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Biotech Technology

That's Using Your Head 303

Posted by michael
from the grey-matter dept.
broKenfoLd writes "In an earlier post, we looked at the future of Matrix-esque control over computers. In that article, monkeys got to play the games. Today at UW in Madison, WI, it's the humans who are playing video games just by thinking about it. While this is cool for us power gamers, it has many more impressive applications, including limb replacement."
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That's Using Your Head

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  • by fembots (753724) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @10:25PM (#11004772) Homepage
    At first I thought it was a dupe from this [slashdot.org], but the article did mention - "Last month, researchers at Brown University reported on the technology's success in a 25-year-old quadriplegic from Massachusetts who was able to read e-mail, play video games, turn on lights, and change channels or adjust the volume on a TV."

    The final comment was "This is a significant development", but in what way?
    • The final comment was "This is a significant development", but in what way?

      Ender will soon be here!

    • How isn't that a significant development? A quadraplegic goes from being completely dependent on others to being able to accomplish things on his own and in addition some things he could only dream of (video games). That's pretty life changing I think.
      • by raehl (609729) <raehl311@@@yahoo...com> on Sunday December 05, 2004 @11:45PM (#11005215) Homepage
        I think he meant, how is the UW development (ooo, they can move the bar in pong!) significant comopared to the Brown development (He can read email!)

        I think the key difference is that the Brown electrodes were places IN the brain, while the UW electrodes were placed ON the brain, so it was less invasive.
        • It should not matter (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Nomihn0 (739701)
          As the electrodes are not targeting any particular region, as is evidenced by the subject's description of "scrinching up" and "thinking about screaming" as methods of controlling the paddle, there is no reason why they should be buried in the brain rather than adhered to the surface. Don't hold me to this as I am not qualified to make these assumptions, but I do not believe that this is particularly significant or new achievement (except that it is an extension of the previous one without fault). Until t
          • They are testing different regions with different results. From the Wisconsin State Journal article:
            • The electrical signals in the brain are very weak - about one millionth the strength of the electrical current running through a home. And the skull is a good insulator, Williams said, meaning the signals are degraded if the electrodes are placed on the scalp.

              So the researchers decided they needed to place the sensors directly on the brain.

              "It was previously thought motor areas (of the brain) would b
            • The BrainGate device is the one mentioned in the conference in a past article [gizmo.com.au].

              "The development of the BrainGate program is the culmination of 10 years of research in my academic laboratory at Brown University. . ."

              About the BrainGate device

              The BrainGate Neural Interface Device is a proprietary brain-computer interface that consists of an internal neural signal sensor and external processors that convert neural signals into an output signal under the users own control. The sensor consists of a tiny

              • Here, it clearly states that the electrodes are on the surface of the brain. Therefore, the use of surface electrodes in this new article (about the WU, experiment this time) is not new. So, where's the development?

                I agree that the article is misleading and the two sound the same but they are actually somewhat different: Wolpaw and colleagues are using flat electrodes placed on the surface of the brain. The technique is called electrocorticographic recordings (or eCog.) Donoghue and colleagues are using

  • by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @10:28PM (#11004795) Homepage
    I really don't mean to be a hypocrite guys, I mean, "being hooked up to the machine" can be bad, and with todays world [tinfoilhat] they'd be marketing to your brain when you played online games[/tinfoilhat].

    But the gamer side of me is telling me "where the hell do I sign up, I'm grabbing my car keys as I type this."

    • by superpulpsicle (533373) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @10:35PM (#11004841)
      Come on, you can grab some chick's bare breast with your mechanic arm and blame your firmware. Can you imagine punching the police officer who pulled you over for speeding, and say it has a mind of it's own. Sky's the limit!!!

    • by Spy Hunter (317220) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @10:47PM (#11004917) Journal
      This technology is not what people often think it is. There is no way it could be used for mind-reading or thought control in the forseeable future. We would have to understand the brain a LOT better than we do to even begin to think about these things, plus we would need interface technology a million times better than a few electrodes.

