Difference between revisions of "Brain-computer interfaces"

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A '''Brain-computer interface''' or '''(BCI)''' is a direct communications link between a brain and a computer. BCIs have been proposed as a means by which a [[superintelligence]] could be created. Present developments of BCIs consists only of aiding those with disabilities, developing prostheses such as robotic arms, cochlear and retinal implants. There is no significant technical difference between restoring normal functionality and enhanced functionality, however. Developing BCIs is a task which is aided enormously by the [[wikipedia:Neuroplasticity| neuroplasticity]] of the brain.
  
A '''Brain-computer interface''' or '''(BCI)''' is a communication pathway between a computer and the brain either to improve cognitive and motor functions or to control an external device. Although currently this technology is mostly used by those with disabilities it is expected once the technology matures there will be many applications for the able-bodied. Future application could also include cognitive enhancement that would vastly improve human intelligence.
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Although many previously foreseen uses of BCIs are provided today by indirect computer links, many innovative possibilities remain, a short list of which follows: new sensory modules, direct communication including perfect coordination, knowledge and memory transfer, computer aided calculation, planning, research, debate, memory, neurochemical control, and even possibly neuronal editing. It is also possible that the development of BCIs could lead to a dystopia with actual mind control. A BCI might also permit the transfer of a human mind onto a digital substrate, permitting immortality and all the possibilities [[whole brain emulation]] implies.  
  
The technology can be divided into three varieties: Non-invasive, where the user wears a cap filled with sensors, Partially-invasive where the sensors are placed inside the skull but outside the brain and Invasive where sensors are embedded directly into the brain. The more invasive the sensor the more accurate the signal, but the greater the risk of tissue damage and device failure.
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==External Links==
 
 
Currently most BCI devices are neuroprosthetic devices such as a cochlear or retinal implants. Whilst neither of these have returned full functionality, they do make a profound difference to sensory experience. These implants send information from the device to the brain, rather than from the brain to the device.
 
 
 
Miguel Nicolelis demonstrated in 2003 that the signals from a monkey brain could be processed to control a robot arm. This technology has recently become refined enough to allow a paralyzed human patient to reach and grasp with a robot arm.
 
 
 
For these technologies to mature a greater level of accuracy in signal processing will need to be achieved. This will require a greater number of sensors and a better understanding of neuroinformatics. 
 
 
 
It had also been noted by Vernor Vinge that neuroprosthetics that greatly improved cognitive ability would also provide an alternative path to achieving the Singularity.
 
 
 
It has also been suggested that by gradually replacing the brain with neuroprosthetics it would be possible to upload the brain to a computing substrate.
 
 
 
==Blogs==
 
  
 
*[http://thinktechuk.wordpress.com/ ThinkTech] A blog dedicated to BCI developements
 
*[http://thinktechuk.wordpress.com/ ThinkTech] A blog dedicated to BCI developements
 
==External Links==
 
  
 
*[http://www.kurzweilai.net/people-with-paralysis-control-robotic-arms-using-brain-computer-interface Paralyzed patient controls robot arm using BCI] Article from KurzweilAI
 
*[http://www.kurzweilai.net/people-with-paralysis-control-robotic-arms-using-brain-computer-interface Paralyzed patient controls robot arm using BCI] Article from KurzweilAI
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*[[Biological Cognitive Enhancement]]
 
*[[Biological Cognitive Enhancement]]
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*[[Whole brain emulation]]

Revision as of 14:12, 13 July 2012

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A Brain-computer interface or (BCI) is a direct communications link between a brain and a computer. BCIs have been proposed as a means by which a superintelligence could be created. Present developments of BCIs consists only of aiding those with disabilities, developing prostheses such as robotic arms, cochlear and retinal implants. There is no significant technical difference between restoring normal functionality and enhanced functionality, however. Developing BCIs is a task which is aided enormously by the neuroplasticity of the brain.

Although many previously foreseen uses of BCIs are provided today by indirect computer links, many innovative possibilities remain, a short list of which follows: new sensory modules, direct communication including perfect coordination, knowledge and memory transfer, computer aided calculation, planning, research, debate, memory, neurochemical control, and even possibly neuronal editing. It is also possible that the development of BCIs could lead to a dystopia with actual mind control. A BCI might also permit the transfer of a human mind onto a digital substrate, permitting immortality and all the possibilities whole brain emulation implies.

External Links

  • ThinkTech A blog dedicated to BCI developements

See Also