Ed note: This is part 1 of a compilation of articles on the topic of mind reading technology.
Psychic 'mind-reading' computer will show your thoughts on screen
LONDON DAILY MAIL [Associated Newspapers/DMGT] - By David Derbyshire - November 2, 2009 A mind-reading machine that can produce pictures of what a person is seeing or remembering has been developed by scientists.
The device studies patterns of brainwave activity and turns them into a moving image on a computer screen.
While the idea of a telepathy machine might sound like something from science fiction, the scientists say it could one day be used to solve crimes.
In a pioneering experiment, an American team scanned the brain activity of two volunteers watching a video and used the results to recreate the images they were seeing.
Although the results were crude, the technique was able to reproduce the rough shape of a man in a white shirt and a city skyline.
Professor Jack Gallant, who carried out the experiment at the University of California, Berkeley, said: 'At the moment when you see something and want to describe it you have to use words or draw it and it doesn't work very well.
'This technology might allow you to recover an eyewitness's memory of a crime.'
The experiment is the latest in a series of studies designed to show how brain scans can reveal our innermost thoughts. ...
Edited :: See Original Report Herehttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1224489/Psychic-plug-brain-thoughts-screen-developed.html?printingPage=true
British scientists develop 'brain to brain communication'
LONDON DAILY TELEGRAPH [Barclay] - By Andrew Hough - October 15, 2009A system that creates “brain to brain communication” has been developed by British scientists, it has been claimed.
The system, developed by a team at the University of Southampton, is said to be the first technology that would allow people to send thoughts, words and images directly to the minds of others, particularly people with a disability.
It has also been hailed as the future of the internet, which would provide a new way to communicate without the need for keyboards and telephones.
“This could be useful for those people who are locked into their bodies, who can’t speak, can’t even blink,” said the lead scientist Dr Christopher James.
The scientists claimed the research proved it could eventually be possible to create a system where people sent messages through their thoughts alone, although they conceded it was many years away.
Scientists used “brain-computer interfacing”, a technique that allows computers to analyse brain signals, that enabled them to send messages formed by a person’s brain signals though an internet connection to another person’s brain miles away. ...
“It’s not telepathy,” Dr James told the paper.
“There’s no conscious thought forming in one person’s head and another conscious thought appearing in another person’s mind. ...
Edited :: See Original Report Herehttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/6331511/British-scientists-develop-brain-to-brain-communication.html
Microsoft CEO: Computers will figure you out
The next focus of research, Ballmer tells Charlotte audience, is machines that intuit what user wants.
CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, Charlotte, North Carolina [McClatchy] - By Andrew Dunn - June 19, 2009In the next 10 years, computers as flexible as a sheet of paper will replace notepads and newspapers, while others will be able to intuit what you're trying to find online, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Friday to a group of Charlotte technology workers.
Ballmer's speech and question-and-answer session kicked off the N.C. Technology Association conference in uptown Charlotte. He discussed topics including health care costs and the future of Microsoft's new search engine, Bing. ...
In 1999, fewer than half of households had desktop computers or cell phones, which are now ubiquitous. The next 10 years, Ballmer said, should see even more rapid changes.
He said a big part of the future of computing is in determining users' intent. For example, he said it's simple to ask his assistant to get him ready to visit Charlotte. But on a computer, it involves opening up his calendar, visiting several Web sites, printing out tickets, and so on. The two will become more similar, Ballmer said.
When you type the word “Chicago” into a search engine, it will be able to determine whether you meant the city, the band or the musical based on your Internet history.
Another part of the future is the development of a more natural interface. Users will be able to speak to, touch and gesture at their computers even more. ...
Edited :: See Original Report Herehttp://www.charlotteobserver.com/597/story/789108.html
Scientists able to read people's minds
Brain scanner translates thoughts of participants in maze experiment
THE INDEPENDENT, UK [APN / INM / O'Reilly] - By Steve Connor, Science Editor - March 13, 2009Having the ability to read someone's mind with a "thought machine" has come a step closer after scientists showed that they could guess a person's memory simply by looking at the electrical activity of their brain.
