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Biotech Science

Brain Controlled Computing a Reality 299

Posted by samzenpus
from the really-hands-free dept.
pchernyakov writes "Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems told attendees at the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation annual conference that a 25-year-old quadriplegic with wires run from 100 tiny sensors implanted in his brain and out to a computer can use his thoughts to control a computer well enough to operate a TV, open e-mail and play Pong with 70% accuracy."
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Brain Controlled Computing a Reality

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  • The Headaches (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tholomyes (610627) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @05:42PM (#10517873) Homepage
    Will this make the headaches better or worse?
  • by networkBoy (774728) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @05:47PM (#10517938) Homepage Journal
    Do I have to be disabled to get this?

    I've long held that if someone were to come to me with the offer to wire up a fibre interface to my brain I would be one of the first in line to get wetware / hybrid / augmented computing / whatever installed in my head.

    -nB
  • by koa (95614) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @05:50PM (#10517971)
    It is interesting, however because even though your reference was most likely meant to be humerous. I would submit that something like this would be somewhat akin to the birth of flight or even similar in many ways to SpaceShipOne in the pioneering first steps toward commercial spaceflight.

    Quite possibly even an eventual route to the elusive "fountain of youth" once machines can be manufactured to mimic human bodies. Because if you think of it- a human body is nothing more than a fantasticaly complex machine.

  • Re:Hmm... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Nos. (179609) <andrew@t[ ]errs.ca ['hek' in gap]> on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @05:53PM (#10517998) Homepage
    See I'm thinking, once we can get to the point where you can output text, I want to hook this up to some weird people while they're sleeping and leave a text editor open. We'll start the next bash.org - dreamquotes.org
  • by Brigadier (12956) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @05:58PM (#10518066)


    this is what makes the brain so powerful. it builds itself as needs be. The neurons that form pathways to move yrou hands, can just as easily learn to manage other body parts. I remember my sister who is a research scientist showing pictures of nuerons before and after trials. where they would paralyze a rat in a certain area then the rat woudl learn to walk with it's limited capacity. then looking on the nueeron pathways that formed in responce to learning the new task was incredible.
  • Re:Sweet! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pla (258480) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @06:17PM (#10518228) Journal
    It's got to be way easier to extend the life span of just one organ when you don't have to worry about keeping the rest of your body alive, right?

    Well, for any other organ, yes.

    For the brain?

    Sadly, although humans usually die of some other critical organ (ie, heart) failing, our brains still steadily deteriorate as we age.

    By about age 150, we'd all have the mental capacity of broccoli. Now, you might think, "sure, 150 beats beats 80", but consider the bigger problem - Immortal 150+ year old broccoli-controlled mech suits running around your local farmers' market. Do we really want that, for a gain of a few extra years?

    I think not.
  • Ethics Question (Score:2, Interesting)

    by joNDoty (774185) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @07:00PM (#10518635)
    The article briefly touches on morality as a possible deterrent for this technology. Does anyone here have a problem with the ethics of interfacing directly with a human brain?
    Personally, I don't see the ethical dilemma. Even if things progressed to the point of "improving" on the human body, does anyone see this as an ethical no-no? I'd like to hear your reasons.
  • by cimmerian (59932) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @07:09PM (#10518710) Homepage
    In 1983 all you needed to do is slap down $100 and buy a MindLink from Atari and start playing Pong!

    http://www.atarihq.com/museum/2678/mindlink.html [atarihq.com]
    Look ma, no hands! With Atari's new Mindlink controller, your hands are free to eat, knit, file your nails or whatever, while you play computer games. The infrared sensors wrap around your forehead with Velcro straps and plug into the MindLink transmitter, which plugs into the Atari Computer, VCS or 7800 game system. It doesn't really read your mind, but it does detect muscle impulses when you move your eyebrows. The $100 device was to play games like Breakout, and Atari claimed that software would be available on ESP, thought games, memory and biofeedback.
  • Steven Hawkins (Score:2, Interesting)

    by OneArmedMan (606657) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @07:33PM (#10518878)
    I know its not going to happen any time soon, but would something like this be, useful in helping people with the same physical problems as Steven Hawking, as well ??

    Would be good to see the Mighty MC Hawking busting some moves from a Robotic Exo-Skeleton =)
  • Re:Computer Potatoes (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GOD_ALMIGHTY (17678) <curt@johnson.gmail@com> on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @07:59PM (#10519074) Homepage
    That's the *real* story on how we wound up in the Matrix. No one believed that, so they made up the whole war story. Yep, we all took the blue pill.

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