Brain-Computer Interfaces

 The Future of Brain-Computer Interfaces

A Brain-computer interface (BCI), sometimes called a brain-machine interface (BMI), mind-machine interface (MMI), direct neural interface (DNI), or a brain-machine interface, is an immediate communication pathway between the brain and an external device. BCIs are often directed at assisting, augmenting, or repairing human cognitive or sensory-motor functions. They can be implemented in either invasive (implants) or noninvasive ways.

Brain-Computer Interfaces

Brain-Computer Interface Applications

As research progresses, there is a growing list of applications for BCIs. For example, such devices can be used to restore sight to blind people or hearing to deaf people by translating neural activity into visual and auditory responses (see brain-computer interface). In other medical applications, it may be possible to extract information about a person's state of mind or emotional state. At Harvard University, researchers have developed an electroencephalographic-based brain-computer interface able to detect sleep patterns in pilots. Researchers at Lund University are developing a brain-computer interface that translates thoughts into intelligible speech. Moreover, because human thought does not require language, these systems can potentially be used by any member of society—including those with disabilities which preclude them from speaking out loud. Related noninvasive neuroscience techniques include direct electrical brain stimulation and recording using magnetoencephalography (MEG) as well as EEG. MEG uses powerful magnetic fields instead of weak electric currents as in EEG. Direct electrical brain stimulation has been successfully applied to restore memory function in patients with Alzheimer's disease who have severe memory problems when drug treatments fail.

Edge Computing And Neural Networks

The Brain And The Cloud Of Brains: Edge computing, a term that is still new to many, refers to computing systems that are placed as close as possible to where data is collected. This contrasts with conventional cloud computing, in which data is processed and stored at a centralized location. A relatively recent development in neural networks can also be thought of as edge computing: it aims to take advantage of naturalistic settings by taking sensory information directly from biological sensors instead of relying on digital equipment. Computer scientist Jose Lobo calls these brain computers—devices that use neurons to communicate between devices and convert digital inputs into feedback mechanisms for humans or other machines. These devices can be worn by individuals or mounted onto robots such as assistive devices or vehicles like cars or planes. They could even become implanted into human bodies themselves! Brain computers may sound futuristic, but they're already being put to practical use in a variety of ways. For example, scientists have developed brain-computer interfaces that allow patients paralyzed due to ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) or spinal cord injuries to control robotic arms and hands through their own thoughts. In another example, researchers invented an intelligent wheelchair based on brain-computer interfaces; it senses its environment and responds accordingly while allowing users to think freely about what they'd like to do next rather than focus on controlling their movements. As you might expect, there's a tremendous amount of potential for applications in other fields as well...keep reading!

Brain Computing

The first use of BCIs has been for patients with paralysis, allowing them to control simple tasks like opening or closing a switch or moving a mouse cursor on a screen. But now that BCIs are becoming more common and advanced—and cheaper—researchers are increasingly turning their attention to using them in people without any kind of paralysis, as well as nonhuman animals. In these cases, BCIs have very different applications: we’re no longer talking about simply turning on and off lights or controlling machines; researchers are looking at ways that computers can learn from us so that we can teach computers new concepts through our thoughts. Scientists even suggest that one day we might be able to download skills directly into our brains by uploading new information onto spongy tissue [in your brain] that processes it over time, which is basically how you might think about downloading an app onto your phone.

The possibilities for brain computing continue to expand every year, especially because many of these advances require less technical know-how than other types of computing technology (which often means faster progress). So when you look forward 10 years, what do you see? I mean exactly - What does an augmented human look like 10 years from now? When will AI surpass humans at cognitive thought processes? Where do things stand with brain-computer interfaces?

What frequency does the human brain operate at?

Brainwave frequencies are measured in Hertz (Hz), with one cycle per second being equal to one Hz. So, an alpha wave frequency of 10 Hz means that there are 10 cycles per second. There is not a direct correlation between brainwaves and brain activity. Rather, they reflect more complex changes going on within our neurons and neuronal pathways. For example, bursts of high gamma frequencies represent large amounts of synaptic transmission – but not at a particular location in the brain. It’s complicated... But as you might imagine, understanding exactly what is happening has major implications for all sorts of applications, from brain-controlled robots to better prosthetics. Scientists have been working for some time on brain-computer interfaces that can interpret these electrical signals and extract meaning from them; if you want to get a sense of how these devices work read my primer here. It’s one thing to use EEG sensors to monitor your brain’s another thing entirely to use them as inputs into something else like a computer or robot.

Human brain computing power

The human brain’s computing power is currently estimated to be about 20 petaflops—20 quadrillion calculations per second. A forthcoming brain-computer interface (BCI) from Elon Musk’s Neuralink startup will allow your brain to communicate with devices. These systems are generally designed to help people suffering from ALS or other debilitating conditions, but consumer applications are on their way as well. It won’t be long before you can speak directly into your phone rather than having to rely on Siri or other voice control systems. And if Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s vision comes true, we may not even need touchscreens anymore. We're going beyond command lines and character modes, he said recently at Microsoft's Ignite conference in Australia. It's natural for us to interact in three dimensions; it's very unnatural for us to interact in two dimensions.

