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Type With Your Brain — Like Stephen Hawking

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the please-don't-steer-my-car-this-way dept.

Science 64

Diggester writes that a group of researchers from Universiteit Maastricht's Faculty of Psychology & Neuroscience Department of Neurocognition "have invented a system that translates thoughts into letters. This really is an incredible breakthrough for any type of handicap, from serious motor impairment to debilitating speech. The system has been in real-world testing and is an extraordinary success. The patients are set up to look at a screen of the alphabet, thinking about each letter for a period of time; they should be able to think-type in real time. While it is not near the speed of actual typing, it is the only program of its kind and can only get better." "Of its kind" being relative, reader cylonlover writes "Tech startup Neurovigil announced last April that Stephen Hawking was testing the potential of its iBrain device to allow the astrophysicist to communicate through brainwaves alone. Next week Professor Hawking and iBrain inventor, Dr Philip Low from Stanford University, present their findings at the Francis Crick Memorial Conference in Cambridge, England. In anticipation, Gizmag spoke to Dr Low about the potential applications of the iBrain."

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UH !! YEAH !! OK !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550259)

Only I better get that fancy wheelchair to go with that !!

Screw that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550269)

I want to be able to kill with my brain like Darth Vader.

Baby Steps! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550737)

Put one foot in front of the other and soon you'll be...able to kill with your brain like Darth Vader.

Prehaps farster? (5, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550277)

>> While it is not near the speed of actual typing,

Ubviously you haben"t seem us type.

Re:Prehaps farster? (1)

somejeff (825047) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551635)

Ubviously you haben't seem us type.

Their, FTFU

You'll need a huge wheelchair (3, Informative)

Xenna (37238) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550287)

That Maastricht discovery is based on an fMRI scanner. AFAIK these scanners are hugely expensive as well as hugely huge. That kind of limits the usefulness in the near future.

Re:You'll need a huge wheelchair (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550577)

Yup. And 640K should be enough for anybody, and my cell phone doesn't have more processing power than we sent up on Apollo. Have some fucking insight.

Re:You'll need a huge wheelchair (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551671)

Have some fucking insight.

I've looked on all online shopping sites, but none has any to sale.

Re:You'll need a huge wheelchair (2)

radtea (464814) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551985)

And don't forget: I'm typing with my brain right now. I've been typing with my brain for years, and so have lots of other people.

As a matter of interest, if you aren't typing with your brain, what are you typing with? Your liver? Your kidneys?

What I haven't been doing is "using a few million dollars of highly specialized gear to type without using my hands", which is what this story is actually about, along with all these other ridiculous "using ONLY your brain" claims written by people who seem not to have used even their brains.

Re:You'll need a huge wheelchair (1)

edumacator (910819) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552713)

Chuck Norris types with million dollar machines...

Killiling machines!

Re:You'll need a huge wheelchair (1)

Trilkin (2042026) | more than 2 years ago | (#40556089)

I do not type with my fingers.
He who types with his fingers has forgotten the face of his father.
I type with my mind.

I do not troll with my fingers.
He who trolls with his fingers has forgotten the face of his father.
I troll with the lulz.

I do not argue over the internet with my rage.
He who argues over the internet with his rage has forgotten the face of his father.
I argue over the internet with my stubbornness.

Re:You'll need a huge wheelchair (1)

socialleech (1696888) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574039)

Stephen Hawking, Stephen King, what's the difference?!

Re:You'll need a huge wheelchair (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#40556807)

As a matter of interest, if you aren't typing with your brain, what are you typing with? Your liver? Your kidneys?

Your fingers.

No, you don't sound as smart as you thought you would.

Re:You'll need a huge wheelchair (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#40556919)

As a matter of interest, if you aren't typing with your brain, what are you typing with?

haven't read many youtube comments have you? it is quite clear that their brains were not involved in the process at all.

Re:You'll need a huge wheelchair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40552479)

perhaps this can be used instead:

http://www.gizmag.com/feiter-brain-image-consciusness/18931/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functional_electrical_impedance_tomography_of_evoked_responses

Re:You'll need a huge wheelchair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40552641)

Computers were the size of entire rooms only 1 generation ago.

Re:You'll need a huge wheelchair (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#40553097)

The physics involved are slightly different.