      Basically how this works is the brain adapts to the implanted electrodes, learning how to activate neurons in the right way such that a computer can detect the changes in electrical potential at the electrodes. The computer can't interpret the signals at all; it just reads potentials from the electrodes. What makes this interesting is that the brain is quite adaptable, and if the signals are used to control the inputs to a device the brain can learn to use the device much like an extra limb.

      It remains to be seen just how fine and complex the control can be and how much adaptation the brain can do; but I think the medical community has been way too conservative about this so far, and I am optimistic that once we learn the right places to put the electrodes and the right way to process the brain's signals, controlling mice/keyboards/game controllers/robot limbs will be a matter of a few implants and a year or two of training. The benefit to quadriplegics will be immesurable. For the rest of us, this technology is probably not very useful. Getting the implants and doing the training will be quite an ordeal, not something you'd do to get an edge in Counter-Strike (if it even would give you an edge at all).

      • I think you're absolutely correct about everything except for not being beneficial for normal folks.

        Obviously using this for counter strike isn't going to be a great use of the technology. But what if the technology allowed you to type at 300 wpm ? That would be a productivity reason to use the technology, and if a business had an employee who could do that they'd be more profitable.

        You could also imagine military applications. They could have a display that is mentally controlled - or it could even be
        • I think the social stigma surrounding cyborgs and brain implants, plus the cost and risk of the brain implant surgery, plus the cost of the training, plus the fact that you will have a permanent metal plug in your head (probably with a constant risk of infection), plus the years of training it will probably take to actually perform better than using your hands (if that is even possible, there's no guarantee), will make people reluctant to just go out and do this.

          If it didn't require brain surgery and only

        • Dead On (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Shihar (153932)
          I think you are dead on about the productivity boost this could have. The simple invention of e-mail caused an industrial boom. Imagine combining a non-invasive cap and a little wireless networking action. Even if they could only get output from your head, the productivity boost would be massive if you could get fine enough control to write. Simply blanket a company with a wireless network, give everyone a thinking cap, and sit back and watch productivity soar.

          Walk up to a screen which needs some field
    • ...and with todays world [tinfoilhat] they'd be marketing to your brain when you played online games[/tinfoilhat].

      I've got even worse news for you -- your tinfoil hat won't keep you safe once Major League Baseball can directly access your brain!

    • Unless your eyes and ears operate independently from the rest of your head, they already market to your brain.
  • Serious Gaming (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pseinstein (833696) <pseinstein AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday December 05, 2004 @10:28PM (#11004798) Homepage Journal
    When this is refined it can change the way games are played in general. No longer will games be about who has the best hand-eye coordination. Rather they will be about who can think the smartest and fastest. We may end up calling any form of gaming that requires movement or manipulation of physical controls old-school.
    • by Stripsurge (162174) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @10:40PM (#11004868) Homepage
      Brain surgery to play video games better?

      "Please Mom!"
      "No Billy. That system is designed for paralyzed people not so you can play video games better" /Billy hurls himself down stairs
      Checkmate
    • by EEBaum (520514) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @10:42PM (#11004876) Homepage
      Then someday they will develop such a game that is wearable and highly addictive. Soon it will incapacitate the entire crew of the Enterprise, making it free for the taking by the clever game-developer aliens!
    • by vena (318873) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @10:50PM (#11004937)
      "You mean you have to use your hands? That's like a baby's toy!"
    • No longer will games be about who has the best hand-eye coordination. Rather they will be about who can think the smartest and fastest.
      Hand-eye coordination is about think fast.
      • Hand-eye coordination is about think fast.

        First, you missed a syllable. I could probably make some joke about your thinking ability, but I won't.

        Second, hand-eye reaction time (reacting right when the guy runs in front of you), hand-eye coordination(actually aiming in the right place to hit the guy), and fast thinking (hey! i should shoot that guy now) are three interconnected, but different skills.
        • First, you missed a syllable. I could probably make some joke about your thinking ability, but I won't.

          Good thing, or I might be forced to make fun of your punctuation.

          Second, hand-eye reaction time (reacting right when the guy runs in front of you), hand-eye coordination(actually aiming in the right place to hit the guy), and fast thinking (hey! i should shoot that guy now) are three interconnected, but different skills.

