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Paralysed man's mind is 'read'

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posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 04:08 AM
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Paralysed man's mind is 'read'


news.bbc.co.uk

Scientists say they may be on the brink of translating the thoughts of a man who can no longer speak into words after a pioneering experiment...

...In the next few weeks, a computer will start the task of translating his thoughts into sounds.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 04:08 AM
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This appears to be an astonishing story with scientists claiming to be on the brink of tapping into communications from the brain of a man currently "trapped" inside his paralysed body.

The potential implications for treatment and care are pretty clear and obvious particularly in the area of patients on long term life support and in a so called persistent vegetative state but what about other applications?

They claim that this is a long way from mind reading an that they can only envisage accessing thoughts which the individual wants to communicate, but then they would say that wouldn't they?

So what do we have here, a dream or a nightmare?


news.bbc.co.uk
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 04:09 AM
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Well, once they can truly read minds, the nightmare is complete.

We have a horrible future here on Earth if nothing changes. Im hoping for 2012 to actually mean something that changes the direction of where things are going.


[edit on 15-11-2007 by Copernicus]



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 05:23 AM
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"It's very exciting that we are starting to be able to translate some basic thoughts, but we are lot further away from a universal mind reading machine than some people hoped - or feared - we may be five years ago."


This seems to me the most interesting information in the article - we know who fears it - I just wonder who EXACTLY is doing the "hoping".......

Anyone know who is funding the project?

[edit on 15-11-2007 by KilgoreTrout]



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 05:39 AM
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reply to post by KilgoreTrout
 


Well, the work is being led by a Jonathan Brumberg of Boston University but where the funds come form I have no idea - that might, indeed, be interesting.

See also:

times online



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 06:26 AM
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ld also love to know who is funding this research. However I have one big question that comes to mind when I read the article.......

How do they validate the results?

The guy is basically "trapped" inside his own body so how do they know what their contraption is telling them what he says is actually true? It is not like the guy can write it down on some paper. He can't use sign language. So how do they verify and validate the results? For all we know the machine will tell you he is hungry when what he is really thinking is, "Please don't let my home health care worker beat me anymore when no one is around!"


CX

posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 06:30 AM
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To a degree i think this will be great for those who are unable to communicate in any way shape or form. Maybe for use in hospitals and the likes.

Even then, there has to be some way of restricting it's use, just for caring for and answering the patients needs.......not overstepping the mark.

Which leads me on to the scary thoughts on this. Looking at this from a conspiracy point of view, the levels on which this could be used if perfected are worryingly limitless.

I'd bet money on the UK installing mind reading devices along with thier CCTTV and loudspeaker systems. I can see it now, "The youth was thinking about commiting a crime" so away to the lockup he goes.


Also theres the age old subject of mind control. Where could this fit in with that? If they are able to extract info from peoples minds, how long before the proccess is used for the opposite?

CX.



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 06:31 AM
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reply to post by section8citizen
 
I think those people can blink an answer, you know, one blink =yes two blinks =no



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 06:35 AM
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reply to post by gnisirtraehkrad
 



The problem with that method is finding the right questions to ask.

On the OP, I find this fascinating. I already believe we can do this naturally (read minds, that is), but that we can perhaps duplicate it through a computer program is both encouraging and frightening at the same time.


CX

posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 06:48 AM
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Another thing, when they get to the stage where this can read thoughts as we fear it will do one day, i wonder how quick they will make the transition to wireless operation of this via implanted chip.

The thought of having an implant that lets people read your mind are not
good.

Farfetched? Maybe.

Will we see it one day? I'd bet on it.

CX.



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 07:04 AM
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The Times article talks about the patient being able to give direct feedback to confirm the output the doctors are getting but doesn't say how. I guess it all depends on what minor movement ability he may have left.

I found this fascinating purely because of the conflict which could arise as the process is developed. The concept of being immobile but conscious, such as the horror stories of when a surgical anaesthetic is not quite effective enough, is a deep seated fear in many of us so the benefits are clearly attractive but the darker implications of the use of such a procedure are straight out of the nastier side of science fiction.



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 07:54 AM
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Originally posted by timeless test
reply to post by KilgoreTrout
 


Well, the work is being led by a Jonathan Brumberg of Boston University but where the funds come form I have no idea - that might, indeed, be interesting.

