The State of Brain-Machine Interface

Given that in the last five days it has been reported that scientists were able to read signals off the brain of a monkey and use the information to control a robotic arm in a useful manner, that Dean Kamen has done the same with for humans reading the signals off the nerve endings and that another team has been able to use fMRI and some adaptive software systems to guess what noun a subject is thinking with 77 percent accuracy, I’d say that we’re cusping on a sudden leap forward in the field of brain-machine interface, no?

Carey, Benedict, “Monkeys Think, Moving Artificial Arm as Own,” The New York Times, 29 May 2008

Tweney, Dylan, “Dean Kamen’s Robot Arm Grabs More Publicity,” Wired, 29 May 2008

Randerson, James, “Scientists Move a Step Closer to Mind-Reading,” The Guardian, 30 May 2008