          Not in the context of this story. The poster I replied to seemed believe tha

    • Re:Serious Gaming (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ayaress (662020)
      It'd be pretty interesting. As most gamer's are probably familiar, when you're doing really good at a game, you sorta enter a "zone," where the game just sorta plays itself (no Star Trek reference intended). Things just start happening a bit faster than you can consciously handle, but you still pull it off. When you've either won or lost, it can be hard to remember exactly what happened along the way. This kind of game control would really push that to its limit.
      • Re:Serious Gaming (Score:2, Interesting)

        by whovian (107062)
        when you're doing really good at a game, you sorta enter a "zone," where the game just sorta plays itself (no Star Trek reference intended). Things just start happening a bit faster than you can consciously handle, but you still pull it off. When you've either won or lost, it can be hard to remember exactly what happened along the way. /rings buzzer

        What is "instinct", Alex?

        I'm not a hardcore gamer, but I have been there and it's fun, yet kind of scary when you actually cognate about it afterwards.
    • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Sunday December 05, 2004 @11:13PM (#11005059) Homepage Journal
      The Matrix is cool but here's a the rub. Neo, Trinity, Morpheus and all the rest were born in the matrix. They learnt to control their virtual bodies as they grew up. Even if the machines got it into their silicon minds to hook up one of the children of Zion it would take years for him to learn how to control his virtual body, if he ever did. We are children of Zion, and should we ever get enough electrodes implanted into our brains it will also take us years to learn how to control our virtual bodies.
      • by G-funk (22712) <josh@gfunk007.com> on Sunday December 05, 2004 @11:32PM (#11005153) Homepage Journal
        I don't wanna.... You know, wreck it or anything, but the matrix is make believe. It has no basis in science or reality, just 16yo pothead pseudophilosophy.
        • I know you're a genius, and that us little people should kneel before you, but the concept of jacking into a computer is a lot older than the Matrix and something us geeks have talked about for a very long time. The fact that I use the Matrix to talk about jacking in doesn't make my arguments any less worthy of consideration - just like the fact that Martin Fowler uses Smalltalk to explain XP techniques sometimes doesn't make it any less applicable to Java, C++ or any other object-oriented language (even t
          • I know you're a genius, and that us little people should kneel before you, but the concept of jacking into a computer is a lot older than the Matrix and something us geeks have talked about for a very long time. The fact that I use the Matrix to talk about jacking in doesn't make my arguments any less worthy of consideration - just like the fact that Martin Fowler uses Smalltalk to explain XP techniques sometimes doesn't make it any less applicable to Java, C++ or any other object-oriented language (even

            • Grandparent is correct in pointing out that a particular method of controlling your body requires practice. Any physical activity you've learned bears this out, as do mental activites; it's simply learning.

              In fact, though you assert that the analogy has "nothing to do with what might or might not be possible", I'd argue that it does. If you read the article, they mention that as the two subjects practiced, they got better at controlling what was happening on-screen with their minds.

              That is actually a pr
      • I grew up (mostly) before there were personal computers available.

        I didn't learn how to program in C until I was over 30 years old... yet, I can program a hell of a lot better than most of the kids who "grew up with computers".

        The people who enjoy learning new things and who like a mental challenge will always have an advantage over most people (who don't like to learn anything that's either difficult or different from what they're used to).

        If, or rather when, they invent computer-brain interfaces, I hav
  • No! (Score:5, Funny)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @10:29PM (#11004803) Journal
    This can't be allowed to reach the mainstream. I like using a mouse and keyboard for my FPS games. You see, when I get tagged 27 times by the same guy, have negative experience and my only kills are to my teammates, I like to have something to blame. I have gotten quite good at it.

    For example: Spilled Dew on my keyboard. Darn kid dropped my mouse and there is the rollers don't quite work right. Or my favorite: holographic mouse pad wreaks havoc on my optical mouse.

    Don't get me wrong... I can come up with lots of excuses. But yelling about lag only works for so long. Bad monitor? Maybe... but not as good as a story about Mountain Dew.

