Imagine searching the internet simply by thinking. Well, your imagination may soon turn into reality, say scientists who claim to be developing a computer which reads human minds.
A team at Intel Corporation is working on a new technology which will directly interpret words as they are thought, unlike current brain-controlled computers which require users to imagine making physical movements to control a cursor on a screen.
In fact, the scientists are creating detailed maps of the activity in the brain for individual words which can then be matched against the brain activity of someone using the computer, allowing the machine to determine the word they are thinking, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Preliminary tests of the system have shown that the computer can work out words by looking at similar brain patterns and looking for key differences that suggest what the word might be.
Dean Pomerleau, of Intel Laboratories, said, “The computer uses a form of 20 questions to narrow down what the word is.” So a food related word like apple produces activity in those parts of the brain related to hunger. So the computer can infer attributes to each word being thought about and this lets the computer zero down on what the word is pretty quickly.
“We are currently mapping out the activity an average brain produces when thinking about different words. It means you’ll be able to write letters, open emails or do Google searches just by thinking,” Pomerleau said.