Yet another do-nothing Japanese robot (part of an ongoing game of one-upsmanship between automakers and electronics companies) that mimics one or more aspects of human behavior…Found on Drudge (www.drudgereport.com), who eats this stuff up.
At least the AFP didn’t lead its story with the tired line, “It sounds like science fiction, but…”
The creators of the Child-robot with Biomimetic Body, or CB2, say it’s slowly developing social skills by interacting with humans and watching their facial expressions, mimicking a mother-baby relationship.
A bald, child-like creature dangles its legs from a chair as its shoulders rise and fall with rythmic breathing and its black eyes follow movements across the room.
It’s not human — but it is paying attention.
via Japan child robot mimicks infant learning.
But to say the CB2 is “paying attention,” or “developing social skills,” is a stretch, if you consider these to be functions of a conscious mind.
Can killer robocats be far behind?
Photo: CC/Arizona Parrot
IBM has announced it will lead a US government-funded collaboration to make electronic circuits that mimic brains. Part of a field called “cognitive computing”, the research will bring together neurobiologists, computer and materials scientists and psychologists. As a first step in its research the project has been granted $4.9m £3.27m from US defense agency Darpa. The resulting technology could be used for large-scale data analysis, decision making or even image recognition. source: news.bbc.co.uk
via IBM to Build Cat-like Brain
Don’t know why, but this story appears to be a re-report of a story that ran a month ago: Click here for that one.
Screaming to be heard: Boston University claims its mind-reading device can get inside the heads of paralyzed patients.
by Mark Baard
New Scientist magazine, cited by the Beeb in this report (link and excerpt, below), often exaggerates the nature of scientific findings and discoveries.
That’s why I am just a bit dubious of the claim that electrodes implanted in the brain of a speechless man are unlocking his thoughts, and relaying them to a voice synthesizer.
But if the scientists at Boston University can indeed guess the guy’s thoughts accurately 80 percent of the time, that would be impressive.
Once they take this technology wireless, calling our thoughts our own might prove impossible.
|Scientists say they may be on the brink of translating the thoughts of a man who can no longer speak into words after a pioneering experiment.
Electrodes have been implanted in the brain of Eric Ramsay, who has been “locked in” – conscious but paralysed – since a car crash eight years ago.
These have been recording pulses in the areas of the brain involved in speech.
Now, New Scientist magazine reports, they are to use the signals he generates to create speech software.
Although the data is still being analysed, researchers at Boston University believe they can correctly identify the sound Mr Ramsay’s brain is imagining some 80% of the time
|In the next few weeks, a computer will start the task of translating his thoughts into sounds.
|“It’s very exciting that we are starting to be able to translate some basic thoughts, but we are lot further away from a universal mind reading machine than some people hoped – or feared – we may be five years ago.”
I first reported on this bionic elbow two years ago in the Boston Globe. MIT today is reporting positive results from a clinical trial.According to MIT, 32-year-old Maggie Fermental, who was left paralyzed on one side by a stroke, can use her arm with the aid of the NeuroRobotic Active Joint Brace.
The brace is made by Boston-based Myomo (www.myomo.com), an MIT spinout.
The brace sensed Fermental’s electrical muscle activity and provided power assistance to facilitate her movements, according to MIT.
Scientists also believe the Active Joint Brace provides further evidence of the brain’s neuroplasticity–its ability to rewire neurons to “work around” those damaged by stroke.
The secret behind your grip
(From my Boston Globe column in Dec. 2006)
Getting older will be awesome . . . really. Just think of all the cybernetic accoutrements you will be able show your friends at the senior center dance. Rather than flashing an old tattoo at your dance partner, you may be able to roll up your sleeve to show off your bionic elbow — the secret behind your firm grip through all of those breathtaking dips.
|The brace, designed to assist stroke victims who have lost partial use of limbs, detects through a patient’s skin the electric waves accompanying muscular contractions and can complete the intended motion — like lifting a forearm or bending a knee. It is the kind of technology that may lead to complete exoskeletons to keep aging baby boomers in motion.