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Facebook’s brain-machine interface is progressing

Press Release

According to Facebook, within the next decade, we may be able to write only using your brain.

It’s something that people have been wondering about for a long time: could we be able to power and do things using only brainwaves? Now, according to researchers at Facebook, that may be possible within the fairly near future. According to these researchers from the California University UCSF, who created a brain-computer interface, the activity of neurons can be transmitted to a machine via implants, which are then decoded by algorithms, though in future it is hoped that a less intrusive method than implants could be used (possible augmented reality glasses).

Why are researchers interested in this technology?

One such person intrigued by this technology is Elon Musk, which begun a startup called Neuralink that aimed to work on things of this nature. But as far as the researchers are concerned, there are major practical benefits beyond just making cool technology: those who are unable to move or speak due to injury could potentially have their thoughts transmitted by this technology. One can even imagine that fully-able people may find this technology useful if, for example, it comes to a point where transmitting thoughts with this technology is faster than manually typing.

This study was published in the journal Nature Communications and talks about how the scientists involved in this study were able to train a computer to translate signals that are communicated to it. Artificial Intelligence (AI) was used to guide the computer and help it to learn, and the more answers and data that were fed to the computer, the better it got at decoding signals.

Due to the amount of interest in this field, with Facebook, Elon Musk and various universities working on the problem, there will definitely be no shortage of funding. It’s exciting to think about where this technology will be in the next 10 years.