Intel Developing Brain Chip Computer Interface
Intel is developing a chip in their Pittsburgh laboratory that would sense brain activity using tech based on fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging). This chip would allow users to operate computers, cell phones and other devices without needing to use clumsy, space-wasting keyboards and mice.
Theoretically, different people thinking of the same word or image would have the same activity in their brains, but since no one really knows exactly how the brain works, this is not certain. [Intel research scientist Dean Pomerleau] and his team have used FMRI to scan the brains of volunteers to see if brain patterns match when they are thinking of similar things, and so far the results look promising.
Pomerleau said that with human beings and machines converging in many ways, people will want to give up the need for an interface such as a keyboard, mouse or remote control and operate the devices using their brain waves. Pomerleau believes that some time within the next decade or so people will be "more committed" to the idea of the brain implants.
Fans of science fiction authors Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven recall with a kind of wistful fondness the idea of a communications implant that would enable a user to interact directly with a computer system merely by thinking about it. Here's an excerpt from their 1981 novel Oath of Fealty, in which the characters interact with an artificially intelligent computer system named MILLIE:
"I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it," Art said.
"I see," Sir George's eyes focused on nothing for a moment.
(Read more about the communications implant)
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