If anything, we the humans are really good at using our hands. Magnificent pieces of art, and incredible athletic acts were pulled out through that amazingly inefficient set of limbs, connected to the source of thought through intrinsic “interface” of nerves.
Electric impulses within neural network of our brain release neurotransmitters into synapse, they bind to matching receptors, receptors break down by enzymes, et voila – you thought of heat, and your hand jerked out of danger.
Granted, chemical process of body is slow – compared to electric impulses of the brain, nervous system introduces a lag. Not only that, but one has to amass significant experience in passing these messages from brains to limbs, so that limbs perform precise actions.
And the “information highway” of the nerves going through our spine is vulnerable – one bad hit, and you are quadriplegic!
Besides, any coordinated movement requires analysis of a feedback – we need to know how far our finger actually moved, after telling it to move – so we know when to stop. And – you guessed it – feedback may face some issues, turning our movement from fluent and precise to jerky and uncertain.
We spend years and years of our life to develop “reflexes”. Some of us are better at it, others are clumsy. We may get drunk and delicate chemical balance may be thrown away bad enough to throw us on the asphalt. We may be tired, and changed levels of necessary chemicals would get our movements unreliable.
Now, given all of the technological development of today – are there better ways of interacting with the world, compared to our bodies? They are still a great backup, but can we do better?
We certainly can.
Modern sensors – even rather cheap ones – are quite good at capturing electronic impulses within our brain. Machine learning mechanisms can learn the patterns of these impulses, and associate them with specific actions we perform. Technically, we can build an entire “library” of these mappings, and use it to “translate” events in our brain without participation of the body!
So, plenty of interested people did just that – spend countless hours figuring out the mappings between brain impulses and body movements – and then making something useful out of these, like having these impulses control – for example – prosthetic limbs.
Obviously, since patterns recognition requires a massive amount of statistics to make truly universal, high quality correlations. This is way too much even for modern supercomputers, let alone wearable devices – so presently, experiments with direct mind control are rather limited.
However, the knowledge of mind to body mappings would grow – and eventually a new generations of “libraries” would be created, mapping brain activities to more and more refined and out of body actions – like, for example, capturing the way a composer creates music. Or how a photographer analyses the light sources.
These beyond-the-body options will expand ability of humans to interact with the world and each other way beyond the traditional think-speak-listen-touch models. They will allow exchange of information at the speed of light directly from one splash of electric signals to another. They will allow cooperation between human minds on a level unimaginable today – but totally feasible as a concept!
Brain Mechanics experimented with a drone piloted by EEG signals. That was a cute way of showing that electricity-to-electricity works better than electricity-to-chemistry. Faster and more precise. But we are, obviously, going for more – way more! Our intent is to heal damaged minds, and optimize properly functioning beyond common standards, limited by hereditary intricacies of human biology.
If this rings a bell and you would like to work on something like that – join our team!