    Heed my warning. Just say 'no' to gadgets implanted into your brain.
    • Re:No! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Eric Giguere (42863)

      I like to have something to blame

      Don't underestimate human creativity. There will always be something you can blame:

      • ... the beer you just drank
      • ... you're getting old
      • ... you haven't had enough sex
      • ... you've had too much sex
      • ... the wireless connection is too slow
      • ... etc., etc.

      When machines can come up with the same creative excuses, that's when we should worry.

      Eric
    • by Saeger (456549)
      Why do you feel the need to blameshift? Accept some personal responsibility and just admit that you suck. It's only a game.

      The kids have even invented some slang for this purpose: When you screw up, you say, "my bad", instead of trying to blame it your non-Nike shoes or whatever. :) If you can say "my bad", you get my R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

  • by pseinstein (833696) <pseinstein AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday December 05, 2004 @10:31PM (#11004816) Homepage Journal
    I hate double posting but it just occured to me that I need to make an obligatory reference to the ramifacations of these developments in terms of malicious applications. Think about a computer with a virus and then attaching that directly to your brain. Scary.
  • by EEBaum (520514) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @10:34PM (#11004830) Homepage
    ... my head asplode.
  • by BortQ (468164) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @10:37PM (#11004851) Homepage Journal
    Screw limb replacement. I want limb addition!
  • Telepathy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lux55 (532736) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @10:38PM (#11004853) Homepage Journal
    If they were able to figure out a sufficient amount of what a person's brain activity meant (which is exactly what they seem to be trying to do), and if they could hook that up to some sort of wireless transmitter (should be a piece of cake), it could be used for basic telepathic capabilities. Imagine hooking it up to an FM transmitter, even with just a 6' range - you could come through the radio of the car next to you. Dirty.

    Seriously though, an implant that could do this would make telepathy somewhat of a reality. How cool is that?
    • Which rock have you been hiding under.
      Thats EXACTLY what RFID is really for ;)
    • Re:Telepathy (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Thing 1 (178996)

      Seriously though, an implant that could do this would make telepathy somewhat of a reality. How cool is that?

      Very. Let me entertain you for a moment (and this is somewhat OT but not too far juice).

      Telepathy is possible. I read two (unrelated) articles about 4 years ago that proved it to me. The first said the human brain works not only on mechanical, chemical, biological, and electrical principles, but also on quantum principles, so if we're going to fully understand the human brain, we need to u

      • I'm skeptical... First of all, as far as I know, the quantum entanglement of particles only allows you to measure the state of one, and instantly know the state of the other - this is rather different than changing the state of one, and observing a change of state in the other. Also, even though you can instantly know the state of a particle at an arbitrary distance, it isn't clear that "information" is in any sense travelling faster than the speed of light. After all, the only way you can know that you hav
      • Whoever modded this as "interesting" and not "fiction" needs to be shot.

        The reason you hear about mothers sensing their children are in danger and saving them and think that somehow there's a correlation has nothing to do with science, it has to do with failure to account for base rates.

        Draw a small 2x2 table. Label the columns as follows: "Saves Life" and "Doesn't Save Life / Nothing Wrong". Label the rows: "Mother senses child's life is in danger" "Mother Doesn't Sense Child's life is in danger".

        Fill i
      • But i've read theories that we used to have a form of telepathy that predated language. The theory was basically that parts of our frontal lobe seem pretty useless now and never show much activity, these are an evolutionary leftover (tailbone apendix etc). It was a thing like hive insects have, basic concepts, someone spots a predator, the whole tribe is warned by a feeling, possibly the same for finding food etc. This fell by the wayside as we developed language and it was more effective to shout "tiger" w
      • The first said the human brain works not only on mechanical, chemical, biological, and electrical principles, but also on quantum principles....

        Wow, so something that exists in the physical universe is effected by laws of nature which effect everything else in that universe? Groovy, man.

        Seriously, "quantum principles" aren't magic, they're how the basic building blocks of matter work. At least that's my layman's understanding of them, at any rate.
      • Unlikely (Score:3, Informative)

        by Mornelithe (83633)
        While quantum entanglement does exist, and entangled particles can be separated from one another by an arbitrary distance, it is unlikely to cause the effects you describe.

