Intel's mind reading computer could bring thought controlled interfaces to a whole new, frightening level

Joseph L. Flatley
J. Flatley|08.25.10

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Intel's mind reading computer could bring thought controlled interfaces to a whole new, frightening level
Thought controlled devices are pretty primitive at this point. Sure, everyone from Honda to the U.S. Army (of course) is conducting research, but at this point we don't have much to show for it all besides an evening of experimental music in Prague. If the kids at Intel have their way, computers will soon be able to look at a person's brain activity and determine actual words that they're thinking. The idea here is that the activity generated in the average person by individual words can be mapped and stored in a database, to be matched against that of someone using the thought control interface. So far, results have been promising -- an early prototype exists that can differentiate between words like screwdriver, house, and barn, by using a magnetic resonance scanner that measures something like 20,000 points in the brain. Anything more effective than that, such as dictating letters or searching Google with your mind alone is probably years in the future -- though when it does come to pass we expect to see a marked increase in expletive-filled liveblogs.
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