Godlike Productions - Conspiracy Forum
Users Online Now: 2,622 (Who's On?)Visitors Today: 1,236,526
Pageviews Today: 1,916,623Threads Today: 558Posts Today: 12,513
05:37 PM


Rate this Thread

Absolute BS Crap Reasonable Nice Amazing
 

Helmet to Convey Messages by Thought "A new Army grant aims to create email or voice mail and send it by thought alone"

 
Discovery News
User ID: 521997
United States
10/14/2008 02:52 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Helmet to Convey Messages by Thought "A new Army grant aims to create email or voice mail and send it by thought alone"
[link to dsc.discovery.com]
Oct. 13, 2008 -- Vocal cords were overrated anyway. A new Army grant aims to create email or voice mail and send it by thought alone. No need to type an email, dial a phone or even speak a word.

Known as synthetic telepathy, the technology is based on reading electrical activity in the brain using an electroencephalograph, or EEG. Similar technology is being marketed as a way to control video games by thought.

"I think that this will eventually become just another way of communicating," said Mike D'Zmura, from the University of California, Irvine and the lead scientist on the project.

"It will take a lot of research, and a lot of time, but there are also a lot of commercial applications, not just military applications," he said.

The idea of communicating by thought alone is not a new one. In the 1960s, a researcher strapped an EEG to his head and, with some training, could stop and start his brain's alpha waves to compose Morse code messages.

The Army grant to researchers at University of California, Irvine, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Maryland has two objectives. The first is to compose a message using, as D'Zmura puts it, "that little voice in your head."

The second part is to send that message to a particular individual or object (like a radio), also just with the power of thought. Once the message reaches the recipient, it could be read as text or as a voice mail.

While the money may come from the Army and its first use could be for covert operations, D'Zmura thinks that thought-based communication will find more use in the civilian realm.

"The eventual application I see is for students sitting in the back of the lecture hall not paying attention because they are texting," said D'Zmura. "Instead, students could be back there, just thinking to each other."

EEG-based gaming devices are large and fairly conspicuous, but D'Zmura thinks that eventually they could be incorporated into a baseball hat or a hood.

Another use for such a system is for patients with Lou Gehrig's disease, or ALS. As the disease progresses, patients have fully functional brains but slowly lose control over their muscles. Synthetic telepathy could be a way for these patients to communicate.

One of the first areas for thought-based communication is in the gaming world, said Paul Sajda of Columbia University.

Commercial EEG headsets already exist that allow wearers to manipulate virtual objects by thought alone, noted Sajda, but thinking "move rock" is easier than, say, "Have everyone meet at Starbucks at 5:30."

One difficulty in composing specific messages is fundamental -- EEGs are not very specific. They can only locate a signal to within about one to two centimeters. That's a large distance in the brain. In the brain's auditory cortex, for example, two centimeters is the difference between low notes and high notes, D'Zmura said.

Placing electrodes between the skull and the brain would offer more precise readings, but it is expensive and requires invasive surgery.

To work around this problem, the scientists need to gain a much better understanding of what words and phrases light up what brain sections. To create a detailed map of the brain scientists will also use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetoencephalography (MEG).

Each technology has its own strengths and weaknesses. EEGs detect brain activity only on the outer bulges of the brain's folds. MEGs read brain activity on the inner folds but are too large to put on your head. FMRIs detect brain activity more accurately than either but are heavy and expensive.

Of all three technologies EEG is the one currently cheap enough, light enough and fast enough for a mass market device.

The map generated by all three technologies will help the computer guess which word of phrase a person means when a part of the brain is lights up on the EEG. The idea is similar to how dictation software like Dragon NaturallySpeaking uses context to help determine which word you said.

Mapping the brain's response to most of the English language is a large task, and D'Zmura says that it will be 15-20 years before thought-based communication is reality. Sajda, who is on sabbatical in Japan to research using EEGs to scan images rapidly, sounded skeptical but excited.

"There are technical hurdles that need to be ovecome first, but then again, 20 years ago people would have thought that the two of us talking to each other half a world away over Skype (and Internet-based phone service) was crazy," said Sajda.

To those who might be nervous about thought-based communication turning into a sci-fi comedy of errors, D'Zmura says not to worry. Mind-message composition would take specific conscious thoughts and training to develop them. The device would also have a on/off switch.

"When I was a kid I occasionally said things that were inappropriate, and I learned not to do that," said D'Zmura. "I think that people would learn to think in a way the computer couldn't interpret. Or they can just switch it off."
[link to dsc.discovery.com]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 451075
United States
10/14/2008 02:57 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Helmet to Convey Messages by Thought "A new Army grant aims to create email or voice mail and send it by thought alone"


 [link to en.wikipedia.org] 



Gaming/Programming system already does it, being released very soon.


