The motivation for this post was served by this article:
Elon Musk has launched a company that hopes to link your brain to a computer ( http://www.businessinsider.de/elon-musk-neuralink-connect-brains-computer-neural-lace-2017-3 )
Reading it, I remembered how in 1990 we created a multi-media, multi-channel interface with a computer. In addition to the keyboard and mouse (or joystick), a special tactile screen and a speech recognition device served as information input devices. Information was given to a person through a computer screen and a speech generator.
For those times, tactile screens were not a novelty. Their primitive variants were used already in America and Western Europe in ATMs. But our device allowed us to recognize complex single-fingered and multi-finger gestures.
Recognizers and speech generators were also not news at the time. New was that the user had multi-channel communication with the computer.
About this we wrote an article: “Puchina” A Simulator of Computer Navigation System With Audio, Visual and Tactile Interface (https://www.sirotin.eu/rub_publications/lang_en/index.shtml)
And now I remembered such a case. Our development suddenly turned into an attraction. Arriving in our institute delegations or individual scientists, we must certainly demonstrate our Misha. (We called it that, because the synthesizer’s voice was something like Gorbachev’s voice). The presentations were distracted from work and quickly fed us. When we have been asked about further plans, we answered something like this: “We are now thinking about the direct interface of the brain with the computer.”
“Like this?” The astonished listeners asked.
“We’ll make a device that will read your orders right from the brain.” There are two options in development: telepathic and on a wire implanted directly into the brain.”
After the words about the wire implanted directly into the brain our visitors, especially women, quickly left us. It was exactly that we would like to achieve.
Over the years, the “telepathic” interface (BCI, or Brain-Computer Interface) has really been developed. Completely paralyzed patients can concentrating on certain things to control a computer and for example to order a menu for lunch.
And implantation of wires in the brain is also reality to reducing of epilepsy in patients.
Elon Musk, which new Start-Up Neuralink is covered in the article, not only the owner of the innovative firms that created the Tesla car, capable of driving without a driver and SpaceX rockets with the return of the main block. He is a man with money, with ability to recognize the potential of ideas and the ability to collect around himself productive professionals.
In his new company, Neuralink, methods will be developed for implanting electrodes (nano-sensors) into the brain to record and transmit information directly, bypassing slow human organs.
In his interview, he says that this can improve somewhat the position of a peoples in the world, in which robots will soon play a decisive role. Although his predictions are pessimistic. In an interview, he said something like this: “If a peoples in the future world of robots plays the same role that a cats now plays in your homes, this is not the worst option.
Nothing came of our project. In 1991 Yeltsin came as president and the funding of science and technical progress as a whole was completely cut off. And we began to search any possibilities to feed ourselves and our families in the new situation.
Homepage SpaceX: http://www.spacex.com
Homepage Tesla: https://www.tesla.com
Wikipedia about Brain-Computer-Interface: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain%E2%80%93computer_interface