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Author Topic: Bio-embedded communications  (Read 3585 times)

Offline tweener

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Bio-embedded communications
« on: 16/02/2004 17:47:53 »
I've been reading the thread on teleportation and started thinking along another line.

Would it be possible to embed a device in a persons brain (or somewhere) that would enable them to communicate directly with another, similarly equipped person?  This could eliminate the need for actual speech, eliminate distance as a barrier to communication, enable communication of emotional content, and much more.  This could make our communication much less limited by the language we happen to speak.  

I know there have been experiments on artifical sensory organs (eyes, ears, etc), so why would this not be an extension of that technology?


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John
« Last Edit: 05/03/2004 04:15:40 by NakedScientist »


 

Offline OldMan

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Re: Bio-embedded communications
« Reply #1 on: 17/02/2004 03:54:06 »
So something kinda along the lines of wireless technology (sorry computer geek trying to put it into context) where a person could effectively send their thoughts and feelings through a particular frequency as such. The wireless aspect of this could be limiting but there's ways around them for sure.

Kinda reminds me of a japanese animated flick called Ghost in the Shell (which I believe was part of the inspiration for the matrix) where people would 'jack in' via a series of ports at the base of their skull which allowed them to search the internet or communicate with each other in a non-verbal fashion simply thinking what they wanted to say. Sure it isn't the wireless situation as you were suggetsing but it is along the same lines. The problem with it was it allowed people to effectively 'steal' people erasing their memories and overwritting them with whatever they chose.

Tim
 

Offline Quantumcat

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Re: Bio-embedded communications
« Reply #2 on: 17/02/2004 07:12:37 »
It would be kind of hard though because you'd have to reconsituate every ion's place and movement in the brain to somewhere else, I don't know if you could do that with just one small appliance somewhere in the head (I think maybe you'd need a small piece of equipment for every ion mesured, or something, lol!), plus the brain it was being reconstituated to would have to be exactly the same for the ions to be put in the same corresponding places as for the other person... plus, you know, feeling everything that someone else is feeling would be kind of disorientating and you'd likely have mental problems after lol. If you wanted to isolate a thought, your equipment would have to find every ion in each lobe of the brain involved and mesure them ! Maybe the equipment could be made so somehow the mesurign of the ions is changed in the other person's appliance and the thought is more a ghost form, otherwise it would be like they were having the thought themselves. Also they'd have to get over the problem of the fact that not all brains are exactly the same, they'd have to modify every communication to fit the brain it was going to so the thought would be roughly equal ... so when you think about it, a person can -never- know exactly how you feel !

"a person could effectively send their thoughts and feelings through a particular frequency" OldMan, it's not using waves, it's using the quantum phenomenon of how broken particles seem to know what's happening to the other one instantaneously !!! (though I don't understand it completely myself, oh well lol)

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« Last Edit: 17/02/2004 07:14:54 by Quantumcat »
 

Offline chris

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Re: Bio-embedded communications
« Reply #3 on: 17/02/2004 21:34:50 »
This is an interesting question and definitely possible, depending upon how you define "communicate".

Over the last few years scientists have developed interfaces that allow us to listen to nerve cells in action. This has been used to help paralysed patients (for instance people with motorneurone disease) to perform simple tasks on a computer such as moving a cursor around the screen. Scientists have also used the EEG (electroencephalograph) - the pattern of electrical signals measurable on the scalp produced by a functioning brain - to enable people to interact with machines just through thought alone. In one case a slide projector was linked to volunteers brains and they were able to move the slides backwards and forwards just by thinking about it !

The process works by implanting an electrode into a certain area of the brain, and then training the individual to 'think along the right lines' to move the cursor.

The way to make an interface between 2 people would be to implant electrodes in their brains which would be connected to a transmitter and receiver. One electrode would be wired to respond to a certain brain activity and pass it to a transmitter; the other electrode would be connected to a receiver and would be capable of stimulating the brain to produce a meaningful sensation that would alert the recipient that someone was thinking about them. For instance you could implant the electrode in the brain's auditory pathways so that the recipient would hear a certain sound when someone was thinking about them.

Therefore at a very basic level two people could communicate via their 'brain waves', but the amount of information that you could exchange would be limited ! If you worked out a code first, however, like Morse, the communications could become more meaningful.

Barry Gibb has written a very nice article about neuroengineering and linking mind with machine. Here's the link :

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/articles/article/barrygibbcolumn2.htm

Chris

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Offline OldMan

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Re: Bio-embedded communications
« Reply #4 on: 19/02/2004 02:39:27 »
I kinda disagree there Quantuam, there are many possibilities of how it could be achieved. I'm not saying it couldn't be done by quantuam means in fact it would probably be one of the more effective methods of doing so. However, as we are a long way off such things I'd guess that the transmitter receiver example Chris used would be a more immediate possiblity.

I remember reading about what you were talking about Chris. They also did it with monkeys I believe and trained them how to move a ball first with a joystick then they took away the joystick and trained them how to do it with their mind. At first the monkeys moved their hands while attempting to move the ball but they eventually realised they didn't have to. If I recall correctly they also had hopes and some success of using the same sort of method to help paralysed patients regain partial use of their limbs.

Tim
 

Offline Ultima

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Re: Bio-embedded communications
« Reply #5 on: 19/02/2004 12:23:00 »
We are a lot further along than you might think with embedding technology with both the body and the brain, cochlea implants for example. I also read about plans to replace the part of your brain that deals with memory recall etc. for people with a damaged memory centre.

http://www.rdg.ac.uk/KevinWarwick/html/project_cyborg_2_0.html <-- Human Cyborg or not?

A great application for the kind of technology in that link would be for surgeons to use... The best surgeons in the world are in demand, but if they didn't have to leave a room to prompt someone else's hands on the other side of the world to do the work for them... It could even be used to train new surgeons the "actions" of doing surgery. Or for that matter any skilled work with your hands. Piano playing skills anyone?


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« Last Edit: 19/02/2004 12:35:58 by Ultima »
 

Offline tweener

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Re: Bio-embedded communications
« Reply #6 on: 22/02/2004 02:30:35 »
Good responses!  I've been busy for several days and haven't had a chance to keep up with the forum.

Quantum: What you are proposing is a complete "mind meld" and is a lot more than I had in mind.  

What I'm thinking of is a wireless communication device. A device where you control exactly what is communicated and to whom it is communicated.  But instead of being governed by the limits of speech (speed, vocabulary, etc.) it would be able to send an "idea" directly into the recipient's mind.  But again, the sender would control what was sent, so it could be guarded basic conversation, or open communication with a loved one.

Obviously some sort of code would have to be developed to transmit the information from one place to another.  I assume the bandwidth would be rather larger than Morse code, but the concept is the same.

Ultima, I'm going to have to research that cyborg project a lot further!

I thought it was an interesting idea and wanted to pursue it a little further.  Thanks everyone!


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John
 

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Re: Bio-embedded communications
« Reply #6 on: 22/02/2004 02:30:35 »

 

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