The Brain Computer Interface
Yes, you did read that correctly. Brain Computer Interfaces are devices that are able to interpret a user’s thoughts and intentions, without actually speaking or doing them. A prototype from MIT called Alter Ego, is placed on the side of a user’s head, and reads signals in the brain that are sent to the mouth and jaw at a 92 percent accuracy rate. In return, the device can communicate back to the user through bone-conduction headphones.
The use cases here are profound and have the ability to change how we communicate at a fundamental level. Not only do these devices create a way for people to interact with their smart devices without having to pull them out but they also can create a direct connection to other individuals. If we think of the spoken word as simply just a compression algorithm for our thoughts, then the quickest way to circumnavigate this compression is to communicate directly from them. Having the ability to do so will exponentially speed up communication efforts as well as provide an equal playing ground for those with vocal disabilities. Not to mention the benefits that come with breaking down language barriers.
While a brain computer interface sounds like something straight out of a science fiction book, it’s an entirely real concept, and one that should be on your radar. Many scientist and engineers believe that in order to coexist with advancements in artificial intelligence, we’ll need to merge with the technology. When you think of it that way, a non-invasive connection to the internet like the prototype from MIT, doesn’t seem too far out of the picture.