back to article Microsoft patents brain-computer link

Microsoft has sent in a patent application where no patent application has gone before. It wants to own the rights to read your mind. More specifically, the firm says it wants to understand human computer interaction better, and has opted to read our minds. The psychic approach is the best option, the firm says, because …

COMMENTS

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Tom

It looks like you're trying to compose a thought

Would you like me to think it for you?

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"It looks like you're thinking about writing a letter..."

So when "Windows for Brainwaves" is released, you'll REALLY need a memory upgrade?!

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This could be the greatest leap forward since the invention of the keyboard!

I've got the good fortune to be trialing one of these devices! I must say its absolutly astonishing, to have the abilility to actually 'see' the words you are visualising takes a little, whats that out the window? time to master but it really is quite an, bloody salad for lunch! who eats salad for lunch? improvement over the traditional button bashing. In fact its quite a revelation, I can see this being the launchpad for a whole raft of exciting tech developments, things get real weird when you access your gmail!

I'll keep you all, I must have a shit, up to date with my progress!

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Paris Hilton

Thank You, Lucy.....

...for the Paris Hilton angle. Much appreciated!

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@Alex

i'm sat here in the office wetting myself - that was f******* brilliant - thanks!

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Thumb Down

It's trying to understand the failed Vista sales

MS can't simply understand why the world + dog didn't buy Vista. After all, it needed more hardware (new kit for everyone), it has fancy graphics (which has since long beaten functionality as a sales argument) and it had been marketed at a normally very docile and gullible public that would buy any product that had been shown on telly enough.

So, somewhere, something must have gone wrong, and it obviously isn't a fault with the product (it's Redmond we're talking about, not a sensible setup)..

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Black Helicopters

Feedback?

As long as they don't put a feedback mechanism in - I'd hate to get electrocuted just for thinking about Linux.

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C24 prior art

They should have checked with Reg Barclay ...

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Mars

Aha!

Perhaps AmanFromMars has been trialling this... NOW it all makes sense!!!

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"It looks like you're thinking about using Linux..."

Shall I reformat the drive ready for the installation?

<thinks: Why yes, my little plastic pal - and at all speed, if you please>

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Happy

Plugging the analog hole

I expect this is just laying the ground work for plugging the analog hole in the next version of Windows DRM.

Unauthorised brains won't be able to listen to their music or access their files.

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3x2

Help required

I'm sure someone can explain this one to me.

Surely you are free to interpret data you have collected in any way you see fit using whatever method is appropriate for your study. Why do you need a patent?

a) determining brain states of interest;

b) collecting a set of labeled EEG data signals that include artifacts ("labeled EEG data");

c) dividing the labeled EEG data into overlapping time windows;

d) removing the time dimension from each time window;

e) generating features from the time windows; and

f) building the classifier model.

Just so I'm clear ....

(a+b) get some EEG data and decide if there is anything of interest, not forgetting to label it as "EEG data" so we don't forget

(c+d) look at the data from left to right or right to left or even as discrete sections

(e+f) find any features that may be of interest and classify them (presumably labeling them as "interesting")

And some people want this kind of patent to be valid in the EU??

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JP
Alert

The ultimate security!

Who needs passwords and fingerprint readers when you can just have a brain-scan instead!

And we need an icon for the "Rise of the Machines" below. "You are thinking about throwing away my obsolete processor. Would you like one or two thousand volts between the ears?

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Flame

oh dear

You know how Microsoft often suggests or corrects words that you type? Well the next step with this could be:- are you thinking in American English? or international English? (how about English English?), then " I'm sorry but the thoughts you are thinking contravene our .................Policy (insert diversity, equal opportunity, political movement of the day) and as result we have informed.........(insert.. your employers, the local constabulary, thought police) and you are scheduled now for testing and re-education.

or how about your annual assessment?

"Well Mr Tuttle, we have found that most of your thoughts are about football, drink, women, last night, etc, and not about work! no pay rise for you then"

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Anonymous Coward

"Please remember that destruction of company property could result in criminal action."

...or words to that effect!

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Well...

I hope it has better memory management than ME.

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Coat

Noise filtering

When I'm sat in yet another boring office meeting, transcribing the minutes via my Brainware on to a projected screen, it will be a little embarrassing if my mind wanders along the lines of:

"Hmm, I've not seen that bird from HR before. I bet she shags like minx..."

That or:

"Head of Marketing. KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL"

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@Alex

LMAO!

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Somebody give Alex a prize

That is the most original comedic comment I've ever seen on el reg. I think you lot at the reg should not only publish that comment in the weekly comment round up, but also give him a prize for such a brilliant piece of writing.

I think a fair prize for such brilliance would be, a reg T-Shirt and a boxed copy of windows XP so he can keep vista at bay.

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Coat

Noise filtering

When I'm sat in yet another boring office meeting, transcribing the minutes via my Brainware on to a projected screen, it will be a little embarrassing if my mind wanders along the lines of:

"Hmm, I've not seen that bird from HR before. I bet she shags like minx..."

