Brain-Computer Interfaces or (BCI)’s is the usage of sensory information and stimulation equipment used to non-invasively/invasively detect brain waves which can be interfaced with certain technologies currently.
There are two methods of doing it in terms of the Tech which consists of invasive and non-invasive methods.
Status Quo Methods of BCI’s
EEG (Electroencephalography) is the non-invasive step. So EEG is the process of Non invasively acquiring brain waves and data to compute towards BCI (Brain-computer interfaces)The opposing mechanism of noninvasive BCI’s also includes transmitters that feed signals into the brain, this opposite interface is known as The Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or (TMS). Haha! Think of it like Newton’s third law, for every reaction there is an opposing reaction. Currently, most BCI Experiments & Products in the market use non-invasive EEG’s in the form of a cap or a headband.These BCI’s acquire P300 brain waves. Sadly, there slow but they work.
Another way to interface BCI’s requires invasive methods It requires surgery to place sensors and stimulators inside the skull. With this method of BCI, two technologies have been trialed which consists of Electrocorticography or (ECoG). These stores electrodes on the surface of the brain. The opposing reaction is the Intracortical Microelectrodes, which are implanted a few millimeters into the brain. Intracortical Microelectrodes can be used as stimulators or even sensors to monitor brain sensors.
Experiments With Brain-Computer Interfaces
The experiment sector tested that have been trialed for discoveries/innovation in the BCI Space. For example, groundbreaking usage of BCI’s was used at the University of Washington where they used BCI’s to send commands to another brain over the internet. How this experiment worked was that one person wore an EEG skull cap and was looking at a monitor where a computer game was being displayed. However, ½ a mile away, the Video Game button was seated with another person, who had a TMS coil placed over their brain. To fire a rocket, the user had to think about pressing the button, these signals were performed by EEG and transmitted over the internet ½ a mile away to another person, who pressed the button. Well according to a video, The University of Washington wanted to use this technology to transmit more complex ideas and thoughts from one brain to another. The success of this experiment ranged from 25%-83%. One day, scientists hoped for something called brain tutoring which would be the exchange of information between teachers and students. The materials The University of Washington used to experiment with were highly advanced sensors, stimulators, and processing hardware.
Another example of invasive brain implant technology is BrainGate which is a chip implanted into the brain. A decoder is placed on the implant and allows the brain to control something externally. Examples of this technology previously: In 2008, The University of Pittsburgh implanted a BrainGate sensor into the motor cortex of a chimpanzee and it was successfully able to control a robotic arm. Later in 2012, it was tested on a human. A 58-year old paralyzed woman was able to control a water glass and give herself a drink. These examples of BCI’s can impact the world, especially the paralyzed community, which will one day be able to become independent without relying on support from other people as much.
Practical Implications of BCI
Practical implications of BCI’s include being able to restore sight and hearing. A patient at UCLA was blind due to a car accident, now an implant stored in his brain enables him to see. The site is not as well but is good enough to identify things such as a doorway. These practical applications only need to be stored over the area of effect. For Example, in this scenario, it would be stored over the Visual Cortex.
- Superhuman Capabilities: Transfer of knowledge and information.
Superhuman Capabilities: Downloading information.
Superhuman Capabilities: Brain Tutoring Approach. Have any more questions? Use brain tutoring to answer questions after downloading. An example of Brain Tutoring is a transfer of information between Teachers-Students
Super Villain Scenario: For Abuse, using brain tapping, reading other people’s thoughts.
Super Villain Scenario: Using coercion you to do something you don’t want. (Brain controlling.)
Super Villain Scenario: Like computer viruses, people can activate a virus into these BCI machines which can have severe issues.
So, All in all, BCI devices can have a big impact on the society today. Whether it’s being able to download new skills or whether it’s being able to provide paralyzed folks with a sense of independence. Although, there are some flaws within downloading info which can result in someone using coercion against your own will, But Brain Chatting? & Brain tutoring? Amazing!! When this tech becomes readily available, it will play one of the largest notes in our lives.