Brain-Computer Interfaces Race to the Mass Market

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Mind-reading technology will allow us control devices with our thoughts from CNBC.

Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D

bSci21Media, LLC

Alan Pinkerton is a 16 year old high school student in Austin, Texas. He is also the CEO and Co-Founder of Brane Interface, a company striving to harness “the magnetic fields of human thought.”  The company is developing a technology to help those with various impairments or disabilities live better lives.

They seek to do this through graphene – a layer of carbon only as thick as an atom, but believed to be sensitive enough to respond to the brain’s electrical activity.  This, they hope, will enable a marketable brain-computer interface that will appeal to the masses, in the convenience of an earbud.  The technology will allow people to operate their phones, computers, or other electronic devices with their thoughts, without the use of arms, legs, or voice.

Brain-computer interfaces have been in the works for decades, but thus far have not been accessible to mass markets.  Brane Interface seeks to compete with others in the space, such as Elon Musk’s Neuralink whose technology is more invasive.  And there are others.  MIT has Alter Ego, which allows people to talk to machines and other people without saying or typing anything.

Behavior analysts are in the space as well.  A few years ago, we conducted an interview with Dr. Luis Valero-Aguayo in Spain.  His work incorporates operant conditioning using brain control interfaces linked to computers.  His work questions whether so-called “private events” are actually private within the context of brain control.

What are your thoughts on brain-computer interfaces?  Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to subscribe to bSci21 via email to receive the latest articles directly to your inbox!

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Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D is a science writer, social philosopher, behavioral systems analyst, and the President and Founder of bSci21Media, LLC, which aims to connect behavioral science to the world in an engaging, non-academic way.  Dr. Ward received his PhD in behavior analysis from the University of Nevada, Reno under Dr. Ramona Houmanfar.  He has served as a Guest Associate Editor of the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, and as an Editorial Board member of Behavior and Social Issues.  His publications follow a theme of behavioral systems analysis, organizational performance, theory & philosophy, and language & cognition.  He has also provided ABA services to children and adults with various developmental disabilities in day centers, in-home, residential, and school settings, and previously served as Faculty Director of Behavior Analysis Online at the University of North Texas.  Dr. Ward can be reached at todd.ward@bsci21.org

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