A Penny for Your Thoughts

September 23 2008 / by juldrich / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Communication   Year: General   Rating: 3

Jack Uldrich

Cross-posted from www.unlearning101.com

ThoughthelmetLast week, a colleague of mine at Future Blogger, Alvis Brigis, suggested that the coming reign of online video broadcasting as the "most ubiquitous and accessible form of communication" may be short-lived. In its stead, he suggested that brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) may replaced it.

To many people the idea of brain-to-computer or even brain-to-brain communication might seem a little "out there." I disagree and think that Alvis is on the right track. As evidence, I submit this recent article on the U.S. Army’s plans to invest in a "Thought Helmut" for voiceless communication. And lest anyone think that voiceless communication is some far-off, fuzzy, futuristic technology just check out this amazing video demonstrating an early prototype of this technology.

Until I can read your thoughts directly, I’d be interested in reading your reactions to this possibility and how you think it may necessitate that we unlearn some things—such as, perhaps, how we communicate in the future.

Comment Thread (10 Responses)

  1. Unlearning is a great paradigm for imagining the possibility of something that transcends or subsumes video. We are so conditioned by video that our imagination and simulations are constrained by it. Sure, in many/most cases video is definitely a better way to communicate than say audio, text, etc. But direct thought-to-thought transfer seems to be an even more superior Global Brain end goal. That being said, it will be a big challenge to unlearn our reliance on video, unless the BCIs get so compelling that we adopt them at record speed.

    Nice image and links!

    Posted by: Alvis Brigis   September 23, 2008
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  2. Thought Helmets?

    Posted by: John Heylin   September 23, 2008
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  3. Alvis: The military’s work is this area will be interesting. If it is effective, even in limited applications, I think it will facilitate the spread of the technology into civilian applications.

    Posted by: juldrich   September 24, 2008
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  4. Jack: Agreed. And I’m keeping my eye on the gaming / entertainment interfaces as well. If BCI’s catch on due to useful applications then I think they are likely to diffuse more quickly than other preceding ICTs (once again need to throw out a shot to Rogers and Diffusion of Innovations) and thus could overtake video as we accelerate.

    Doesn’t it seem like it’s really all about the Global Brain?

    Posted by: Alvis Brigis   September 24, 2008
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  5. @Alvis – Emotiv is already putting out a BCI for gaming this November. It’s going to slowly build up with Military technologies trickling down to Civilian purposes soon, I think. The global brain is almost an inevitability. That’s what the internet is, a precursor to it all.

    Posted by: Covus   September 24, 2008
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  6. @ Covus – Thanks for the info on Emotiv’s upcoming release. We’ll try to get someone to demo that lickety split when it hits shelves and scalps.

    Btw, you may be interested in this earlier FB article the potential to increase output, happiness, the entertainment quotient and broader social efficiency. on Emotiv heralding the era of telekinetics.

    Posted by: Alvis Brigis   September 24, 2008
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  7. @Alvis – The link does not work! I would be interested in reading that article as BCI interfaces are really intriguing to me. I can’t wait till I don’t have to use a M&K to interact with a computer.

    Posted by: Covus   September 25, 2008
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  8. Oi!! Sorry about that Covus. Here’s the fully functional link: http://memebox.com/futureblogger/show/24-telekinetics-the-next-big-comm-technology

    Posted by: Alvis Brigis   September 25, 2008
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  9. @ Alvis – Thanks. What I am going to look for is how these devices are effective in controlling in a virtual environment. Actually, the ideal “BCI” is a small film of IC’s behind the ear which wirelessly communicates to the computer so you can effortlessly give commands with nothing more than a thought.

    Posted by: Covus   September 25, 2008
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  10. Personally, just don’t know what think about all this actually. It will be a paradigm shift for me, but it is fascinating and I would love to have access to all that “external memory” directly to my brain. My own memory leaves a lot to be desired.

    Posted by: Mielle Sullivan   September 25, 2008
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