Obligatory (4, Funny)

alexbgreat (1422591) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550295)

Obligatory : Reginald Barclay [imgur.com]

Great source of randomness! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550297)

We are always striving for more random data sources and I think they may have hit on something, attach this to the brain of any video-game addled teenager and what they "think" is sure to be as close to pure random noise as you could ever hope to achieve.

Re:Great source of randomness! (3, Funny)

windcask (1795642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550365)

Considering the high rates of pregnancy and sexual preoccupation amongst teens, couldn't young boys be accurately described as Random Seed Generators?

I am worried... (1)

amorelos (1872820) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550307)

What if I am deaf (or using headphones) and I don't turn off the speaker connected to output my thoughts? Or what happens if somebody is not aware that the device is connected to output their thoughts? Would be used for interrogations? I see a lot of funny/embarrassing/interesting things happening with this device if it really works in the real world.

Re:I am worried... (1)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550807)

Do you typically think in letters?

Re:I am worried... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550979)

Do you typically think in letters?

In (order to get the plane out of) Soviet Russia, you must think in Russian [imdb.com] . You can not think in English and then translate...

Re:I am worried... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550949)

I'd have to edit a lot of my e-mails and documents. Something like, "This request for a ... damn, she's got a nice ass! " would only get me into trouble.

Great Idea . . . (2)

OnionFighter (1569855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550331)

Terrible name.

Re:Great Idea . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550547)

Yeah, the iBrainless which will be an up and coming product from Apple may call in a trademark infringement and file an injunction against any Android phone using the iBrain software.

Tired of hearing about him (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550345)

You'd swear he did anything. He's been wrong about everything he said, including the Higgs boson (thus far)
He believed it wouldn't be found.

new name (3, Interesting)

slashmydots (2189826) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550381)

Maybe they should call it the eBrain instead of iBrain since Apple didn't make it. If Apple did make it, the EULA would say they own your brain.

Re:new name (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551597)

I think they should not call it iBrain because the "i" naming scheme is a douchy hipster trend that is plaguing the tech industry.

Stephen Hawking doesn't type with his brain (5, Informative)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550391)

Instead, his computer screen has a cursor moving across a QWERTY grid. When it's on the letter/word he wants, a very faint twitch from his cheek, which is the equivalent of a mouseclick, selects the letter/word.

Re:Stephen Hawking doesn't type with his brain (2, Informative)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550431)

Replying to myself to add info. The cheek movement is captured by a tiny camera hanging from his glasses. Furthermore, I never saw electrodes attached to his head, which proves his brilliant brain isn't used for typing.

Re:Stephen Hawking doesn't type with his brain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550735)

I never saw electrodes attached to his head

Must be wireless.

Re:Stephen Hawking doesn't type with his brain (4, Informative)

SilentStaid (1474575) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551151)

He's helping them test it. It doesn't say he currently uses it. RTFA or even the summary, please.

Re:Stephen Hawking doesn't type with his brain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550893)

You read the *summary* right? Stephen Hawking is testing it.

Why should I like him? (-1)

rush,overlord,rush! (1995452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550397)

I don't like him. Now I like Higgs.

Re:Why should I like him? (4, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550519)

Because Hawkins recognizes the importance of science education and outreach, maintains a media presence and published books to help laypeople understand at least a rough outline of theoretical physics. Higgs just published really arcane mathematics. Arcane mathematics is a very useful thing to have, certainly, it is what drives science and technology forwards, but it isn't going to motivate people to get into science as a career. Hawkins did math too, and I'm not even close to qualified to judge who did the most useful math, but I know that Hawkins has done a lot more to raise the standard of science education in the wider culture, and that makes him the winner by my judgement.

Re:Why should I like him? (3, Interesting)

WillDraven (760005) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550625)

Yeah, I don't see how anybody can talk shit about a man who is doing Carl Sagan's job just by twitching his cheek...

Re:Why should I like him? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551989)

Because Hawkins... maintains a media presence

Not enough of one for people to get his name right, apparently.

Re:Why should I like him? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552703)

Oddly enough, I know very well his name in Hawkings... but somehow I managed to make the same mistake three times. Consecutively.

Re:Why should I like him? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552721)

And there I go again, adding an extra s. What is it about that name that makes me want to unconsciously turn it to possessive form?

