Sunday, January 19, 2003

Monkey See, Monkey Robot Do

More people should read The New Yorker; this week's issue includes the following from Reading Minds, Ian Parker's excellent essay on developments in Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) systems:

A monkey first learned to use a joystick to play a video game, while his keepers similarly build up a key -- a code book -- linking neuronal activitiy with various actions. Then the joystick was disconnected from the computer. The monkey continued to play the game using only his brain.

The technology is being developed and funded primarily to assist the handicapped, most especially to communicatively empower those who are locked in their own bodies, unable even to blink. But more general use is a worthy thought experiment: what can we do with this, really? Imagine the end of the keyboard, the neural net and the Internet collapsed, the mind controlling the body and the cyberbody in tandem with no localized personal/physical mediation. Imagine.

posted by boyhowdy | 2:56 PM |

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