        First, maintaining entangled particles is rather difficult in practice. Entanglement happens when the properties of two particles are interrelated, although the specific values are not. For example, the decay of a radioactive atom might release two photons with correlated polarizations, though you don't know which way each photon is pola
    • by bitingduck (810730)
      Seriously though, an implant that could do this would make telepathy somewhat of a reality. How cool is that?

      Yeah, until your neighbor's cordless phone starts sending strange thoughts into your head.
  • Hero (Score:4, Funny)

    by kai.chan (795863) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @10:38PM (#11004858)
    Jet Li and I fought a battle in our minds. I won.
  • by f4llenang3l (834942) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @10:38PM (#11004859)
    This issue brings harshly to light the ethical problems inherent in all scientific advancement. Clearly this technology can be put to excellent use to restore mobility to paraplegics, or to allow those of us who were nicknamed "Twitches" in high school to improve our success in Counterstrike: Source.

    That said, this technology could also be used for less noble goals; while it says nothing about direct brain control via the implant, and indeed I feel that that would be difficult at best, perhaps even impossible, there are other questionable deeds that could be accomplished with such a device.

    Certainly it will make warfare much quicker, and mass-destruction much easier; it has the capacity to lend a remote-control, push-button effect to war that was previously limited to such weaponry as ICBM's. Imagine soldiers in tanks who no longer see enemy soldiers, but just blips on a screen that they manipulate and shoot without any physical interaction! or "suicide bombers" who directly drive bomb-laden delivery trucks into buildings with their brains from over a DSL connection.

    It shall be interesting to see where this technology goes.
    • by v1x (528604) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @11:05PM (#11005012) Homepage
      While I more or less agree with most of what you've said, the fact remains that a lot of federal grant money is allocated for things like enhanced warfare.

      Even if just *one* of the positive outcomes of such a technology means would lets say, let paraplegics walk or function normally, its probably worth it.
    • Ummm, you seem very very paranoid about this remote control warfare. But what you fail to realize there is nothing to stop militaries from developing remote vechicals right now, that use traditional controls.
      In fact i remember reading stories on slashdot about remote control development and training...
  • Upgrade (Score:2, Funny)

    by Whom99 (673995)
    The article continues: "Following the patient's successful mastery of Pong, we changed the software to run Doom3. Unfortunately, the native processing power of his cerebrum (based on very old, biological technology) only allowed him to run the game at 18 fps, and he kept gettign fragged"

    "Plus, then the lights flashed, he turned evil, and we had to shoot him in the head with a plasma gun."

    Oh yeah, free ipods good http://www.freeipods.com/?r=12669514/ [freeipods.com]

    • Re:Upgrade (Score:4, Funny)

      by grozzie2 (698656) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @11:17PM (#11005081)
      Actually, I like this technological concept, it will allow me to mark all the free ipod pyramid trolls as 'troll', without even having to lift a mouse. Until that time, sure would be nice to see posts trolling the ipod pyramid schemes get a -1 troll automatically.
  • by sootman (158191)
    "While this is cool for us power gamers, it has many more impressive applications..."

    No, it doesn't. :-)
  • What's new? (Score:2, Informative)

    by coekie (603995)
    Similar stuff been covered before in:
    Brain Controlled Computing a Reality [slashdot.org]
    Playing Games With One's Brainwaves [slashdot.org]
    Brain Chip Approved For Paralysis Research [slashdot.org]
    Brain Controlled Tightrope Video Game Shown [slashdot.org]

    So "what's new"? Is it a new technique this time, has major progress been made? If so, what's the big difference compared to the previous articles?
  • frightening (Score:4, Funny)

    by ktulus cry (607800) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @10:47PM (#11004916)
    Surfing the web with your brain = anonymous cowards searching for pr0n with both hands free.

    Think about THAT.

