Synthetic Telepathy

MSNBC had a fascinating article today on a form of synthetic telepathy being developed by the US Army, to be used for creating voice mail and email:

To those who might be nervous about thought-based communication turning into a sci-fi comedy of errors, D’Zmura says not to worry. Mind-message composition would take specific conscious thoughts and training to develop them. The device would also have a on/off switch.

“When I was a kid I occasionally said things that were inappropriate, and I learned not to do that,” said D’Zmura. “I think that people would learn to think in a way the computer couldn’t interpret. Or they can just switch it off.”

The notion of learning to hide your off-topic thoughts from such a device, and how that might be accomplished, is interesting.

Science songs

CNN ran a story today on a Boston University professor who composes science songs, and they showed a short clip of him singing one about a black hole.

I of course had to search out the archive of all his songs.

They’re fun and made me laugh a lot. :-) “Bad Data” particularly cracked me up, though the clips his colleagues took of him surreptitiously performing “Superliminal Lover” are also not to be missed.

Bionic Eyes

I’ve commented on bionic eye technology before, but it looks like they’re improving it. At this point they’re having success implanting an artificial retina and linking it to an external transmitter and video camera that can transmit light and motion to the optic nerve; they’re trying to put together one with enough sensors to enable facial recognition and are hoping to develop a pea-sized camera that can be implanted within a blind eye. Really interesting stuff.