Mind reading computer technology being developed

Darren Allan

April 8, 2011

It seems that scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine have developed technology which can enable a computer to read your mind.

To a very limited extent, but still, this is highly ground breaking stuff. The system works by using a technique called electrocortiography, essentially wiring the brain up to a computer via electrodes.

It’s an invasive procedure not to be taken lightly, obviously, and has been used in working with epilepsy sufferers, but scientists have also adapted it to read a patient’s thoughts in order to control a cursor on the screen.

IT Pro reports that the technology can detect sounds being thought of in the mind, and move the cursor a certain direction based on the particular sound (oo, ah, ee, etc). Apparently, the computer got the direction correct 90% of the time.

Eric C. Leuthardt MD, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at the university’s School of Medicine, notes: “There are many directions we could take this, including development of technology to restore communication for patients who have lost speech due to brain injury or damage to their vocal cords or airway.”

If our computer could read our mind, it’d probably find some pretty repetitive thought patterns.

We reckon our top three most common musings when attempting to work at our desktop are:

“Could you be any slower…” [Said in the style of Chandler from Friends].
“What the hell are you doing – don’t just show me a spinning cursor…”
“Don’t crash! Don’t crash… on please, no, don’t crash!”

Yes. We need to upgrade.


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