AI: Put Your Mind To It

Hey, put down that portable computing device you’re using to send messages to someone thousands of miles away in a matter of seconds while you watch a movie beamed from space that you bought by sending imaginary money straight from your bank account and listen to me for a second. It’s important. The future’s here, dammit!

Some researchers in England published a proof-of-concept for a brain-computer music interfacing system, or BCMI, that they tested on a patient with Locked-in Syndrome. By putting a bunch of electrodes on the patient’s scalp, they gave her the ability to use her eyes and the power of her mind to “compose” orchestral music and play it back in real time.

Artist's rendering.

Devices like this have been in use for a little while; in college, I even got to try one out where I “willed” a little pixelated airplane to ascend and descend on a computer screen (here’s a tissue, I may have just bragged all over you). But still. We have the technology to perform tasks by just thinking about them. What…how…I have to go lie down for a second.

What things would you do if a little mind power was all you needed?

The ART Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Mad Art Lab community. Look for it to appear Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 3pm ET.

Ashley Hamer

Ashley Hamer (aka Smashley) is a saxophonist and writer living in Chicago, where she performs regularly with the funk band FuzZz and jazz ensemble Big Band Boom. She also does standup comedy, sort of, sometimes. Her tenor saxophone's name is Ladybird.

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  1. Stop bragging all over me!

    If I had a little more mind power I would will myself to exercise more!

  2. Aw, come on! You guys have the power to do ANYTHING with JUST YOUR MIND and you choose exercise?

    I would move cars out of my way. I would shape clouds to my will. I would implant ideas in the minds of pretty boys on the train to fall madly in love with me.

    After all that, I might get around to changing the minds of Tea Partiers and alt-medders. Maybe. If there’s time.

  3. Oh, mind power. I was thinking more like will power for some reason. I blame Amy.
    Okay, so I’ve wanted Jedi telekinesis ever since I can remember. I actually have dreams like that quite often. I’d probably try out being a super-hero for a little while. Stalk the city at night, righting wrongs. After that, an infomercial where I endorse some kind of nearly useless kitchen appliance, because being a hero doesn’t pay so well.

  4. You’re all thinking way too small.

    I’d make it so that I could perform all the keyboard shortcuts in photoshop mentally. THAT’S time saving, and somewhat more realistic.

    I actually have a dread fear of mental powers because the mind is a terribly spontaneous thing. How many times have you, in the spur of anger, wished somebody’s head would explode? Now imagine that it’d actually happen every time. Way too dangerous 🙁

  5. Maki makes some good points. My suburb would be littered with corpses that day I found some passing drunk had kicked the side of my car in. Slightly less pathological, and developing the Photoshop angle, a 3D modelling program like Zbrush but controlled mentally – now there’s some interesting possibilities.

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