Brain-inspired computing

This is what edge computing does. It focuses less on processing data near its source—in a server or in homes—and more on analyzing and acting on data as it’s being generated. That’s part of why IBM, for example, is investing in brain-inspired computing for its own cloud services. The idea here is that many cognitive and analytical processes can be performed more quickly and effectively by mimicking how our brains work: with many neurons firing off stimuli based on small bits of input rather than just processing everything at once. Think about trying to count all of those basketball players running around – you don’t need to count them one at a time, you see chunks of them moving from left to right and can therefore estimate their number pretty accurately. When you hear an example like that, your instinct is probably to say of course I do that all day long without even thinking about it! What’s your point? But when you turn something like image recognition into code – which is exactly what DeepMind did when they taught AI to play Atari video games – suddenly we start to recognize how much our brains do for us every day without us even realizing it. With advances in brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), we could soon be getting some help from computers too.

Cognitive computing brain mapping

A brain-computer interface (BCI), sometimes called a brain-machine interface (BMI), direct neural interface, or brain-machine interface (BMI), is a direct communication pathway between an enhanced or wired brain and an external device. The most common form of direct human-computer interaction is through a human using a keyboard and mouse, but many other forms are also possible. BCI differs from neuromuscular interfaces in that it allows for bidirectional flow of information in addition to unidirectional flow; while they both can provide augmentative or restorative communication capabilities, bi-directional BCI additionally allows control. BCIs have found many applications in medicine including neuroprosthetics and rehabilitation technology. More recently, companies have been formed around commercializing these technologies for use in video games, first-person video game play, etc., under names such as neurogaming and neuro rating. Neurorace is an example of a company trying to develop brain-computer interfacing as a way to allow humans to compete against artificially intelligent opponents, by decoding brain activity when playing games. The hope is that with proper training humans could be allowed competition against AIs where their only advantage would be experiencing.

Neuroscience brain computing

what is edge computing, and what are the applications? : What is Edge Computing? [1] Edge computing is a term describing how processing tasks are moving away from central data centers toward individual points on networks. Edge devices include home routers, Internet of Things (IoT) gateways, video streamers, and drones. How do Brain-Computer Interface Applications Work? [2] BCIs capture electrical activity in some part of your brain and turn it into commands that can be read by computers. In other words, BCIs translate brain waves into actual digital output that you can use to control your computer or robotic limb. An EEG device -- essentially an electrode cap -- captures information about your brain's electrical activity. Then you wear special glasses, earbuds, or headphones through which you see or hear something generated by your PC based on your brain's response. For example: * The Spotify player may begin playing music if you concentrate really hard. * A robot arm in front of you may move forward if you imagine yourself trying to make a fist with one hand while thinking right. * A simple LED light may turn on/off if you think left/right/left/right with each finger separated out - Think one thought per finger per movement per direction with no repetition.

Neuromorphic brain computing

In November 2016, IBM and one of its research partners unveiled what is believed to be a breakthrough in computer science: a prototype neuromorphic chip capable of learning for itself and mimicking real human brain activity. The device brings us closer to what many researchers have called true AI–computers that can learn from experience and act on their own rather than being programmed by humans–as well as possible applications in health care or even space exploration. But while impressive, it's just one example among many in a wave of new technologies that are pushing what's known as edge computing forward. Edge computing is basically putting your data storage as close to your users as possible. Historically, all computation was done either centrally—in server farms at remote locations—or locally at individual computers or devices (i.e., laptops). But with increasing bandwidth capacity and increasingly powerful chips for local processing, it has become more practical to move some work away from central servers down to individual smart devices. What we're witnessing now is where we're putting our high volumes of computation and analytics out into places like our smartphones and gadgets so they can process stuff there instead of having all those giant mainframes doing nothing but sitting around...

With edge computing comes an increase in energy consumption, but that doesn't necessarily mean we'll need more electricity overall.

Brain-inspired computing hardware

A computer that is modeled after our own brain’s structure and biology could significantly speed up how quickly we process information. The human brain has about 86 billion neurons, with about 1 quadrillion (1 million billion) connections between them—the same amount as Google uses to search its Internet index, according to Scientific American. This is called neuromorphic computing. IBM has created a neuromorphic chip with one million spiking neurons and 256 million synapses. We’re still at least a decade away from creating a computer even half as powerful as our brains, but scientists around the world are working on creating their own versions of computers built on their knowledge of neuroscience. In time, these new kinds of computers will probably work differently than today’s models; they will probably have thousands or millions more neurons that communicate using light rather than electricity. But there will be no more misunderstanding of what is meant by neural computation. Instead, everything else in computing will just be seen as a particular type of neural computation: digital computation will be seen as digital neural computation; analog computing may turn out to be analog neural computation; quantum computation might turn out to be quantum neural or other kinds (s) of computational neural network(s). With further progress in brain science and technology development related to it, understanding how biological intelligence works may help us develop new types of systems for artificial intelligence.


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