5a
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 451075
United States
10/14/2008 02:59 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Helmet to Convey Messages by Thought "A new Army grant aims to create email or voice mail and send it by thought alone"
Right now, Emotiv says it can recognize around thirty
different emotions, actions and expressions. It can recognize
"emotional detections such as immersion, excitement,
meditation, tension and frustration; facial expressions such
as a smile, laugh, wink, crossed eyes, shock (eyebrows
raised), anger (eyebrows furrowed), horizontal eye movement,
smirk and grimace (clenched teeth); and cognitive actions such
as push, pull, lift, drop and rotate (on six different axes)
as well as...the ability to make objects disappear."
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 521997
United States
10/14/2008 03:05 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Helmet to Convey Messages by Thought "A new Army grant aims to create email or voice mail and send it by thought alone"
Theres also a company called Neurosky doing the same thing for alot cheaper with only one sensor...
Thread: The Mind - Machine Revolution / Brain - Computer Interface
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 521997
United States
10/14/2008 03:10 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Helmet to Convey Messages by Thought "A new Army grant aims to create email or voice mail and send it by thought alone"
The one the army is having developed uses a 128 sensor array...


[link to www.time.com]

Soldiers barking orders at each other is so 20th Century. That's why the U.S. Army has just awarded a $4 million contract to begin developing "thought helmets" that would harness silent brain waves for secure communication among troops. Ultimately, the Army hopes the project will "lead to direct mental control of military systems by thought alone."

If this sounds insane, it would have been as recently as a few years ago. But improvements in computing power and a better understanding of how the brain works have scientists busy hunting for the distinctive neural fingerprints that flash through a brain when a person is talking to himself. The Army's initial goal is to capture those brain waves with incredibly sophisticated software that then translates the waves into audible radio messages for other troops in the field. "It'd be radio without a microphone, " says Dr. Elmar Schmeisser, the Army neuroscientist overseeing the program. "Because soldiers are already trained to talk in clean, clear and formulaic ways, it would be a very small step to have them think that way."

B-movie buffs may recall that Clint Eastwood used similar "brain-computer interface" technology in 1982's Firefox, named for the Soviet fighter plane whose weapons were controlled by the pilot's thoughts. (Clint was sent to steal the plane, natch.) Yet it's not as far-fetched as you might think: video gamers are eagerly awaiting a crude commercial version of brain wave technology — a $299 headset from San Francisco-based Emotiv Systems — in summer 2009.

The Army doesn't move quite as fast as gamers though. The military's vastly more sophisticated system may be a decade or two away from reality, let alone implementation. The five-year contract it awarded last month to a coalition of scientists from the University of California at Irvine, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Maryland, seeks to "decode the activity in brain networks" so that a soldier could radio commands to one or many comrades by thinking of the message he wanted to relay and who should get it. Initially, the recipients would most likely hear transmissions rendered by a robotic voice via earphones. But scientists eventually hope to deliver a version in which commands are rendered in the speaker's voice and indicate the speaker's distance and direction from the listener.

"Having a soldier gain the ability to communicate without any overt movement would be invaluable both in the battlefield as well as in combat casualty care," the Army said in last year's contract solicitation. "It would provide a revolutionary technology for silent communication and orientation that is inherently immune to external environmental sound and light."

The key challenge will be to develop software able to pinpoint the speech-related brain waves picked up by the 128-sensor array that ultimately will be buried inside a helmet. Those sensors detect the minute electrical charges generated by nerve pathways in the brain when thinking occurs. The sensors will generate an electroencephalogram — a confusing pile of squiggles on a computer screen — that scientists will study to find those vital to communicating. "We think we can train a computer to understand those squiggles to the point that they can read off the commands that your brain is issuing to your mouth and lips," Schmeisser says. Unfortunately, it's not a matter of finding the single right squiggle. "There's no golden neuron that's talking," he says.

Dr. Mike D'Zmura of UC-Irvine, the lead scientist on the project, says his task is akin to finding the right strands on a plate full of pasta. "You need to pick out the relevant pieces of spaghetti," he says, "and sometimes they have to be torn apart and re-attached to others." But with ever-increasing computing power the task can be done in real time, he says. Users also will have to be trained to think loudly. "How do we get a person to think something to themselves in a way that leaves a very strong signal in EEGs that we can read off against the background noise?" D'Zmura asks. Finally, because every person's EEG is different, persons using "thought helmets" will have to be trained so that computers intercepting their unspoken commands recognize each user's unique mental pattern.

Both scientists pre-emptively deny expected charges that they're literally messing with soldiers' minds. "A lot of people interpret wires coming out of the head as some sort of mind reading," D'Zmura sighs. "But there's no way you can get there from here," Schmeisser insists. "Not only do you have to be willing, but since your brain is unique, you have to train the system to read your mind — so it's impossible to do it against someone's will and without their active and sustained cooperation."

And don't overlook potential civilian benefits. "How often have you been annoyed by people screaming into their cell phones?" Schmeisser asks. "What if instead of their Bluetooth earpiece it was a Bluetooth headpiece and their mouth is shut and there's blessed silence all around you?" Sounds like one of those rare slices of the U.S. military budget even pacifists might support.
[link to www.time.com]
Related Threads