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Human Enhancement

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Thought-controlled drones may be just the first step in aviation revolution. In what may be a just a taste of what's possible when you merge robotics and neuroscience, researchers from Portugal's Brainflight project have successfully demonstrated a drone flight piloted by human thought. The Brainflight project is led by Portuguese technology firm Tekever with the backing of several science organizations across Europe and follows in the footsteps of similar research efforts carried out around the globe. Back in 2012, researchers at Zhejiang University in China were able to demonstrate a mind-controlled drone by slapping a electroencephalogram (EEG) headset on subjects to measure their brainwaves.

More recently, a project at the University of Minnesota saw pilots able to control quadcopters by imagining opening or closing their fists. The Brainflight also uses an EEG cap, which is fitted with electrodes to monitor brainwaves. Source: Tekever via BBC Share. In other words: inside the lives and minds of real-time translators. One morning this summer I paid a visit to the sole United Nations agency in London. The headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) sit on the southern bank of the Thames, a short distance upstream from the Houses of Parliament. As I approached, I saw that a ship’s prow, sculpted in metal, was grafted like a nose to the ground floor of this otherwise bland building.

Inside I met a dozen or so mostly female IMO translators. They were cheerful and chatty and better dressed than you might imagine for people who are often heard but rarely seen. I walked upstairs to a glass-fronted booth, where I prepared to witness something both absolutely remarkable and utterly routine. Let’s unpick what she did that morning and itemise its components. As the delegate spoke, Pinkney had to make sense of a message composed in one language while simultaneously constructing and articulating the same message in another tongue. Simultaneous interpretation often evokes a sense of drama. New Device Makes It Possible to Take Pictures With Your Mind. The technology of mind command recognition is coming to the market: A British company unveiled an application that connects Google Glass to a wearable electroencephalography (EEG) device, giving users the ability to take pictures with the power of thought.

The company This Place, based in London, offers free software called MindRDR to pique the interest of developers who could design new applications. The application connects Google’s electronic glasses with another gadget, the Neurosky EEG biosensor that costs around 71 pounds (or 121$). This wearable, lightweight device consists of electrodes that touch the user’s head and reads the brainwaves associated with concentration and focus. To take pictures, a user has to focus their mind on a white line that appears on the screen of Google Glass.

When the line rises up, the picture is taken by Glass’s camera. Featured image credits: Mind-to-mind thought talking possible by 2030, scientist says. Today we enjoy basic conversations with our smart phone, desktop PC, games console, TV and soon, our car; but voice recognition, many believe, should not be viewed as an endgame technology. Although directing electronics with voice and gestures may be considered state-of-the-art today, we will soon be controlling entertainment and communications equipment not by talking or waving; but just by thinking! Forget Siri, if future-thinking researchers have their way, your brain could soon be chatting away on the phone. A new implant developed by UC-Berkeley neuroscientist, Robert Knight, could create a game-changing relationship between you and your machines.

You may soon be able to transmit thoughts via the Internet using a translator chip implanted in the brain that converts thoughts into words. Enter University of Reading's Dr. In 1998, Warwick implanted a transmitter in his arm enabling him to control doors and other devices. What might this revolutionary neuroscience lead too? Sci-Fi Device Lets Men And Women Swap Bodies. Talk about going on a gender bender. A new machine created by a Spanish design collective combines virtual reality with advanced neuroscientific techniques to let men and women swap bodies with each other. Called The Machine To Be Another, it's all done in the hopes that body transference will help scientists explore and quantify concepts like sexism, gender identity, and bias. Based in Barcelona, Be Another Lab is made up of Philippe Bertrand, Daniel Gonzalez Franco, Christian Cherene, and Arthur Pointea, a collection of interdisciplinary artists whose fields range from programming and electronic engineering to interactive system design and neuro-rehabilitation.

Together, the goal of Be Another Lab is to explore the concepts of empathy through technology, science, and art. In most neuroscience experiments that examine issues of empathy and bias, participants "trade places" with others using digital avatars. Be Another Lab takes a different, more visceral approach to exploring empathy. Motorola patents e-tattoo that can read your thoughts by listening to unvocalized words in your throat. Imagine trying to patent the smartphone, or for that matter, the tattoo. Any company that could swing that, could probably also patent the fork and knife. Incredibly, a new application from Google-owned Motorola Mobility seeks a patent not for any particular utensil, but rather, for setting the table.

