I'm not clear on the involuntary participation bit. Will it not work due to the strength of someones will to resist or because it is difficult to keep the hat on them?
In an announcement that's going to be a boon to the tin-foil haberdashery business, scientists at the University of Washington (UW) have successfully built a non-invasive system to remotely control the actions of humans. Brain to Brain communications at the University of Washington Mind control from the Ministry of Silly …
Pretty much the hat. Magnetic fields lose strength to the inverse square of the distance. In short, the strength of signal drops dramatically the farther away one is from the electromagnet.
In theory, one could build a unit to send a precise signal across the room to do the same thing, but every compass in the country would point to the facility. ;)
Not to mention rattling rebar in concrete walls...
I have t-shirts that reference boffin. My coffee cup reads "Boffin at Large" on one side, and has a large familiar blue oval trademark on the other. Most of my race cars have had a 22"X10" stencil that reads "DANGER! Boffins at work!" for the last thirty years. I tried to get the CA State license plate "BOFFIN", but somebody already bagged it ... See:
And I'm a bloody yank!
Boffin is certainly not demeaning, it's a term of respect and endearment for those clever "Back-room Boys" who come up with wonderful inventions like Radar, the Bouncing Bomb and other such things which are of use to those who actually need them.
People like Barnes Wallis or even Q from the Bond Films are archetypal Boffins and they would be honoured to be described as such!
The research itself is interesting, but as is often the case the way it's being presented is beyond any semblance of proportion....
I think you're extrapolating from too little information. As long as the coil is firing on reciept of a specific signal and the coil is capable of firing to other areas too there is no functional difference in the end result. All thats left is to build a translation map between transmitted "thought" and resulting stimulus and many many movements could be transmitted and recieved. Once that stage is complete then the next stage would be to replace the map with complex heuristics.
I think you undervaluing what is just a first baby step.
"This is a bit like programming a relay to trigger when it gets a signal, taping it to your car's throttle, and claiming you're remote controlling a car. "
Actually, pretty close. They're examining a mapped signal from one brain, then creating a trigger in the recipients brain.
It's a bit more remote control than altering respiratory patterns with deep brain stimulation, only barely. The latter being in common practice in research for decades.
It's remote controlling the *throttle*, not the *car*. Put it this way: If you're driving while juggling bowling pins, and crash, the judge is going to take a dim view of your assertion that you were too "controlling" the car because your foot was on the loud pedal.
'Controlling' is different from 'somehow altering the state of', in short. The ambiguity of the term is used deliberately on the part of the press to make the feat look more impressive than it is - which is precisely what bugs me.
As I said, that doesn't mean the research itself isn't useful. But this has as much to do with most of the frenzied talk of mind control and body rental as that throttle solenoid does with the Martian rovers.
I'm just thinking of the use of this for tech support, an area where mouth to ear brain interface can often be sadly lacking.
"Okay, so you've got an error message. Please put on your brain hat and be ready for a remote interface. I'll just need to access your visual cortex and motor functions. You may feel a slight tingle."
"I think some people will be unnerved by this because they will overestimate the technology," she said. "There's no possible way the technology that we have could be used on a person unknowingly or without their willing participation."
<:-)> Poe's Law invoked here …… The Stealthy Secrets Intelligence Sector Service would advise one to not misunderestimate the technologies and methodologies that are being used and abused on persons unknowingly and without their willing participation.
Such renders to leading proponents, Blissful Command with Unprecedented Anonymous Remote Control Guarantees that deliver the Future Supply of Internetworking Concurrent Active IT for a Para-Virtual Realisation and Semi-Autonomous Self Actualisation of Newsworthy Events, with immunity and impunity.
For some is that a type of NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive IT for Creative Cyberspace Command and Control and Commanding Computer Control of Communications and a Global Operating Devices Send for Virtual Machinery.
And I have absolutely nothing further to add to this tale ..... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23872765 .... other than "Whoever would have thunk it, and you aint seen nothing yet. " </ :-)>
"..mentally moved a finger to fire a cannon in a video game.."
I can certainly understand how important this technology could one day become, potentially.
But its weird that they chose to remote-control a trigger-finger for their 1st experiment..
I mean, of all the good uses this can be put to, it had to be tested as trigger-finger for a cannon?
Curious to see what the history books will write about this and how that will reflect on us.
Just think of the advantages! I no longer need to tell students which buttons to hit to solve their programming problems! As I think about the buttons their hands automatically fly over the keyboard and fix it! At last, we will have proven scientifically that it is possible for stuff to go from a lecturer's mind to a student's piece of work without the student having to think about it in the process.
I was going to cite a sci-fi story as Prior Art, but I can't remember the name of it (or even who wrote it, but it might have been Philip K Dick or Roger Zelazny) and I've not found it by searching :-(
IIRC it concerns someone who has lost an arm and had a cybernetic replacement, however suffers what would later be described in the Cyberpunk RPG as "Humanity Loss". He tries to get the surgeons to replace the rest of his body but they refuse, so he locks himself in a room with a computerised surgical device intending to carry out the procedure on himself.
The scientists stop him by hooking a lab tech up to a device which remotely controls the arm to punch himself on the chin (decapitating him!) and the arm is then connected to a Doctor who ends by saying something like "What miracles I shall perform..."
So can anyone remind me what the story is and who wrote it?