Mark Zuckerberg says brain-reading wearables are coming, but certain functions may require implanted devices

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg makes his keynote speech during Facebook Inc’s annual F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, U.S., April 30, 2019.

 Zuckerberg said on Thursday said that he’s thinking more about brain-controlling wearable and implantable technology.

“The goal is to eventually make it so that you can think something and control something in virtual or augmented reality,” he said.

Mark Zuckerberg said on Thursday that he wants to work on brain-controlling wearable and implantable technology, and Facebook’s recent acquisition of CTRL-labs was a step in that direction.

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The tech helping dogs learn to ‘talk’ with humans

 

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Using nose-activated vests and touchscreens, our canine pals are being trained to summon help for their handlers—and much more.

Imagine you’re enjoying a pleasant stroll through the park when you hear someone say, “My owner needs your attention! Please follow me!” You look around and see no one; then you look down and see a dog staring up at you. You think someone’s pulling a fast one. But then the dog reaches around and his mouth tugs something on the yellow vest he’s wearing, and you hear it again.

“My owner needs your attention! Please follow me!” the dog seems to say again, looking at you plaintively and now beckoning with body language for you to follow him. You do, and he leads you to someone who’s having a severe allergic reaction, a seizure, or some other medical emergency.

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Artificial skin could help rehabilitation and enhance virtual reality

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Artificial skin could help rehabilitation and enhance virtual reality

EPFL scientists have developed a soft artificial skin that provides haptic feedback and—thanks to a sophisticated self-sensing mechanism—has the potential to instantaneously adapt to a wearer’s movements. Applications for the new technology range from medical rehabilitation to virtual reality. Artificial skin could help rehabilitation and enhance virtual reality.

Just like our senses of hearing and vision, our sense of touch plays an important role in how we perceive and interact with the world around us. And technology capable of replicating our sense of touch—also known as haptic feedback—can greatly enhance human-computer and human-robot interfaces for applications such as medical rehabilitation and virtual reality.

Scientists at EPFL’s Reconfigurable Robotics Lab (RRL), headed by Jamie Paik, and Laboratory for Soft Bioelectronic Interfaces (LSBI), headed by Stéphanie Lacour at the School of Engineering, have teamed up to develop a soft, flexible artificial skin made of silicone and electrodes. Both labs are part of the NCCR Robotics program.

The skin’s system of soft sensors and actuators enable the artificial skin to conform to the exact shape of a wearer’s wrist, for example, and provide haptic feedback in the form of pressure and vibration. Strain sensors continuously measure the skin’s deformation so that the haptic feedback can be adjusted in real time to produce a sense of touch that’s as realistic as possible. The scientists’ work has just been published in Soft Robotics.

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Elon Musk unveils Neuralink’s plans for brain-reading ‘threads’ and a robot to insert them

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Not for humans yet

The proposed future technology Neuralink intends to make, a module that sits outside the head and wirelessly receives information from threads embedded in the brain. Photo: Neuralink

Elon Musk’s Neuralink, the secretive company developing brain-machine interfaces, showed off some of the technology it has been developing to the public for the first time. The goal is to eventually begin implanting devices in paralyzed humans, allowing them to control phones or computers.

The first big advance is flexible “threads,” which are less likely to damage the brain than the materials currently used in brain-machine interfaces. These threads also create the possibility of transferring a higher volume of data, according to a white paper credited to “Elon Musk & Neuralink.” The abstract notes that the system could include “as many as 3,072 electrodes per array distributed across 96 threads.”

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Brain-Machine interfaces could give us all superpowers

 

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I Am Human investigates the real-world possibilities of brain-computer interfaces.

ONE RAINY DAY, Bill was riding his bicycle when the mail truck in front of him suddenly stopped. Bill didn’t. The crash left him paralyzed from the chest down. His autonomy, or what’s left of it, comes from voice controls that let him lower and lift the blinds in his room or adjust the angle of his motorized bed. For everything else, he relies on round-the-clock care.

What It’s Like to Regain Your Sense of Hearing, Smell, or Touch

Bill doesn’t know Anne, who has Parkinson’s disease; her hands shake when she tries to apply makeup or weed the garden. Neither of them know Stephen, who went blind in adulthood from a degenerative condition, and needs his sister to navigate the outside world. Imagining the three of them together sounds like the setup to a bad joke—a blind man, a tetraplegic, and Parkinson’s patient walk into a bar. But their stories come together in a new documentary, I Am Human, which premieres today at the Tribeca Film Festival.

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Brains of 3 people have been successfully connected, enabling them to share thoughts

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Neuroscientists have successfully hooked up a three-way brain connection to allow three people to share their thoughts – and in this case, play a Tetris-style game.

The team thinks this wild experiment could be scaled up to connect whole networks of people, and yes, it’s as weird as it sounds.

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Scientists have connected the brains of 3 people, enabling them to share thoughts

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Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Neuroscientists have successfully hooked up a three-way brain connection to allow three people share their thoughts – and in this case, play a Tetris-style game. The team thinks this wild experiment could be scaled up to connect whole networks of people, and yes, it’s as weird as it sounds.

It works through a combination of electroencephalograms (EEGs), for recording the electrical impulses that indicate brain activity, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), where neurons are stimulated using magnetic fields

The researchers behind the new system have dubbed it BrainNet, and say it could eventually be used to connect many different minds together, even across the web.

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Five emerging technology trends that will blur the lines between human and machine

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The 35 must-watch technologies represented on the Gartner Inc. Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2018 revealed five distinct emerging technology trends that will blur the lines between humans and machines. Emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), play a critical role in enabling companies to be ubiquitous, always available, and connected to business ecosystems to survive in the near future.

“Business and technology leaders will continue to face rapidly accelerating technology innovation that will profoundly impact the way they engage with their workforce, collaborate with their partners, and create products and services for their customers,” said Mike J. Walker, research vice president at Gartner. “CIOs and technology leaders should always be scanning the market along with assessing and piloting emerging technologies to identify new business opportunities with high impact potential and strategic relevance for their business.”

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Disrupting death: Technologists explore ways to digitize life

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New technologies are opening the door to near-everlasting life as well as a myriad of ethical and philosophical questions.

Technologists are working on a variety of ways to avoid death — including uploading your brain to a computer.

Entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and beyond are attempting to disrupt what has long been seen as one of the only inevitabilities of life: death.

Computer scientists and artificial intelligence specialists are developing programs that allow people to theoretically avoid death, opening the door to near-everlasting life as well as a myriad of ethical and philosophical questions.

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Computer system transcribes words users “speak silently”

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MIT researchers have developed a computer interface that can transcribe words that the user verbalizes internally but does not actually speak aloud.

The system consists of a wearable device and an associated computing system. Electrodes in the device pick up neuromuscular signals in the jaw and face that are triggered by internal verbalizations — saying words “in your head” — but are undetectable to the human eye. The signals are fed to a machine-learning system that has been trained to correlate particular signals with particular words.

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No more secrets! New mind-reading machine can translate your thoughts and display them as text INSTANTLY

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Researchers say they have developed a machine that can translate our thoughts

The astonishing machine will analyse what you are thinking and display it as text

Scientists hope that the machine can be used by people who are unable to speak

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