In other words, if you have an electronic smart tattoo, and want it to speak to your mobile communications device, you may soon be able to do it in spades, but you will have to do it Google style. But hold on for a minute, as there is a bit more to the whole concept than might first appear. The tattoo they have in mind is actually one that will be emblazoned over your vocal cords to intercept subtle voice commands — perhaps even subvocal commands, or even the fully internal whisperings that fail to pluck the vocal cords when not given full cerebral approval. Or maybe not. The actual patent speaks of picking up an “auditory signal” from the tattoo, and converting it into a digital signal. Watch This Film About Human Enhancement And What It Really Means To Be Disabled. If a man with prosthetic legs can run faster than someone with regular legs, does that make him disabled? How about a woman who, at age 85, has prosthetic arms that offer her more dexterity than her biological arms ever could?

In the film Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement, director Regan Brashear explores what it means to be disabled--and the potential hazards of technologies like "smart" pills and pre-natal screening that can wean out undesirable traits. In the film, Brashear talks with people with opinions across the spectrum. There's Hugh Herr, a charismatic bionics engineer and amputee who believes that futuristic artificial limbs give people an advantage over the real thing.

There's Patty Berne, a disabilities justice advocate who thinks focusing on robotic limbs is a waste of time when so many people lack access to basic wheelchairs. The mesmerizing opening sequence, a woman in a wheelchair deep-sea diving, is the work of performance artist Sue Austin. Valproate reopens critical-period learning of absolute pitch | Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience.

1Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, CNRS, Paris, France2Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France3Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Mental Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada4Department of Linguistics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA5School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia6Department of Molecular Cellular Biology, Center for Brain Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA7Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada8Centre for Affective Disorders, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK Absolute pitch, the ability to identify or produce the pitch of a sound without a reference point, has a critical period, i.e., it can only be acquired early in life.

Keywords: critical period reopening, learning, absolute pitch, valproate, histone-deacetylase inhibitors, human adults *Correspondence: Allan H. Meet Your Future Memory, The Internet. “Mom, what was your first date like with dad? " Mom: “Let me show you. " That’s how Lee Hoffman, the cofounder of an upcoming app called Memoir, sees the future of memory. “Everything your brain does with memory, what your brain does when you walk by a building and you have a flashback of another time you were there,” he says. “We can basically do that [in the app], assuming we have enough data.” There’s about to be a lot more data. As video-equipped wearable computers such as Google Glass enter the market, theoretically, we can record almost everything we experience. Memoir--which at launch will compile your photos, social media posts and geolocation coordinates into a search engine for your life--is just one of several companies preparing to augment memory.

Before we all strap on recording devices and prepare ourselves for near-perfect, machine-augmented memory, however, it is worth considering that by augmenting human memory, we will also, inevitably, change it. That sounds terrible. Brain Surgery To Remove Amygdala Leads To Woman's 'Hyper Empathy' By Bahar Gholipour, Staff Writer Published: 09/13/2013 07:47 AM EDT on LiveScience In a strange case, a woman developed "hyper empathy" after having a part of her brain called the amygdala removed in an effort to treat her severe epilepsy, according to a report of her case. Empathy is the ability to recognize another person's emotions.

The case was especially unusual because the amygdala is involved in recognizing emotions, and removing it would be expected to make it harder rather than easier for a person to read others' emotions, according to the researchers involved in her case. During the woman's surgery, doctors removed parts of her temporal lobe, including the amygdala, from one side of the brain. The surgery is a common treatment for people with severe forms of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) who don't respond to medication.

After the surgery, the seizures she had suffered multiple times a day stopped. Kinds of empathy The missing amygdala. Better Humans? Understanding the Enhancement Project, by Michael Hauskeller | Books. Andy Miah on the pros and cons of humanity 2.0 If you could enhance one aspect of your biology, what would it be? Would you use cosmetic surgery to make yourself more beautiful? How about cognitive enhancers to improve your memory or wit? What if you and your partner could take love pills to iron out any problems in your relationship? What if you just want to live a longer and healthier life? These questions are discussed in Michael Hauskeller’s new book, a philosophical exploration of the arguments surrounding human enhancement.

