IA silent, “telepathic” interface between a human and a computer has the potential to revolutionize the means by which humans interact with computers in every way. Instead of interacting via traditional interface methods such a a keyboard, users could simply imagine speaking a request to the computer and it would appear on the screen. 1
The opportunities for using AI and neurodata to predict actions and decisions also extends into the potential for behavior and health improvement. 2 An AI system today can be trained to decode brain data to predict seizures. With internet-connectivity interacting with your brain signals, it’s feasible to think your mind could be auto-tuned to compel
or incentivize you toward making better decisions (like eating the almonds instead of the chips). 3
This kind of behavior modification work is already underway. And that’s just one example: With machines inside our minds, we could be trained to learn information and execute tasks, such as computing mathematical calculations, without even using our inherent cognitive function – rather integrating the machines right into our thinking and allowing us to automate those calculations. 4
IAAC - COMMUNICATION BCI SYSTEMS
MIT's Silent Speech Project
IAlterEgo is a non-invasive, wearable, neural interface that allows users to converse in natural language without using their voice-without any motor mouth or face movements-simply by articulating words internally. The audio feedback to the user is given via bone conduction, without disrupting the user's usual auditory perception, and making the interface closed-loop. This enables a human-computer interaction that is subjectively experienced as completely internal to the human user-like speaking to one's self.
GOAL: to support communication for people with speech disorders including conditions like ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and MS (multiple sclerosis).
Their BCI allows users to control devices using only their brain activity. The software makes use of machine learning methods to reduce the lag time between analysis of neural activity and output, reducing it down to real-time.
GOAL: to create a world where people live without limitations.
Their flagship product, the Stentrode™, is a minimally-invasive brain-computer interface currently being investigated in a clinical trial involving people affected by severe paralysis. Their first-in-human study demonstrated that two patients with ALS were able to use the Stentrode to text, email, shop and bank online through direct thought, improving their functional independence.
GOAL: To facilitate the activities of daily living for patients paralyzed from stroke or ALS, without need of external devices like a touchscreen, mouse or keyboard.
EMOTIV develops Brainwear® - or mobile EEG devices and systems - for research and development applications in the medical field. Emotiv's range of EEG technologies are designed to help physicians in complex tasks, such as building 3D visualizations of the human brain for diagnostic purposes. The company has also launched a headset and software targeted towards the consumer market that monitors electrical activity in the brain.
IDARPABitbrain® is a neurotechnology company that combines neuroscience and artificial intelligence to develop innovative EEG-based products and kits. They specialize in high-tech EEG brain sensing devices and software solutions for real-world human behavior research, health and neurotechnology development.
IBCI SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT
IDARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, allocates funds for innovative entrepreneurial initiatives. The stated mission listed at the top of its website is: Creating Breakthrough Technologies and Capabilities for National Security. Over the years, it has funded many revolutionary projects and research, including the internet. It is currently one of the largest sponsors and supporters of BCI.
However, our government appears to be a bit short-sighted in its multi-million dollar Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3) initiative. The goal of achieving a safe, portable, non-invasive neural interface system capable of two-way communication with multiple areas of the brain is admirable and achievable.
The oversight is in how it is being accomplished. Most of the research is being conducted in engineering labs with non-disabled participants. Of course, if the goal is simply to better equip the military, then the lack of input of those with disabilities is understandable. But it does seem that if the money is coming from the US government, then every tax payer should have a say in how it is spent.
Elon Musk’s $27M brain-tech company, Neuralink, is charged with turning his vision of "connected cortexes" into a reality. At the core of this vision is ‘The Link’ - a “direct cortical interface” (or “neural lace” technology) that would allow artificial intelligence systems to be layered into cognitive function. Micron-scale threads, packed with microscopic electrodes, would be inserted into areas of the brain that control movement. The threads would connect to ‘The Link’ implant, which would allow a user to control any external device with thought alone. In Musk’s words: “This system needs to be safe, it must have fully wireless communication through the skin, and it has to be ready for patients to take home and use on their own.
GOAL: “to help people with paralysis to regain independence, to give people the ability to communicate more easily, to follow their curiosity on the web, or to express their creativity through photography, art or writing apps..."
“The Link has the potential to treat a wide range of neurological disorders, to restore sensory and movement function, and eventually to expand how we interact with each other, with the world, and with ourselves.”
A full-stack neurotech company with scientists and engineers controlling every step of neural interface development from chip design to optics; control software to ML; experimental design to analysis. Currently working on a way to measure and stimulate the electrical impulses of many neurons at once, technology will be used clinically for diseases such as depression or Alzheimer’s.
GOAL: To create the interfaces and insights necessary to unlock the greatest scientific unknown: the inner workings of the human brain and mind.
IVR - AR BCI SYSTEMS (Virtual and Augmented Reality)
Cognixion creates solutions that enhance the human experience. Their latest - the ONE AR, a hands-free augmented reality device that can be controlled via a brain-to-computer interface (BCI). That’s right, it’s a headset you control with your mind. The ONE is an AR headset that is currently aimed at anyone with complex communication disorders like cerebral palsy or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In addition to BCI, the self-contained device can be controlled by head movements, voice commands and a physical switch.
GOAL: to develop products that facilitate communication for people with speech pathologies and other communication difficulties, through AI and augmented reality systems..
French neurotech startup NextMind develops brain-machine interface technology. The company has created a small headset that decodes the act of focusing. Brain activity is translated into real-world actions, allowing you to control a wide range of digital objects with your mind in real-time. NextMind integrates with AR/VR platforms so you can fully immerse yourself in any experience.
BrainGate creates transformative neurotechnologies. Using an array of micro-electrodes implanted into the brain, their research has shown that the neural signals associated with the intent to move a limb can be "decoded" by a computer in real-time and used to operate external devices. To date they have used BCI to enable people with neurologic diseases and paralysis to operate tablets, type and control prosthetic limbs using only their thoughts.
GOAL: To restore the communication, mobility, and independence of people with neurologic disease, injury or limb loss.
BrainCo grew out of the Harvard Innovation Lab and specializes in brain-machine interface wearables. The company's main product line is the Focus series, which offers wearable headbands for education, fitness, and mind-controlled games.
BrainCo has also expanded into prosthetics, working under the name BrainRobotics. The company recently developed a robotic prosthetic hand which can be controlled by the user's mind. Their BrainRobotics prosthetic hand leverages state-of-the-art BMI technology for maximum flexibility.
One of the companies funded by DARPA, Paradromics is focused on the development of neurological brain-machine interfaces designed to help people with movement and speech disabilities better navigate and interact with the world around them. Their tagline is: "Turning Data into Medicine." As CEO Matt Angle asserts, "capabilities exist today that have not even been leveraged yet..."