Re:Why should I like him? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40553169)

And there I go again, adding an extra s. What is it about that name that makes me want to unconsciously turn it to possessive form?

A small hint: For a possessive form, add an apostrophe in front of the final 's'. Something made you unconsciously omit it.

Re:Why should I like him? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40552333)

Because despite being all but locked-in, the man found a field he liked to work in, rose to arguably the single most respected teaching position in the world, and managed to not only gain an exceedingly rare degree of fame for a scientist, but to use that fame to raise respect for science itself. That's freaking badass. He's one of the best role models out there for people learning to adapt to some of the worst curveballs life can throw at you.

So it begins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550459)

Of course if this shows any promise of outperforming the keyboard, a very strange shift in technology will become inevitable: keyboards and mice are replaced with head-mount devices. I would like to go on the record as saying ewwwwww.....

I am worried too... (1)

MrBrainport (1637275) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550469)

Please disconnect my brain :o|

Cruel Prank (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550487)

Clearly this is just an elaborate ruse to see if they can get Hawking to roll around with a pair of underwear on his head.

iHate (1)

Zaphod-AVA (471116) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550497)

iThink iWill iGouge MiSelf.

Re:iHate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551037)

LOL iBrain? uLame!

ps. fuck apple

Re:iHate (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#40557017)

um a "u" in front of a word usually indicants micro. so you are saying he is only a little lame what you wanted is klame or Mlame, although k is also indicative of kde so yeah Mlame.

Brain in a Box(tm) (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550543)

Now we're one step closer to immortality through "Brain in a Box"(tm) technology!

It will never catch on. (4, Funny)

Harold Halloway (1047486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550565)

Not if it requires people to use their brains.

Scanning Thoughts (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550591)

I wonder about other planned uses for this device....think how valuable it would be during interrogations :-(

"debilitating speech"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550645)

Is that a kind of superpower? Like, speech can debilitate people? Wow.

Every 6 seconds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551085)

Every 6 seconds the word 'sex' will appear on the screen.

Dangers? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551207)

Maybe not in the actual stage, but in a not so far future, if it manages to get practical/faster, for everyone and in portable devices (google glass 2.0?), could it change how we think? A part of what we are is that conversation with ourselves that we call concience, if you start talking with a keyboard, maybe for everyday tasks (like searching in google/wikipedia, posting in social networks or keeping a mindblog), that could be dangerous? or just will be more or less the same as talking with an actual keyboard, or a voice recognition software?

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551539)

This was a book, written by a man with a stroke. All he had control over was his blinking, so he had to blink for every letter. It was estimated that it took 200,000 blinks [wikipedia.org] .

For some reason, when I read the story title, I thought about this guy... there are many people that would benefit from this tech.

Others will 3 this! (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551649)

Colleagues, friends, parents, etc. hate my loud clicky keyboards since I type fast and loud like a machine gun (what my college friend said when I was in college). See here [aqfl.net] for the details and a poll. :( If this brain typing can be fast or faster than what I can think, then I will use it! Wait, I don't have a brain. :P

Thoughts into WORDS (1)

dogbert_2001 (1309553) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552443)

Wouldn't it be better to translate thoughts into WORDS? It should be easier, too. You don't translate other languages letter by letter. Just treat brain waves as a language.

Re:Thoughts into WORDS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40552653)

Oh yes, that would be unquestionably better.

We're also a long way from being able to do it.

I can see it now... (1)

nighthawk243 (2557486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552645)

Apple's lawyers sue since they probably have a patent for putting 'i' in front of the names of technological devices. At least with the crap they've been sneaking through the USPTO as of late.

The Downside (1)

Rudisaurus (675580) | more than 2 years ago | (#40553715)

"In summary, the surface at the Schwarzschild radius acts as an event horizon in a non-rotating body that fits inside this radius ... MAN, that is one hot student intern! Wonder if she shags -- SHIT, DON'T TYPE THAT! Goddam it, don't type that either!!! Delete all! Delete all!"

BCI is an Established Field (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40554249)

This article is very inaccurate. The field of Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) has been around for quite some time. I, myself, am published in the field. Most systems use EEG. The highlighted alphanumeric grid is the standard interface used to elicit the target brain signals. Hundreds of people show to the annual BCI conference.

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