The state-owned China Electronics Corporation and Tianjin University recently revealed the fruits of a science fiction-style collaboration; the "Brain Talker", a computer chip designed to be used in brain computer interfaces (BCIs).
It was unveiled on May 17 at the 3rd World Intelligence Congress alongside other tech innovations.
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What is a BCI?
Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are devices that create a link of communication between the brain and a computer. They are the type of tech that futurists like Ray Kurzweil believe can lead to the singularity, by eventually allowing brains to be uploaded into computers and integrated with AI.
For now, they are a much more primitive, though nevertheless impressive piece of technology. They can be used to create audible computer-generated speech with the mind, and even to play a game of Tetris telepathically.
What can the "Brain Talker" do?
A Tianjin University press release says their BC3 (Brain-Computer Codec Chip), "Brain Talker", is aimed at "decoding a user's mental intent solely through neural electrical signals", without the need for normal device commands.
The work on this new BCI is aimed at making the tech more widely adopted in the future. “The Brain Talker chip advances BCI technology allowing it to become more portable, wearable, and accessible to the general public,” says Tianjin University researcher Ming Dong in the press release.
The team of researchers hopes that the more portable nature of the new BCI device will mean that it can be used for healthcare, education, self-discipline, security, and gaming and entertainment applications.
Ultimately, the goal is for brain-computer interfaces to go mainstream. Imagine a world of computer-enhanced minds and people hooked up to interfaces with their minds. It's just another striking example of efforts that are making sci-fi come to life in the real world.