Computers Get Help from the Human Brain 
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 Computers Get Help from the Human Brain

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Computing
Computers Get Help from the Human Brain
Tapping into the processing power of the human brain could help computers
with some tasks.

a.. Tuesday, November 30, 2010
a.. By Duncan Graham-Rowe

Most brain-computer interfaces are designed to help disabled people
communicate or move around. A new project is using this type of interface to
help computers perform tasks they can't manage on their own. In experiments,
researchers used the interface to sort through satellite images for
surface-to-air missiles faster than any machine or human analyst could
manage alone.

"With Google, you have to type in words to describe what you're interested
in," says Paul Sajda, an associate professor at Columbia University. "But
let's say I'm interested in something 'funny looking.' "

Sajda explains that computers struggle to classify images according to this
kind of abstract concept, but humans can do it almost instantly. Electrical
signals within the brain fire before a person even realizes he's recognized
an image as odd or unusual.

Sajda's device, called C3Vision (cortically coupled computer vision), uses
an electroencephalogram (EEG) cap to monitor brain activity as the person
wearing it is shown about 10 images per second. Machine-learning algorithms
trained to detect the neurological signals that signify interest in an image
are used to analyze this brain activity. By monitoring these signals, the
system rapidly ranks the images in terms of how interesting they appear to
the viewer. The search is then refined by retrieving other images that are
similar to those with the highest rank. "It's a search tool that allows you
to find images that are very similar to those that have grabbed your
attention," says Sajda.

At the speed at which it works, the conscious brain is unable to register a
"hit." But the neurological visual pathways work much faster, says Sajda.
The brain produces distinct electrical signals that can be detected and
decoded by the 64 EEG electrodes within the cap. "It's on the edge of the
subconscious," he says.

Most brain-computer interface research is focused on harnessing conscious
processes, says Eric Leuthardt, director of the Center for Innovation in
Neuroscience and Technology at Washington University School of Medicine.
"Reading our brain signals and being able to distinguish 'interesting' from
'not interesting' prior to us having a conscious perception of seeing the
item tells us that there is a substantial amount of processing that our
brain does prior to the conscious awareness of the perception."

Andrew Blake, a computer vision expert and managing director of Microsoft
Research Cambridge, in the U.K., says that "controlling machines directly
from brain activity is a subject of intense research interest, but it is
very difficult to obtain precise control, particularly without invasive
methods."

Sajda calls the approach "information triage" because it uses limited
information from the brain to help refine an image search. "The key is, we
don't show the whole database. We take a small sample and show it very
rapidly," says Sajda. "From 10,000 images, we may show just 100 or so."

This process can deliver any images that grab the subject's attention. "One
of the cool things about the idea is, if you see something new you didn't
expect, and it grabs your attention, then this will also get a relatively
high score," he says.

Sajda and colleagues at Columbia have founded a spinoff company called
Neuromatters to commercialize the technology with $4.6 million in funding
from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Along with military
applications, Sajda says possible applications might include advanced {*filter*}
interfaces and neuro-marketing. "It could be used for getting demographic
feedback on how much an advert grabs people's attention," he says.



Thu, 20 Jun 2013 05:27:12 GMT
 Computers Get Help from the Human Brain
But why! Of course! As of lately computers are turned on by Human
Brains! (Does this thread content reminds me of SOMETHING? Mmmh?)

Danilo J Bonsignore



Thu, 20 Jun 2013 05:38:50 GMT
 
 [ 2 post ] 

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