Thursday, April 20, 2017

Facebook begins its work to implement optical imaging

Facebook announced that with a team of 60 engineers, social media giant is working to build brain-computer interface that allows you to type with just your mind without invasive implants. The team plans to implement optical imaging to scan your brain a hundred times per second to detect you speaking quietly in your head and translate it into text.
Regina Dugan, the head of Facebook’s R&D division Building 8, shared more details to the members of conference that the aim is to allow people to type at 100 words per minute, 5X faster than typing on a phone, with mind alone.
 “What if you could type directly from your brain?” Chief of Facebook R&D says. She demonstrated a video of a paralyzed patient at Stanford who can type using mind with an implanted sensor. Chief also explained how Facebook wants to move ahead without the use of surgical implants.

While the work in Building 8 had only begun working on the brain typing project six months ago, it is now collaborating with UC San Francisco, UC Berkeley, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine in St.Louis and Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory. Researchers who are specialized in machine learning for decoding speech and language, building optical neuroimaging systems with advanced structural resolution and next-generation neural prosthetics are participating.
The program calls for to significantly build non-implanted devices that can ship in a large proportion. Facebook also says “This isn’t about decoding random thoughts. This is about decoding the words you’ve already decided to share by sending them to the speech center of your brain.” Further, Facebook confirms that you’ll be able to think at liberty but only convert few thoughts into text.
Alternatively, Building 8 is also working for human to be able to hear through their skin. Collecting prototypes of hardware and software that allows impression the cochlea in your car that translates sound into specific frequencies in your brain. This technology could enable deaf people with “hear” by bypassing their ears.
Facebook engineer team is experimenting with hearing through skin with the medium of system of actuators tuned to 16 frequency bands. A test subject was ready to develop a diction of nine words they could hear through their skin.
According to job listings, Facebook is looking for a “Brain-Computer Interface Engineer” who will have responsibility for working on a 2-year B8 project emphasizing on development BCI technologies. Job tasks include “Application of machine learning methods, including encoding and decoding models, to neuroimaging and electrophysiological data.” The company is also looking for a Neural Imaging Engineer who will be  “focused on developing novel non-invasive neuroimaging technologies” who has to “Design and evaluate novel neural imaging methods based on optical, RF, ultrasound, or other entirely non-invasive approaches.”

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