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Brain-Computer Interface


Analysis and insight on brain-computer interfaces (BCI). Stay updated as Singularity Hub discusses the most important trends and research related to BCIs.

New Research Shows How Brain-Computer Interaction Is Changing Cinema

Over the past few years, we have seen the extraordinary development of neural prosthetic technologies that can replace or enhance functions of our central nervous system. For example, devices like brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) allow...

This Mind-Controlled Robotic Limb Lets You Multitask With Three Arms

If you’ve ever juggled a situation where two arms aren’t enough, you’re in luck! Thanks to a new study published in Science Robotics, humans have the ability to mind-control a robotic arm on a...

How Do You Win An Argument? IBM’s New AI Has a Formula

Anyone who’s spent even a little time on the internet lately may feel like there’s a little too much “debate”—much of which descends into ad hominem insults. At the same time, there’s increasing concern around...

MIT’s New Voiceless Interface Can Read the Words in Your Head

The way we interact with the technology in our lives is getting progressively more seamless. If typing terms or addresses into your phone wasn’t easy enough, now you can just tell Siri to do...

The Power to Upgrade Our Own Biology Is in Sight—But Is Society Ready for Human Enhancement?

Upgrading our biology may sound like science fiction, but attempts to improve humanity actually date back thousands of years. Every day, we enhance ourselves through seemingly mundane activities such as exercising, meditating, or consuming...

The 10 Grand Challenges Facing Robotics in the Next Decade

Robotics research has been making great strides in recent years, but there are still many hurdles to the machines becoming a ubiquitous presence in our lives. The journal Science Robotics has now identified 10...

This Neural Network Built by Japanese Researchers Can ‘Read Minds’

It already seems a little like computers can read our minds; features like Google’s auto-complete, Facebook’s friend suggestions, and the targeted ads that appear while you’re browsing the web sometimes make you wonder, “How...
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Ray Kurzweil: Here’s What Will Happen When We Connect Our Brains to the Cloud

Ray Kurzweil is an inventor, thinker, and futurist famous for forecasting the pace of technology and predicting the world of tomorrow. In this video, Kurzweil looks ahead to a time in the not-too-distant future...

Neural Implant Tech Raises the Specter of Brainjacking

The human mind is already pretty open to manipulation—just ask anyone who works in advertising. But neural implant technology could potentially open up a direct digital link to our innermost thoughts that could be...

What Happens When Cyborg Tech Goes Beyond Medicine?

The age of the cyborg may be closer than we think. Rapidly improving medical robotics, wearables, and implants means many humans are already part machine, and this trend is only likely to continue. It is...

4 New Human Rights for When Our Brains Are Hooked Up to Computers

The human-machine mind meld is just around the corner if you believe the buzz coming out of Silicon Valley these days. But neuroethicists worry the technology poses a threat to the last bastion of...

This Is the Dawn of Brain Tech, But How Far Can It Go?

What distinguishes Elon Musk’s reputation as an entrepreneur is that any venture he takes on comes from a bold and inspiring vision for the future of our species. Not long ago, Musk announced a...
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Ghost in the Shell Thrills, But Ducks the Philosophical Questions Posed by a Cyborg Future

How closely will we live with the technology we use in the future? How will it change us? And how close is “close”? Ghost in the Shell imagines a futuristic, hi-tech but grimy and...

Does Zapping Your Brain Actually Help You Learn Faster?

A cognitive neuroscientist and his team at HRL Laboratories in Malibu, California, seem to have achieved the impossible. According to a press release, the team “measured the brain activity patterns of six commercial and military...

This Neural Probe Is So Thin, The Brain Doesn’t Know It’s There

Wiring our brains up to computers could have a host of exciting applications – from controlling robotic prosthetics with our minds to restoring sight by feeding camera feeds directly into the vision center...

New Tech Makes Brain Implants Safer and Super Precise

When Jan Scheuermann volunteered for an experimental brain implant, she had no idea she was making neuroscience history. Scheuermann, 54 at the time of surgery, had been paralyzed for 14 years due to a neurological...

Families Finally Hear From Completely Paralyzed Patients Via New Mind-Reading Device

Wendy was barely 20 years old when she received a devastating diagnosis: juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an aggressive neurodegenerative disorder that destroys motor neurons in the brain and the spinal cord.* Within half a...