Scientists have found that spatial memories can be "read" by a brain scanner so that it is possible to predict automatically where someone imagines themselves to be (the exact location in a maze, for instance) without actually asking them.
"It's also a small step toward the idea of mind reading, because just by looking at neural activity, we are able to say what someone is thinking," said Demis Hassabis of University College London.
It may one day be possible to do the same with other types of memories and thoughts, although the possibility of using a mind-reading machine to solve crimes or to fight terrorism is still a distant prospect, Dr Hassabis said.
"It's at least 10 years, probably more, from getting anywhere near that kind of technology, where you could literally read someone's thoughts in a single short session when they don't want you to," he said. "We might be about 10 years away from doing that, so it might be useful to start having those ethical discussions in the near future in preparation for that – but we're still a long way from doing anything practical," Dr Hassabis said.
The study was led by UCL's Professor Eleanor Maguire who had already shown that a small area of the brain behind a region called the hippocampus is enlarged in male taxi drivers who had done "The Knowledge" – memorising the maze of London streets. Professor Maguire trained a different set of male volunteers to navigate themselves through a virtual maze on a computer while their brains were being scanned by a functional MRI machine. "We know that the hippocampus underpins our ability to navigate, to form and recollect memories and how to imagine the future. But how the activity across millions of hippocampal neurons supports the functions is a fundamental question in neuroscience," Professor Maguire said.
The scientists found that certain nerve cells in the brain's hippocampus, called "place cells", became stimulated in definite patterns of activity that the researchers could analyse to guess where in the maze each man imagined himself to be.
"Remarkably, using this technique we found that we could accurately predict the position of an individual within this virtual environment solely from the pattern of activity within their hippocampus," she said.
In contrast, previous research on animals suggested that there were no particular patterns of activity within the nerve cells of the hippocampus that could be used to predict spatial memory. "Our technique, which looks at the picture over many thousands of neurons, shows this cannot be the whole story," Professor Maguire said. "If we're able to predict spatial memories from brain activity, this means there must be a structure to how it is coded in the neurons." ...
Edited :: See Original Report Herehttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-able-to-read-peoples-minds-1643968.html
Breakthrough toy can read your mind, move objects
THE OTTAWA CITIZEN - By Vito Pilieci - January 8, 2009Giving new meaning to the phrase mind over matter, technology that gives people the ability to move objects by thinking will soon be available at North American toy stores.
Mattel Inc. has created a game that can read a child's mind and use thoughts to manoeuvre a small foam ball through a table-top obstacle course.
The Mind Flex uses technology that reads the electrical impulses (called bio-feedback) that occur within a brain while a person is thinking.
A device that looks like a pair of headphones sits on the child's head and tracks brain activity. Within the obstacle course are small fans that are activated when a child thinks. The more brain activity the child produces, the faster the fans blow. The goal is to have the child "think" the little foam ball through the obstacle course.
The toy, to be officially revealed this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, is expected to be in stores later this year.
The Mind Flex is targeted at children eight and up and will retail for $80 U.S. Canadian pricing has not been released.
While the technology may sound straight from Star Trek, researchers have long been working on ways to use brain activity to direct machines.
"It all goes back to neurofeedback that has been around for 50 years, where you can record activity coming from the human brain through the scalp," said Melvyn Goodale, Canada Research Chair in Visual Neuroscience at the University of Western Ontario. "It has the outside look of a science-fiction theme. You are controlling things through mind waves. But things like this have been around in various science museums for some time." ...
Scientists are also delving into mind-over-matter technology, hoping to isolate specific brain activity with the goal of allowing people to interact with a computer or TV without a mouse, remote or a keyboard. The technology may also be used to help people who have lost their limbs control robotic prosthetics. ...
Edited :: See Original Report Herehttp://www.canada.com/topics/lifestyle/story.html?id=1152974
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