A breakthrough or a worrying development?

  john bunyan 20:52 02 Feb 12

The link shows work whereby it seems that some "thoughts" may be interpreted with computer / brain scans. Maybe Prof Hawking could eventually have a far quicker "interpreter". However there may be worries (Guantanamo with a development from this?) Where will it end?


  pabby 22:05 02 Feb 12

why look on the black side. Look at the benefits.

If it could help my deaf, dumb severely autistic son to communicate with us, it would be a miracle. To find out what terrifies him and makes him upset would surely help him and us to a better life.

  Aitchbee 22:08 02 Feb 12

One of the episodes of the futuristic classic Sci-Fi TV series STAR TREK touched on this subject, where the 'beings with basketball-sized heads', could read the minds and anticipate the actions, of the captive Enterprise crew...in the end, Mr Spock's vulcan mind was too much for the 'overgrown marshmallow-headed bullies'!

  Al94 22:09 02 Feb 12

Might be worth trying on our politicians

  Forum Editor 22:21 02 Feb 12

Where will it end?

With any luck it will end when doctors are able to 'listen' to the thoughts of people who are in a coma, and enable them to communicate their feelings. With luck it end when people with degenerative diseases of the central nervous system can continue to speak via voice synthesisers, unlike Stephen Hawking, who has to rely on minute twitches of his cheek muscles to communicate with a computer. His muscle control is deteriorating, and he will ultimately lose the power to communicate altogether.

The work being done on reading brain impulses and converting them to speech is brilliant stuff; the researchers will thoroughly deserve the accolades that will eventually come their way.

  john bunyan 15:46 03 Feb 12

FE. I agree, and think the future for this is very encouraging. I just was a bit concerned that , given the past behaviour of some intelligence agencies, that it may creep into interrogation. Assuming this is not allowed, the future is very interesting, as already the brain and PC have been linked in other ways via chips etc.

  ams4127 15:59 03 Feb 12


If, sometime in the far future, it becomes possible to download the data stored in a person's brain, to an external receptor (HDD or whatever), and there is something left over in, say, a hidden partition, could that be said to be the person's soul?

If nothing is left, what price religion then?

  morddwyd 16:16 03 Feb 12

"Assuming this is not allowed, "

What is, and is not, allowed has never been a great concern of intelligence agencies.

  Pine Man 16:43 03 Feb 12

John Bunyan

'I just was a bit concerned that.... it may creep into interrogation'

I doubt it. It involved doctors removing a quarter of the skull and placing a net of fine electrodes directly on the brain. Presumably after caution - of course;-)

  Terry Brown 16:58 03 Feb 12

A development like this could eventually help people with Dementia and other neural problems. Yes , like any thing else it can be abused, but I believe that the benefits will far outweigh any disadvantages.

If you like to think of it another way, We are already using Hypnosis to read peoples 'Forgotten' memories, this is another extension.


  Aitchbee 10:18 04 Feb 12

Xpig - bad pig.

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