Intel: Chips in brains will control computers by 2020
Such brain research isn't limited to Intel and its university partners.
Almost two years ago, scientists in the U.S. and Japan announced that a monkey's brain was used to to control a humanoid robot. Miguel Nicolelis, a professor of neurobiology at Duke University and lead researcher on the project, said that researchers were hoping its work would help paralyzed people walk again.
And a month before that, a scientist at the University of Arizona reported that he had successfully built a robot that is guided by the brain and eyes of a moth. Charles Higgins, an associate professor at the university, predicted that in 10 to 15 years people will be using "hybrid" computers running a combination of technology and living organic tissue.
Today, Intel's Pomerleau said various research facilities are developing technologies to sense activity from inside the skull.
"If we can get to the point where we can accurately detect specific words, you could mentally type," he added. "You could compose characters or words by thinking about letters flashing on the screen or typing whole words rather than their individual characters."
Pomerleau also noted that the more scientists figure out about the brain, it will help them design better microprocessors. He said, "If we can see how the brain does it, then we could build smarter computers."
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