Thursday, September 22, 2011

Want Super Powers? Try Super Technology

What is the limit for how far technology can/will go? We truly cannot pinpoint the finish line for technological advancement because researchers always find a way to upgrade our systems. After reading "Want Super Powers? Try Super Technology" by Venessa Wong, one comes to the realization that data, information, and knowledge will constantly be growing and upgrading.

The dream of obtaining special powers that defeats all limitations of our naturally given bodies and minds has been existent in society for as long as humanity came to existence. People always seem to want more and researchers from Intel Labs Pittsburgh (INTC), Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Pittsburgh are working on a project to give us that "more." This project is called NeuroSys. Through producing a thousand word database, they have developed software that uses a system of algorithms that can correlate a person's brain functioning with words they are thinking. Essentially, this is software developed to predict and read the thoughts of the human mind.

The focus behind NeuroSys is the analysis of the thoughts and ideas of the people. As our textbook says, "the single most important resource in any organization is its people. People set goals, carry out tasks, make decisions, serve customers, and, in the case of IT specialists, provide a stable and reliable technology environment so the organization can run smoothly and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace." NeuroSys can take technology where it has never been before. Information and technology literacy will be the clearest it has ever been. Ideas, thoughts, and knowledge can all be provided without the time and effort of collecting and working for all the data. According to the researchers behind NeuroSys, the project is based on the assumption that society will not be completely natural until the interface vanishes for good, and accessing information involves only a simply thought and that is exactly what they want to accomplish. The ultimate vision of the NeuroSys project is to exchange information between the human mind and computers and mobile devices through the sole use of thought.

The NeuroSys Project is evolving through the use of a magnetoencephalography (MEG) machine that a person enters upon which their brain is then monitored. One is presented with a set of words to think and the machine identifies the locations in his brain that show increased activity. Each word processed contains different reactions and are shown through a variety of lights. The machine provides a location for which the word was used in the brain thus narrowing the possibilities. Preciseness, location, and language have all been issues raised concerning the NeuroSys Project but the ability of the machine has survived the struggles by providing accurate information when tested.

Overall, Neurosys is a technological advancement no one thought was possible. Even though it is not complete yet, the fact that such a device can be created is remarkable. The differentiation of the NeuroSys Project is what makes it a true specialty and one of a kind. A machine this unique is bound to impact technology immediately and it is just a matter of time before the demand of such a device is through the roof.

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