Gat0r30y writes: Sci-am has a sweet article looking at the present state, and the future of brain / machine interfaces. Their analysis indicates that we aren't going to see Kurzweil's singularity any time soon, but advances are being made in the field. Gary Stix acknowledges that at present, there is no method for putting information into the brain from a machine, but we have gotten pretty good at using signals already in the brain to control machines. On monkeys controlling prosthetic arms Duke University's Miguel A. L. Nicoleli had this to say: "There's some physiological evidence that during the experiment they feel more connected to the robots than to their own bodies". Stix seems to believe that the problem of sending information back the other way is intractable. I don't know if I buy this analysis though — there is no mention of how plastic the human brain can be. Even if it is an extremely complicated problem, and I'm sure it will be, I would posit that if a proper interface to the brain could be developed the brain would figure out what to do with the incoming information in the most appropriate way — sending
.pngs to the visual cortex, and letting me download the instruction manual for my new jetpack straight to my brain.... I hope anyway. In any case, it is an entertaining article — so RTFA.