Recent advances in neural interfaces have enabled paraplegics to control motorized wheelchairs and computer keyboards using only thoughts. With training, some test subjects have developed a ‘vocabulary’ of over 100 actions. An action may be a control input such as ‘move forward’ or ‘turn right’ or it may be a key or combination of keys on a virtual keyboard.
The neural interface between a cochlear implant’s electrodes and the recipients nerve cells works both ways. Current cochlear implants use only a fraction of the brain to electrode (reverse) data path, largely focusing on assessing proper functionality of the implant.
Bradley Thinkmore, Chief Technology Officer of Cyberdyne Systems, explains:
‘Cochlear implant recipients have been training to amplify the vocabulary and reliability of the reverse data path by practicing on a computer. Initial tasks include selecting the correct response to multiple-choice questions. As the subject becomes proficient, the number of possible responses is increased, eventually reaching into the hundreds.
Once the subject has acquired the ability to transmit a vocabulary of several hundred distinct ‘neuronemes,’ or distinct commands, the neuronemes may be remapped to any set the subject desires. Think of it as being able to choose from a long list of likely texts or email fragments.’
After the cochlear implant processor has received one of the enumerated inputs, it may transmit the information to one or more cochlear implant processors via Bluetooth or some other wireless protocol. The receiving processor would then convert the neuroneme to its corresponding vocalization using a speech synthesis algorithm.
Cyberdyne Systems plans to license the technology to cochlear implant manufacturers – with a condition. The manufacturers would like to use the system as an advantage over their competitors, and would like to make the transmission compatible only with other devices from the same manufacturer. Cyberdyne is requiring all licensees to use a standard communications protocol, so that any cochlear implant recipient may communicate wordlessly with any other cochlear implant recipient.
For more information, contact Cyberdyne Systems.
This is a joke! Repeat, this is only a joke! Do not interpret any of this post as being based in fact. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Happy April Fool’s Day 2017!