ASIM Experts Series: Brain-Machine Interfacing: Current Work and Future Directions, by Max Hodak, October 17, 2010
"ASIM" stands for Advancing Substrate Independent Minds, the field previously known as mind uploading, though ASIM can be construed as broader. ASIM is the focus of Carboncopies, a new non-profit founded by Suzanne Gildert (now at D-Wave) and Randal Koene (Halcyon Molecular). Randal and I work at the same company so I get to see him in the lunch room now.
Brain-machine interfacing: current work and future directions
Max Hodak - http://younoodle.com/people/max_hodak
Abstract: Fluid, two-way brain-machine interfacing represents one of the greatest challenges of modern bioengineering. It offers the potential to restore movement and speech to the locked-in, and ultimately allow us as humans to expand far beyond the biological limits we're encased in now. But, there's a long road ahead. Today, noninvasive BMIs are largely useless as practical devices and invasive BMIs are critically limited, though progress is being made everyday. Microwire array recording is used all over the world to decode motor intent out of cortex to drive robotic actuators and software controls. Electrical intracortical microstimulation is used to "write" information to the brain, and optogenetic methods promise to make that easier and safer. Monkey models can perform tasks from controlling a walking robot to feeding themselves with a 7-DOF robotic arm. Before we'll be able to make the jump to humans, biocompatibility of electrodes and limited channel counts are significant hurdles that will need to be crossed. These technologies are still in their infancy, but they're a huge opportunity in science for those motivated to help bring them through to maturity.
Max Hodak is a student of Miguel Nicolelis, the well-known BMI engineer.