  • BRAIN / COMPUTER (Score:3, Interesting)

    by akuma624 (690011) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @10:47PM (#11004920) Journal
    "They also are working on developing new electrodes that emit drugs that tone down the inflammation that comes from introducing a foreign object into the brain." This statement is medically interesting in the sense that the human immunoresponse to objects it doesn't recognize - e.g. antibody / antigen reaction. Not to mention that introducing even the slightest foreign object in the subarachnoid space (the space between the skull and the brain itself) is of fatal importance. At one point we have to wonder and assume that technology will eventually make all of this possible but will we maintain our "humanity" or will we undergo some change ala Caption Picard and the Borg - ?
    • Pacemaker electrodes already include antirejection drugs already impregnated into the tip. By the time the drug stores are depleted, the body is used to the foreign object. I'd imagine that the principles and the drugs used in doing the same to the brain are similar.
  • It's the future... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by igrigorik (818839) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @10:48PM (#11004927) Homepage
    Combine the unsurpassed parallel processing capability of our brain with speed of sequential execution of an even average home pc, and who knows what can happen. This is what you read about in sci-fi, yet it's already on our door steps. (Mind you it's in infant stage, but nonetheless.) Next thing you know faculties of Math/Science/etc. will cease to exist and instead the parents will pick if they want the latest copy of Mathematica or Maple installed in their childs brain ;)
  • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Sunday December 05, 2004 @10:56PM (#11004972) Homepage Journal
    Screw cameras and blue screens, jut plug your brain into the PC and control the character directly. Seriously if this was even remotely possible the very first thing I'd do is make an architecture for broadcasting animations to other players in a MMORPG. First step on the way to the matrix. Of course, this isn't possible and it's larly stupid to even bother thinking about it.
  • by Lili Queen of Darkne (837578) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @10:58PM (#11004978)
    This kind of subject has been talked about very much lately. I appreciate that, but i'm kind of disappointed at the way the subject is handled in general. Why not discuss technical issues? How are brain patterns read? EM signals surely, so how about talking about the probes that are used? And about the signals, surely there must be some interresting stuff to discuss about fuzzy recognition here... Guys, what can i say, we're supposed to be talking about our brains and the way they work, and all i find is some kids discussing 'applications' for something they're not really willing to understand. This is NOT the marketing dept!!! Where are old time nerds? Worse, i find some 'ethical' rethorist wrecking the fun... This is not litterature, this is science, may the heretics burn! Oh, before i go, i would like to insult people who think brain control applications are two-way systems. Terrorized geeks are worth nothing, the price for greater science is never too great! (please, repliers, dont discuss my mail, discuss the hardware)
  • by suso (153703) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @11:03PM (#11005001) Homepage Journal
    Does anyone know if any group is doing research on using input devices for your brain from a computer? In other words, a way of sending information back into your brain so that you could know it, hear it, visually see it or feel it?
    • Isn't that exactly what this fuc .. BBZZZZZZZZZZZZZTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT .. v-chip is meant to be for?
    • Consider the excellent work that has been done into Cochlear implants. Basically an entire section of the brain (that which deals with sound processing) is replaced with a nice little pretrained neural network on a chip. The chip literally simulates the way that piece of the brain works and converts data from a microphone into neural impulses. Now I don't know about you, but I can't sing worth a damn. When I sing in my head it all sounds great but as soon as I open my mouth.. well, dogs sing better than
    • BrainPort (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ibag (101144)
      I don't know if this is quite what you meant, but this story [slashdot.org] was about a device that allowed you to gain or regain senses by putting a pad in your mouth. While you can recieve the signals to other parts of the body, they found that the tounge was the most receptive.

      It isn't entirely input from a computer, but I don't see why the signals couldn't be generated artificially and sent to a device like this.
      • Wow, that's close to what I was thinking of. I didn't know the tongue could be used in this way.

        Eventually, it would be cool to have something on your head that was two-way communication with your brain. I have a lot of ideas for applications that can be used with such a device.

        For instance:

        - Software that intercepts the signals that your eyes or ears send to your brain and reprocesses them so that you can see/hear more.

        - Using people's brains for grouped computation.