See also:

times online


Thanks for the further info - one of the funding bodies is the National Science Foundation (based in Arlington , Virginia!!!)

www.nsf.gov...

describes itself as an "independent government agency" ahhh

The other funding body is the National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders.

I would guess that most of the funding comes from the former. Both US government bodies though.



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 08:01 AM
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Stories like this always remind me of a report that I saw on CNN back in 1996. In the piece, they interviewed developers working on what they called the "Soul Chip". The "chip" allowed a user to "download" thoughts & memories, and then convert them to be able to be stored on commercially available devices (such as a computer disc). The report also mentioned that this tech would be commercially available in 5-10 years. Three things instantly came to mind.

The first thing that struck my mind was the movie Strange Days. In it, they had an ex-cop who ends up trying to track down a killer that was using a similar device to record "snuff films"/memories. Just as one could download memories, another could upload/experience them as well; and there was a market for others' memories (similar to the movie Total Recall). The next thought that came to mind was "Dolly".

Dolly the sheep had just been cloned, and the topic of cloning was everywhere at the time. If one could clone one's self, download his/her memories, and then upload them into the clone... scary stuff. The 6th Day came out four years later, but I think I could have written a similar screenplay that very day.


My final thought hinged on two words... "commercially available". The developers spoke of uses like "digital diaries", and a new way to share experiences (vacations, weddings, school plays, etc.) with relatives & friends; even, if I recall correctly, mentioning that it could possibly make personal cameras obsolete. That said, conservative estimates often put Gov. Tech about a decade ahead of what is commercially available. They stated 5-10 years for commercial applications; so the tech may have already existed somewhere.

It's interesting to see a form of electronic "mind reading" in the MSM again. Nice find.



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 09:17 AM
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I don't bite into this mind reading BS by a machine or computer.

Funny but me been a skeptical and questioning everything, how can we know for sure that the words coming from a machine are indeed are the mental thoughts of a person that can not communicate in any form.

Sorry but doesn't this ring a bell people.

Since when we are to trust a machine created by men and manipulated by men.

To tell you the truth I see hidden agenda written all over this new invention.

Everybody forgot the fiasco to the right to die in florida that almost got the supreme court and fundamentalist right to pass legislation?.

I wonder how many religious groups would be financing this under the table.

I can see this machine been hooked up to a patient with not brain function and in vegetable state, but his mind telling everybody that God is talking to them and they should stay alive while the family is fighting his or her right to die.

Beware people this is Bogus.



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 09:08 PM
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Originally posted by marg6043
how can we know for sure that the words coming from a machine are indeed the mental thoughts of a person that can not communicate in any form.


Just a guess, but generally, in scientific testing, there is a "control". I assume they would test such a device on one who could speak/communicate to be able to verify that the system does indeed work.

It seems that they've recognized activity, in this man's brain, in areas involved with speech. If scientists really have figured out a way to "translate" those impulses, it would be quite a significant development.

Another way to test/use the implant would be to help mute individuals who can still write, type, or use sign language. It may make their lives' much simpler being able to get an implant, and then carry a small device which has a speaker in it. Not everyone knows sign language, and it's hard to have an in-depth conversation with just a pad and a pen.

I guess the main hurdle with this specific situation (someone who is paralized), would be, "how does he shut it off". He may not want a few of his nurses hearing what he's really thinking when they enter the room...


[edit on 11/15/07 by redmage]



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 10:18 PM
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I thought they used this technique on steven hawkings. He communicates via his computer to audience questions. Or, maybe that was how TV portrays his lectures and answers. I dunno, but it sounds interesting.



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 10:50 PM
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Isn't this kind of same method that Stephen Hawking uses?



posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 11:31 PM
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reply to post by WorldShadow and post by TheoOne

No, he uses small eye, and facial, movements to utilize his computer system.


Source

The computer system attached to his wheelchair is operated by Hawking via an infra-red 'blink switch' clipped onto his glasses. By scrunching his right cheek up, he is able to talk, compose speeches and research papers, browse the World Wide Web, and write e-mails. The system also uses radio transmission to provide control over doors in his home and office.


[edit on 11/15/07 by redmage]



posted on Nov, 16 2007 @ 12:35 AM
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reply to post by redmage
 


Hi, thanks for your input redmage.

I would say it is still kind of same idea, though.



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