Elon Musk is one of the firm believers who think that brain-computer interfaces will be a big part of how we interact with computers in the future. But make no mistake: mind-reading machines are here already. As science fiction writer William Gibson has noted, “The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed.” Without further ado, then, here are eight examples of amazing mind-reading tech being explored in some of the world’s most exciting research labs.

That’s the broad idea behind a so-called “cognitive hearing aid” developed by researchers at the Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science. The device is designed to read brain activity to determine which voice a hearing aid user is most interested in listening to, and then focusing in on it.

While it’s still in the R&D phase, this could be a game-changer for millions of deaf or hard of hearing people around the world. “Working at the intersection of brain science and engineering, I saw a unique opportunity to combine the latest advances from both fields, to create a solution for decoding the attention of a listener to a specific speaker in a crowded scene which can be used to amplify that speaker relative to others,” Nima Mesgarani, an associate professor of electrical engineering, told Digital Trends.

Ichiro Kobayashi, one of the researchers on the project, said that there are no plans to use it as the basis for a supercharged lie detector… just yet, at least. “So far, there are not any real-world applications for this,” he told Digital Trends.

“However, in the future, this technology might be a quantitative basis of a brain-machine interface.” Another project from neuroscientists at Canada’s University of Toronto Scarborough was able to recreate the faces of people that participants had previously seen. Bionic prostheses have made enormous strides in recent years — and the concept of a mind-controlled robot limb is now very much a reality. Read more from digitaltrends.com…

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