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The Human Brain: The Ultimate Interface to Computers

Contents:
Introduction Working and Mechanism of Operation Test and Accuracy The Vision and the Future

Projected Developments
Limitations and Obstacles of the Project

Concerns and Reservations

Introduction:
Interface:
Point of communication between the human user and the computer.

Brain-Computer Interface:
A direct communication pathway between a brain and an external device.

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging:


Special Kind of MRI scan. Measures the hemodynamic response. Allows mapping of brain activity in very specific parts of the human brain.

The Human Brain: The Ultimate Interface to Computers


Joint effort University. of Intel Corporation and MIT

Gauging of person's cognitive state from their pattern of neural activity. Unlike other BCI technology, Uses fMRI scanning.
Thought based interfaces: Technology of the Future.

The Project:
Preliminary Test: A person's brain is scanned to record its activity while showing the person certain words, specifically concrete nouns. Conclusion: Similar words produce similar pattern of brain activity.

The Project (contd) ...


Intermediate Step: A couple of words are given. Subject is required to think about any one. The Test: The system is required to determine which word the person was thinking, based on conclusion of previous brain scan.

Result: A mean score of 9 out of 10 for an almost perfect grade, for the system.

Working / Mechanism of Operation:


The subjects brain is first scanned while thinking simple nouns Pattern Building In preliminary Scans, the software monitors the brain for activated zones using fMRI technique, to create patterns of neural activity for every word.

Working / Mechanism of Operation (contd)


Intermediate Step Pattern Mapping New words are generated for the subject. The system records the neural activity for each word, generating mapping patterns to be used later.

Working / Mechanism of Operation (contd)


Testing Pattern Comparison Using a set of complex permutation algorithms, activated zones of the brain are cross checked, referenced against the previous known patterns of different nouns. Word Selection From list of old words, it chooses one word having similar activated zones to the new word, i.e. when it sees similar fMRI scans, it recognizes it as a word existing in database. Various tests have generated an aggregate 96% accuracy rate.

The Vision and the Future:


Smarter Prosthetics.

Efficient thought.

Embedded

systems,

controlled

by

Smarter communication channels.


Cars that can be driven without steering wheel. Tapping full potential of mind.

The Vision and the Future (contd)


Endless applications, accessible with more development. Most benefit to the Medical Sector Unprecedented boost to Neuroprosthetics. Communication applications are immense. Smarter gadgets, for better safety and quality of life.

The Vision and the Future (contd)


Military Applications: Smart Combat Planes, Smart Submarines, Smart Tanks, commanded by thought , on site or off site. Reduced hardware costs No need of bulky interfaces in machines. Reduced loss of life.

The Vision and the Future (contd)


Merging of Real and Virtual Worlds:
Introductory Aims:
Signal splicing into human sensory nerve pathways, most importantly the visual nerve. Tapping the process of memory and perception Reconstruction of Mental Images and Recordings of dreams.

The Vision and the Future (contd)


Mid-term Aims: Ability to read thoughts Copying information directly into the brain Access to Subconscious Mind The ability to produce hard copies of ideas and thoughts. Indexed memory searches becomes possible.

The Vision and the Future (contd)


Final Stage:
Direct control over the activities of all individual neurons by means of Nanorobots. Arbitrary read-write access to the whole brain.

Issues of Rights to Access for the brain.


Partial or full uploading/downloading of information.

Construction of Optimized Artificial Intelligence and BioMechanical life

Limitations, Problems and Obstacles:


fMRI Technology is expensive. Machines analyzing fMRI scanning is bulky. Cannot analyze abstract thoughts, yet. Lack of a sensor modality - For safe, accurate, and robust access to brain signals.

Concerns and Reservations:


Legal Effects: Law has not caught up to this technology. Researchers need to consider the boundaries of these applications. Essentially, brain waves could be encoded/decoded & categorized into a language that is decipherable. The issue of Invasion of Privacy.