A brain-machine interface is a communication system that does not depend on the brains normal output pathways of peripheral nerves and muscles. It is a new communication link between a functioning human brain and the outside world.These are electronic interfaces with the brain, which has the ability to send and receive signals from the brain. BMI uses brain activity to command, control, actuate and communicate with the world directly through brain integration with peripheral devices and systems. The signals from the brain are taken to the computer via the implants for data entry without any direct brain intervention. BMI transforms mental decisions and/or reactions into control signals by analyzing the bioelectrical brain activity.
While linking the brain directly with machines was once considered science fiction, advances over the past few years have made it increasingly viable. It is an area of intense research with almost limitless possibilities. The human brain is the most complex physical system we know of, and we would have to understand its operation in great detail to build such a device. An immediate goal of brain-machine interface study is to provide a way for people with damaged sensory/motor functions to use their brain to control artificial devices and restore lost capabilities. By combining the latest developments in computer technology and hi-tech engineering, paralyzed persons will be able to control a motorized wheel chair, computer painter, or robotic arm by thought alone. In this era where drastic diseases are getting common it is a boon if we can develop it to its full potential. Recent technical and theoretical advances, have demonstrated the ultimate feasibility of this concept for a wide range of space-based applications. Besides the clinical purposes such an interface would find immediate applications in various technology products also.
Picture a time when humans see in the UV and IR portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, or hear speech on the noisy flight deck of an aircraft carrier; or when soldiers communicate by thought alone. Imagine a time when the human brain has its own wireless modem so that instead of acting on thoughts, war fighters have thoughts that act. Imagine that one day we will be able to download vast amounts of knowledge directly to our brain! So as to cut the lengthy processes of learning everything from scratch. Instead of paying to go to university we could pay to get a "knowledge implant" and perhaps be able to obtain many lifetimes worth of knowledge and expertise in various fields at a young age.
When we talk about high end computing and intelligent interfaces, we just cannot ignore robotics and artificial intelligence. In the near future, most devices would be remote/logically controlled. Researchers are close to breakthroughs in neural interfaces, meaning we could soon mesh our minds with machines. This technology has the capability to impact our lives in ways that have been previously thought possible in only sci-fi movies.
Brain-Machine Interface (BMI) is a communication system, which enables the user to control special computer applications by using only his or her thoughts. It will allow human brain to accept and control a mechanical device as a part of the body. Data can flow from brain to the outside machinery, or to brain from the outside machinery. Different research groups have examined and used different methods to achieve this. Almost all of them are based on electroencephalography (EEG) recorded from the scalp. Our major goal of such research is to create a system that allow patients who have damaged their sensory/motor nerves severely to activate outside mechanisms by using brain signals.
Cyberkinetics Inc, a leader in neurotechnology has developed the first implantable brain-machine interface that can reliably interpret brain signals and perhaps read decisions made in the brain to develop a fast, reliable and unobtrusive connection between the brain of severely disabled person to a personal computer.
Depending on how the technology is used, there are good and bad effects
- In this era where drastic diseases are getting common it is a boon if we can develop it to its full potential.
- Also it provides better living, more features, more advancement in technologies etc.
- Linking people via chip implants to super intelligent machines seems to a natural progression –creating in effect, super humans.
- Linking up in this way would allow for computer intelligence to be hooked more directly into the brain, allowing immediate access to the internet, enabling phenomenal math capabilities and computer memory.
- By this humans get gradual co-evolution with computers.
Cultures may have diverse ethics, but regardless, individual liberties and human life are always valued over and above machines. What happens when humans merge with machines? The question is not what will the computer be like in the future, but instead, what will we be like? What kind of people are we becoming?
BMI’s will have the ability to give people back their vision and hearing. They will also change the way a person looks at the world. Someday these devices might be more common than keyboards. Is someone with a synthetic eye, less a person than someone without? Shall we process signals like ultraviolet, X-rays, or ultrasounds as robots do? These questions will not be answered in the near future, but at some time they will have to be answered. What an interesting day that will be.