Microsoft Plans The Future Of “Mind-Reading Computers”

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If a bunch of recently published patents are to be believed, we might end up seeing machine learning-powered mind reading computers from Microsoft in the future.

In the patents, spotted by MSPU, the company talks about human-computer interfaces to read brain singles and use the data to change the state of a computer or application. For instance, it could allow people to use their brains to play a song, change volume, etc., without even touching the device.

One of the patents (titled “Modifying the Modality of a Computing Device Based Upon A User’s Brain Activity“) focuses on using machine learning to switch between multiple devices modes (for instance, a tablet mode or brain control mode) based on the user’s brain activity.

The proposed technology could be developed into an alternative to traditional input methods like mouse and keyboard, and to existing hands-free technologies like voice control. The user could possibly be needing to wear some hi-tech cap designed to record the electrical activity of the brain through EEG or some other method.

“Computer systems, methods, and storage media for generating a continuous motion control using neurological data and for associating the continuous motion control with a continuous user interface control to enable analog control of the user interface control,” reads the patent titled Continous Motion Controls Operable Using Neurological Data.

The said “continuous motion control” is also expected to include the user’s hand gestures to go along with the brain activity data.

It would be too early to think of possible applications. Microsoft’s mind controlling tech could arrive as an application for their HoloLens HMDs where, according to one of the patents, a user would simply concentrate on an object in their field of view and perform desired actions.

It might come as a futuristic aid for the users who depend on assistive technologies or some other product if the company intends to build it for a wider range of users.

What are your views on mind reading computers? Drop your thoughts in the comments.

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