Exponential Growth Will Transform Humanity in the Next 30 Years

As we close out 2016, if you’ll allow me, I’d like to take a risk and venture into a topic I’m personally compelled to think about… a topic that will seem far out to...

The Brain Tech to Merge Humans and AI Is Already Being Developed

Are you scared of artificial intelligence (AI)? Do you believe the warnings from folks like Prof. Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and others? Is AI the greatest tool humanity will ever create, or are we “summoning the...

Artificial Spinal Cord Wirelessly Restores Walking in Paralyzed Monkeys

Until a few years ago, reversing paralysis was the stuff of movie miracles. Yet according to Dr. Andrew Jackson, a neuroscientist at Newcastle University in the UK, as early as the end of this decade,...

Scientists Hook Up Brain to Tablet—Paralyzed Woman Googles With Ease

For patient T6, 2014 was a happy year. That was the year she learned to control a Nexus tablet with her brain waves, and literally took her life quality from 1980s DOS to modern era...

Paralyzed Patients Able to Move After Using a Mind-Controlled Exoskeleton

Researchers at Duke University were surprised to find that the process of learning to use a brain-machine interface (BMI) and exoskeleton led to neurological recovery in paralyzed patients who had suffered spinal cord injury. While...

This Is the Olympics On Technology—When Enhancement Is the Norm

For the purpose of this post, I'd like to suspend moral and ethical considerations for a moment — let’s call this a fun thought experiment. As we enter Olympics season, I find myself thinking about what...
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‘Hyper-Reality’ Is a Psychedelic Glimpse of Our Future on Digital Overload

If you could choose between a countless number of realities — would you choose this one? The visceral experience of hopping between and mixing digital and physical worlds is beautifully depicted in a new...

Robot Revolution: These Are the Breakthroughs You Should Watch

Unexpected convergent consequences…this is what happens when eight different exponential technologies all explode onto the scene at once. This post (sixth in a series of seven) is a look at robotics. Be sure to read the first five posts if...

Can You Download Knowledge Into Your Brain With Electricity?

A cognitive neuroscientist and his team at HRL Laboratories in Malibu, California, seem to have achieved the impossible. According to a press release, the team “measured the brain activity patterns of six commercial and military...

Watch Monkeys Drive Wheelchairs With Just Their Thoughts

Duke University scientists have given a pair of monkeys the ability to drive a wheelchair with their thoughts alone. The work is described in a paper recently published in the journal Scientific Reports and...

The Near Future of VR and AR: What You Need to Know

Unexpected convergent consequences…this is what happens when eight different exponential technologies all explode onto the scene at once. This post (the third of seven) is a look at virtual and augmented reality. Future posts will look at...

This Remarkable Robot Hand Is Worthy of Luke Skywalker

Most of today's robot hands can perform easy tasks. They’re uber-practical grippers, simple and useful. But is it really so much to ask for robotic masterworks as dextrous as Luke Skywalker’s bionic hand in Star Wars?...
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Sci-Fi Short Imagines How Brain-Computer Interfaces Will Make Us “Connected”

Social life is defined by connections, and more than ever, the fabric of our social lives are woven digitally. Before the Internet picked up speed, local hubs like neighborhoods, churches, and community centers provided a variety of opportunities to develop...

When the World Is Wired: The Magic of the Internet of Everything

Unexpected convergent consequences: This is what happens when eight different exponential technologies all explode onto the scene at once. An expert might be reasonably good at predicting the growth of a single exponential technology (e.g.,...
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Future ‘Mad Men’ Will Buy Ad Space in Your Dreams

The smaller computers get, the more they invade our personal space (or from another perspective, the more we invite them into it). We've gone from lonely industrial age mainframes to pocket computers as essential and ever-present...

Hacking the Brain — Restoring Lost Abilities With the Latest Neurotechnologies

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Ray Kurzweil's wild prediction that in the 2030s, nanobots will connect our brains to the cloud, merging biology with the digital world. Let's talk about what's happening today. Over...

First Human Tests of Memory Boosting Brain Implant—a Big Leap Forward

“You have to begin to lose your memory, if only bits and pieces, to realize that memory is what makes our lives. Life without memory is no life at all.” — Luis Buñuel Portolés,...