He goes on to build up each example of enhancement only to knock it down, broadly rejecting the claim that there is any uncontested value to human enhancement. In short, Hauskeller does not recognise that the journey towards human enhancement has already begun Hauskeller’s analysis often stops short of absolute rejection, more frequently calling into question the legitimacy of arguments favouring enhancement. Readers of Better Humans? Better Humans? Bespoke Innovations | Because Every Body Is Different. Bespoke Innovations | Because Every Body Is Different. EMOTIV INSIGHT: Optimize your brain fitness & performance by Tan Le. Our mission to empower individuals to understand their own brain and accelerate brain research globally was set into motion with the launch of this Kickstarter campaign for Emotiv Insight. Over the course of this campaign, you joined our community and pledged to change how people think about their brain and how we could use brainwear to improve how we live, work, and play.

Thanks to you, we are making the Emotiv Insight a reality! Thank you again for being such an awesome community! The human brain, our most advanced organ, is an intricate and complex network of connections. Emotiv Insight is a sleek, 5 channel, wireless headset that reads your brainwaves and a mobile app that translates those signals into meaningful data everyone can understand. We’ve leveraged our knowledge and experience to create the next generation Brainwear™ that tracks and monitors your brain activity and gives you insight into how your brain is changing in real time. We are pioneers in this field. More details: Reserve Your Muse. Brain implant could turn you into one of the X-Men. Imagine this: TSA agents with enhanced senses of smell, emergency responders that can hear sounds clearly from beneath rubble and dirt, and cab drivers always knowing the direction of true north.

This might sound like an issue of popular comic book series The X-Men, but scientists at Duke University are experimenting with a brain implant device that could make these things possible in the real world — and without the need to be born a mutant. As it stands, our five senses are very limited, although our brain capacity should be able to allow us to do more with them. The Duke scientists wanted to explore the possibility of using a brain implant in possibly turning up and enhancing those senses. The implants were used on mice, which allowed the mice to be taught to see infrared light, which is generally invisible to the naked eye. The experiment began with teaching the mice to recognize an LED light: when it lit up, the mice learned to poke their noses into an appropriately-related hole.

Wearable tech that makes you smarter | Cutting Edge. Wearable tech can track your sleep patterns, give you walking directions that float above your eye, and measure your heart rate using the shirt on your back. But can a wearable gadget make you think faster, or even make you momentarily smarter? Turns out, it can. But only by attaching electrodes to your head that shock your brain, which is how devices like the Focus headset work. The Focus is designed for gamers --- only if you're 18 years old, or older -- and made headlines in May when its Web site opened for preorders. The Focus marks the first device of its kind, and it could bring what is now a cutting-edge enthusiast activity into the mainstream. The unknown, however, is just how safe it might be to clamp this type of device to your head on a daily basis. So far, scientists have tested the technology, but mainly to figure out if it's effective.

It sounds too good to be true, and in fact tDCS is widely believed to have few, if any, side effects for short-term use. Are neuromorphic chips helping us replicate the brain? There is no computer that works as efficiently as the human brain. The scientists' goals are to build an artificial brain that will work just like the human brain. University of Zurich, Neuroinformatics researchers have made a breakthrough on this goal.

They are now understanding how to configure neuromorphic chips that can replicate the brain’s information processing capabilities in real-time. Researchers validate this by creating a synthetic sensory processing system that demonstrates cognitive abilities. Most methods to neuroinformatics are restricted to the progress of neural network replicas on computers that aim to incite complex nerve networks or supercomputers. Read more... A professor at the Institute of Neuroinformatics, Giacomo Indiveri said, "Our goal is to emulate the properties of biological neurons and synapses directly on microchips. " Liked Iron Man? You'll Love Super-Sensory Augmentation | Endless Innovation. 10 Incredible Ways Technology May Make Us Superhuman.

Hackers backdoor the human brain, successfully extract sensitive data. One Per Cent: Interactive nails give you a screen at your fingertips. Mind-meld brain power is best for steering spaceships - tech - 01 February 2013. The Incredible Rise of Mind-Controlled Limbs. Internet of Limbs. Impact: mind hijacking. Overloaded Circuits: Why Smart People Underperform. Will we all be tweaking our own genetic code?

Spectacular brain images reveal simple wiring - Technology & science - Science - LiveScience. How Engineering the Human Body Could Combat Climate Change - Ross Andersen - Technology. No Pulse: How Doctors Reinvented The Human Heart. Researchers create first large-scale model of human mobility that incorporates human nature. Scientists Create ‘Star Trek’ Visor, Helps Blind See.