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-------- PROTOTYPE --------- PURPOSE: To create prototype software that can read the minds of individuals with disabilities and be used as an alternative form of augmentative and alternative communication. Intel’s mind-reading software uses MRI scans to determine what items people are thinking about and what parts of the people’s brain is being activated as he or she thinks. According to Intel Labs researcher Dean Pomerleau, in the tests the software guess with 90 percent accuracy which of two words a person was thinking about. Eventually this technology could assist individuals with severely disabilities communicate. Furthermore, Pomerleau perceives this technology as a step toward mind-controlled technology in the future. Thus far the results are limited to expensive and bulky fMRI equipment and the technology has not been adapted to analyze abstract thoughts. The system works best when a person is first scanned while thinking of a dozen different concrete nouns (i.e. words like “bear” or “hammer”). When the test subjects are asked to pick one of two new terms and think about it, the software then uses earlier results as a baseline to determine what the person is thinking. The software works by analyzing the shared attributes of different words. For example, a person who is thinking of a bear uses the same parts of the brain that light up when he or she thinks of a puppy or something else furry. Additionally, a person thinking of a bear also shows activity in the amygdale—the home of the fight-or-flight response in the brain. TITLE: Intel Shows Off Mind-Reading Software. WEBSITE: Fox News. REF: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/04/09/intel-shows-mind-reading-software.
This product record was updated on May 3, 2010.
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