Today's blog is about an important article that was shared by J.H., to whom a big thank you for noticing this story and passing it along. The subject concerns one of my favorite topics: mind manipulation technologies, and their skeptics. Indeed, today's blog is less about the technology (though it is about that too), and more about the skeptics who don't believe such things exist.
For my part, on the other hand, I'm of the opinion that the only way to explain the current suicide of western civilization, the insanity and utter lack of common morality and decency among its ruling political and plutocratic classes, their pervasive disbelief in God or any other transcendent principle, their willingness to "lock down" an entire planet for what, in effect, is a flu, their concerted and orchestrated campaign to get people to take an untested and highly experimental genetic quackcine, their characterization of what is a flu outbreak to epidemics of the plague, is in part because many of them are under the influence of these technologies, as are most people. Something has switched off their moral compass, and that something may be in part technological in addition to the usual ideological explanations.
In other words, the subject of mind manipulation is a very serious one, with very serious social, cultural, and political consequences. We're looking at them now.
Consider the implications of the following article:
Note what we have: a technology to translate brainwaves into actual speech, with the usual bow to the beneficial health benefits of the technology, in this instance, helping victims of strokes to be able to speak and communicate again:
In a world first, US researchers have developed a neuroprosthetic device that successfully translated the brain waves of a paralyzed man into complete sentences, according to a scientific paper published Thursday.
"This is an important technological milestone for a person who cannot communicate naturally," said David Moses, a postdoctoral engineer at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), and one of the lead authors of the study in the New England Journal of Medicine.
"It demonstrates the potential for this approach to give a voice to people with severe paralysis and speech loss."
The breakthrough involved a 36-year-old man who had a stroke when he was 20 that left him with anarthria - the inability to speak intelligibly, though his cognitive function had remained intact.
Every year, thousands of people lose the ability to talk due to strokes, accidents or disease.
The team decided to launch a new study called Brain-Computer Interface Restoration of Arm and Voice, and the first participant asked to be referred to as BRAVO1.
Since suffering a devastating brainstem stroke, BRAVO1 has had extremely limited head, neck, and limb movements, and communicates by using a pointer attached to a baseball cap to poke letters on a screen.
The researchers worked with BRAVO1 to develop a 50-word vocabulary with words essential to his daily life like "water," "family," and "good," then surgically implanted a high-density electrode over his speech motor cortex.
Over the next several months, the team recorded his neural activity as he attempted to say the 50 words, and used artificial intelligence to distinguish subtle patterns in the data and tie them to words.
The system decoded up to 18 words per minute with a median accuracy of 75 percent. An "auto-correct" function, similar to that used in phones, contributed to its success.
"To our knowledge, this is the first successful demonstration of direct decoding of full words from the brain activity of someone who is paralyzed and cannot speak," said BRAVO1's neurosurgeon Edward Chang, a co-author.
Actually, it isn't the first time that brain wave patterns have been decoded into words. In my book Microcosm and Medium I pointed out that this type of research has been going on since at least the 1970s, if not before, and that by that time, some 2000 words had been "decoded" and their brainwave templates recognized and compiled into what I called "electro-encephalographic dictionaries." The first question then that must be asked is why is this recent achievement presented as something new, unless the people conducting the BRAVO test were simply unaware of the prior research and art. I don't rule that possibility out, either.
But suppose, for a moment, that prior research was not known to the BRAVO testers. Then at the minimum, we have confirmation of the basic idea behind "electro-encephalographic dictionaries," for to decode speech from brainwave patterns associated with certain words is, in effect, the compilation of precisely such a dictionary. It's the first, and most essential, step to the invasion of the last bastion of human privacy itself: that interior conversation that all of us carry about in our minds all the time. It's an essential component and first step to being able to listen into those conversations and, perhaps, by using those brainwave templates, to modulate those patterns on microwaves and talk back to the individual concerned, to literally project a conversation into the brain remotely through standard broadcast technology concepts.
With the right technology, and enough power, one could perhaps influence entire regions by this method... and perhaps that's the real point here. Perhaps we're looking not at news, but a limited hangout, an admission the technology and technique exists, but only in a rudimentary form that is not well-advanced.
Either way, however, the article is an admission that in whatever form - highly advanced or rudimentary - the idea of an "electro-encephalographic dictionary" exists...
See you on the flip side...