Rats Engineered to See Infrared Light, Use It to Seek Out Water

The brain is a great information processor, but one that doesn’t care about where information comes from. Sight, scent, taste, sound, touch — all of our precious senses, once communicated to the brain, are transformed...

Speeding Up Physical Therapy With ‘Matrix’-Like Brain Training? It Isn’t So Far Fetched

Learning to walk again after a traumatic accident is no easy task. One of the hardest things for motor-impaired patients is to generate the correct brain signals to help them recover efficiently. The current best option...

Scientists Connect Brain to a Basic Tablet—Paralyzed Patient Googles With Ease

For patient T6, 2014 was a happy year. That was the year she learned to control a Nexus tablet with her brain waves, and literally took her life quality from 1980s DOS to modern era...

The Technologies ‘Back to the Future’ Got Right, Wrong, and Left Out Entirely

26 years ago, Marty McFly and Doc Brown climbed into their time-traveling flying DeLorean and set the controls to the distant future — October 21, 2015 — which happens to be this week. This is a fun...

Ray Kurzweil’s Wildest Prediction: Nanobots Will Plug Our Brains Into the Web by the 2030s

I consider Ray Kurzweil a very close friend and a very smart person. Ray is a brilliant technologist, futurist, and a director of engineering at Google focused on AI and language processing. He has also made...

Playing 20 Questions by ‘Telepathy’? Big Score for Brain-to-Brain Communication

Interpersonal communication just got a lot more intimate. So intimate, in fact, that two strangers — physically separated by a mile — can literally get into each other’s heads to solve problems together, using only...

Brain-Controlling Sound Waves Used to Steer Genetically Modified Worms

Move over optogenetics, there’s a new cool mind-bending tool in town. A group of scientists, led by Dr. Sreekanth Chalasani at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, discovered a new way to control neurons using...

This Robotic Hand Wired to a Brain Implant Restored a Paralyzed Man’s Sense of Touch

In the last few years, experimental robotic limbs have made great advances, promising people who are paralyzed or have lost a limb the return of some sorely missed freedom. In 2012, a man with one...

Why Email Is Broken—and What Will Replace It

If you need to communicate something important to a friend, do you call? Visit? Email? Text? Skype? WhatsApp? Snap? Tweet? Message on Facebook or LinkedIn? How we communicate in exponential times is changing. This post is about...
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Beyond Sight: The Gadgets Bringing Our Bodies Into Virtual Reality

When it comes to virtual reality, seeing is believing. But after those first few fascinated moments, you realize something: Seeing is often all you’ll be doing. Although nailing virtual visuals is very likely the tipping...

Animal Brains Networked Into Organic Computer ‘Brainet’

Imagine a future where computers no longer run on silicon chips. The replacement? Brains. Thanks to two separate studies recently published in Scientific Reports, we may be edging towards that future. In a series of experiments,...

This Touchable Midair 3D Laser Display Is Pretty Magical

If you’re a science fiction fan—you are well familiar with holographic displays floating in midair. Maybe it’s Princess Leia materializing above R2-D2 or Tony Stark designing his Iron Man suit with a few cinematic...

This Injectable Brain Implant Can Record and Stimulate Individual Neurons

For those who need them most, brain implants have made inspiring strides in recent years. One implant eases the involuntary tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease. Another allows completely paralyzed patients to manipulate robotic arms. This...

The Ultimate Interface: Your Brain

Ramez Naam is the author of 5 books, including the award-winning Nexus trilogy of sci-fi novels. Follow him on twitter: @ramez. A shorter version of this article first appeared at TechCrunch. The final frontier of digital technology...

These Thought-Controlled Robotic Arms Are Beating Paralysis and Amputation

In 2012, University of Pittsburgh researchers released a video of Jan Scheuermann feeding herself a bite of chocolate. This, of course, wouldn't be noteworthy but for one thing: Scheuermann is paralyzed from the neck...

What Google Glass Has in Common With an Iconic Apple Fail

Not long ago, I attended two tech conferences. AI, robotics, nanotechnology, and biotechnology—both were future focused. But the most curious thing I saw there wasn’t on stage. It was more subtle, more about negative...

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