        - Eliminating the need for
  • by kshyler (179733) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @11:13PM (#11005061)
    "In an earlier post, we looked at the future of Matrix-esque control over computers. In that article, monkeys got to play the games."



    Just great...now when my Halo2 scores are still:


    Kills/Killed
    2/25


    Instead of listening to weedsmoker36 pop off I'll now get to hear chest thumping chimps.

  • The next step (Score:2, Insightful)

    by parcifal (812729)
    Well, the next step would be to eliminate the computer (used for processing the brain signals) and use an ASIC to perform the required signal processing. The ramifications of this, as the article notes are endless. Ethical questions do exist, but we will find a way to answer them (and I don't mean in a Stem-Cell kind of way...)
  • by tenaciousj (769989) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @11:29PM (#11005140)
    Until some idiot does the first: ping -f /medula
  • by Deliveranc3 (629997) <deliverance@ l e v e l 4 . org> on Sunday December 05, 2004 @11:35PM (#11005163) Journal
    This technology is going to advance really fast...

    When they get it to the PRON stage of testing :P
  • by copponex (13876) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @11:35PM (#11005165) Homepage
    This is the reason I am upset with the direction of the US. In nearly any other developed country, science versus religion isn't even an argument anymore. It makes me ill when people talk about "playing God." Please, wake me when He shows up. For now, the only person who has done anything revolutionary (beyond personal support) for the crippled are scientists, doctors, and other people who work instead of pray.
    • Maybe down there browsing at -1 troll you see stuff about playing god. Up here at +5 though you are the only one you has said anything about god. There is a moderation system. Use it and love it. Speaking of trolls, how in the hell did your post manage to score a positive number?
  • by LionKimbro (200000) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @11:49PM (#11005236) Homepage
    Several people are worried that this technology would be horrible. Many people are citing Forbidden Planet. [wikipedia.org]
    But, those worries are mis-placed. Forbidden Planet isn't going to happen.
    It goes like this: We're going to develop suppressors technology.

    Think about a gun for the moment: A gun has a safety. You have to undo the safety, before the gun will fire.

    We all have many systems in our lives that prevent us from messing up. Credit card limits, speech and action suppressors in our brains, yadda yadda yadda.

    As we develop machines that respond to thought, we will also develop machines that suppress our newfound "actions." We will limit actions that are particularly dangerous. We will limit actions that come from careless thoughts.
    There may be things where: You have to solve a small puzzle, before the action will carry out. We may have things where: If you aren't being attentive, then the action won't execute.
  • 5.1 Surround Senses (Score:5, Interesting)

    by KrackHouse (628313) on Monday December 06, 2004 @12:05AM (#11005302) Homepage
    This got me thinking, once you're dealing with the brain directly and not hearing, smell, touch, tase, vision, you could add senses in the same way modders currently add levels or features to games.

    I think the best application would be the ability to wire your brain directly into another person's to express ideas without waiting for our mouths to do the work. There is a gob of tissue that connects the left and right sides of the brain that when cut leads to all sorts of weird problems.

    If we can borrow the right side of someones brain for an art school assignment then wouldn't humanity start to look a lot like open source software? We own our brains now, they're proprietary. What happens when we connect a bunch together? What happens to "self"? Are we the final Beowulf joke?
  • interesting as someone through that we would need to class, as tones of electronic doc would feed into your brain.

    how about making backup of your life into several TB harddisk?

    or how about programming a ultra fast computer with application which simulate responses the same way as you?

    or, put it further, will there be a day that we can backup our mind and soul and reboot yourself in truely inorganic form?

    By that day, will it be possible to be 'teleported' to different planet, simply sending you 'life and
  • Mind/Machine Interface
    The Warrior's bland acronym, MMI, obscures the true horror of this monstrosity. Its inventors promise a new era of genius, but meanwhile unscrupulous power brokers use its forcible installation to violate the sanctity of unwilling human minds. They are creating their own private army of demons.
    Commissioner Pravin Lal, "Report on Human Rights"

    "I think, and my thoughts cross the barrier into the synapses of the machine, just as the good doctor intended. But what I cannot shake, and what

"The greatest warriors are the ones who fight for peace." -- Holly Near

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