That or:

"Head of Marketing. KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL"

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Caution: waste matching Mars exploration project...

Sad that those American cousins over on the west coast have to waste all this time, effort and money on a fruitless exercise.

Those of us close enough to Ol' Blighty to enjoy the verbal peregrinations of the Goon Show will instantly recall one of those famous lines delivered impeccably by Bill:

"Beware of thinking! It's ALL IN THE MIND, YOU KNOW!"

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Faith in Windows

There are several patents & products out there for HRV & GSR biofeedback mice. Such tools require practice and don't work on underdeveloped wetware. MS should join the Scientologist's and make a mint selling self-programming upgrades.

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Stop

Patenting what?

The article makes it sound like they're patenting something they've yet to implement at all.. which they probably still have to.

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Gates Horns

All your brains...

... are belong to us...!

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Alert

BSOD

what'll happen if you get the dreaded BSOD?

Will your head go "POP"???

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Unhappy

What happens if it goes wrong?

Blue Mind of Death?

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Coat

@Tom

"Would you like me to think it for you?"

No thanks, I've already installed Wife V2.0 for that.

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Anonymous Coward

Lol @ Alex

... another reader wetting himself in the office as a result of that comment.

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Anonymous Coward

From a medical background, I immediately think of the spin offs for my field...

Doctor, I have a terrible pain in my head.

I see. Have you tried switching it off and on again?

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Silver badge

I hope the fans are switched off ......

"I'll keep you all, I must have a shit, up to date with my progress!"

Too much information, Alex. Turn the Control down a notch.

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Coat

Things to think about...

...before MS can see you doing it...

1 - Another thumbs up for Alex...

2 - Were I the suspicious and cynical sort of individual (which, of course, I'm not!) I might suspect that this is a pre-emptive attempt at patenting the underpinnings of a non-verbal/non-mechanical (mouse, keyboerd) computer interface for the disabled, and possibly being applicable to a neural interface as is being mooted for things like artificial eyes and direct control of artificial limbs. That is to say, any attempt to read brainwaves to control a computerized adjunct would require paying a license fee to M$.

2a -

"To Professor Kevin Warwick [aka Captain Cyborg]

"Reading University

"Dear Professor Warwick:

"It has come to our attention that you are in violation of Microsoft Corporation's Intellectual Property; to wit: U.S. Patent Number nnnnnnn regarding a method and technique for human-computer interface. You are required to cease and desist this infringement immediately, or..."

...so it might not be ALL downside...

3 - Re: "Plugging the analog hole"

...I'm sorry, but that sounds painful...

...and messy...

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Gates Halo

Bluescreens anyone?

Hmm.... "Tell me how you feel about-" *close pop-up* "Tell me how you-" *close pop-up*

Would they be called "Visualize-Ups"? And what about the spyware... Hmm... Then I could log what I was thiking for future reference when the girlfriend claims i didn't hear what she said...

Well, hopefully it will go better than their "Speech Recognition" built into Vista...

http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&fg=copy&vid=851C886E-92AC-40DF-9B54-A89F0AA68BC1

"We are sorry... We have detected that you must install the "Genuine Advantage" patch before we can verify your brain is authentic..."

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Anonymous Coward

@ LOL at "blue mind of death"

props to Alex; hysterical... However, when pondering how I badly I would function in a similar situation: In the conference room, with lots of veeep's and other such impotent people, the screen would probably read:

Revenue is up, Bob (my boss) you're a douche bag... as for the rest of this sorry ass collage of idiots, rejects and morons, F-you, and you, and you and you and you and you; you're just schmuck and you're conclusive proof of what the end result is when brother and sister procreate... I don't know what the F your problems but I bet it's damn hard to pronounce... Whose ass do I have to kiss to get fired or promoted?

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Gates Horns

Prior art exists - no patent

The military has had brain-control interfaces in aircraft for some time now. The Japanese have been working on mind-machine interfaces for years, so I'm sure somebody can come up with some prior art to scotch this tosh. The only reason MS is doing this is so they can put the kibosh on the Linux/OSS community when they develop this sort of thing, and for no other reason. So let's see some action from the likes of Matsushita and Hitachi to bury this shit now.

Balls-up Ballmer deserves public execution, no less.

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Anonymous Coward

And in the even more far distant future ........

Microsoft Teleport Control Software v1.0

Trust it with your life.

(Cue image of great-grandson of Ballmer cheerfully explaining why some people are re-materialising inside out).

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Lex
Gates Horns

New updates are available for your computer

"This update fixes a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your brain with malicious code."

In other news, I'd like to smack the idiot who designed this intersection.

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Alien

Zombie Armies FTW

Forget spam botnets, just force people to give all their money and possessions to you and act as soldiers for you, all by reprogramming their heads through unpatched security holes in the brain interface.

No zombie :(

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