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American developers are ready to show a computer that reads minds
According to the source, the program of the UIST 2021 (User Interface Software and Technology) symposium, held from October 7 to 10 under the auspices of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), includes a demonstration of “mind reading” technology using a computer. The development, which is based on the use of functional spectroscopy in the near infrared (fNIRS), was carried out by specialists from Tufts University (g. Medford, USA).
The researchers are said to have been able to create machine learning algorithms that assess the brain workload of a user performing tasks of varying complexity and adjust the user interface accordingly.
FNIRS technology is used in medicine to detect tumors; it literally lets you see through the skin. Scientists at Tufts University have used unique capabilities offered by fNIRS to improve the human-machine interface. It is expected that their development will find practical application in critical areas of computer use, for example, in air traffic control rooms, where it is extremely important to monitor the level of operator workload.
The installation includes infrared sensors mounted on the operator’s head in the forehead area. Emitting laser diodes of sensors send light pulses in the near infrared range, penetrating deep into the skull for two to three centimeters. The peculiarity of light propagation is that it freely passes through blood deoxyhemoglobin, but is blocked by oxyhemoglobin. Since the level of oxyhemoglobin is unambiguously related to the level of brain activity, the amount of light recorded by the receiving diodes allows us to judge the level of load – from the state of “bored” to the state of “overloaded”.
While there are no data on plans for commercial application of the development, it is argued that taking into account the individual level of workload could become the basis for the dynamic reallocation of tasks between controllers, and this would have a positive impact on flight safety.
Source: EE Times