[extropy-chat] First steps to neural interfacing for consumers

Giu1i0 Pri5c0 pgptag at gmail.com
Fri Mar 16 08:07:35 UTC 2007


The Economist has a good article on applications of Brain to Computer
Interfacing to computer games: "the promises of, respectively, Emotiv
Systems and NeuroSky, two young companies based in California, that
plan to transport the measurement of brain waves from the medical
sphere into the realm of computer games. If all goes well, their first
products should be on the market next year. People will then be able
to tell a computer what they want it to do just by thinking about it".

"First applications are most likely to be single-player computer games
running on machines such as Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's
PlayStation 3. In the longer term, though, he thinks the system will
be ideal for controlling avatars (the visual representations of
players) in multiplayer virtual worlds such as Second Life".

Before becoming available to Second Life users, the new neural
interfaces might be available to PlayStation 3 owners in Sony's
forthcoming new service, Home, that puts users into a real-time,
networked 3D community, where they can interact, join online games,
communicate, share content and even build and show off their own
personal spaces.  Home will be available this fall as a free download
from the PlayStation Store..

Home looks impressive: Second Life with the graphic quality of a
console videogame. Take a look here and imagine moving in this world
and interacting with things by thought. Add fullly imemrsive headset
displays… wow!

The first applications of neural interfacing have been in the medical
field. See for example the recent breakthroughs of Cyberkinetics,
whose technology used in medical pilot projects has permitted severely
disabled patients interacting with computers by thought. Now this
technology is finding its way to the consumer market. I am not
surprised at all to see that the first consumer applications of neural
interfacing are developed for the computer gaming industry. In the
computer gaming market there is a lot of money and there will be even
more money, and game companies are able to attract very bright and
creative people everywhere. I am more and more persuaded that other
transhumanist holy grails, such as conscious artificial intelligence,
will be first developed by the computer gaming industry.

>From the Emotiv website: "Our mission is to create the ultimate
interface for the next-generation of man-machine interaction, by
evolving the interaction between human beings and electronic devices
beyond the limits of conscious interface. Emotiv is creating
technologies that allow machines to take both conscious and
non-conscious inputs directly from your mind". From the NeuroSky
website: "Brainwaves have been used in medical research and therapy
for years. We're bringing it to the consumer world".

So we will soon be able to think our way in Home and Second Life. If a
computer can read information from our brains, it won't be long before
it can also write information directly to our brains and very fast:
two way neural interfaces that will make computer screens and headsets
obsolete, a Second Life that goes directly to the brain bypassing the
eyes. And when our virtual environments will contain artificial
intelligences, perhaps smarter than us, we will be able to communicate
with them at the speed of thought. Let's call things by their name:
these first baby steps to neural interfacing for consumers will lead
to *the* transhumanist Holy Grail: mind uploading, the transfer of
human consciousness out of the brain into much higher performance
supports, where we will be able to interact and merge with our AI mind

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