.
"Direct computer interaction with the brain has the potential to become a
general purpose technology ... at the same scale at information technology,
computing, and the telephone," he said.

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