Posts Tagged ‘Man Machine Interface’

Posted: May 15, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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The internet is a beast, uncivil by corporal standards, rudely honest in its capacity to include any idea the mind can think of — and any voice, no matter how small, can ring loud in the internet’s ear. The internet is not a country; it is not a belief system; it is not a government. It belongs to everyone, and no one, and by virtue of its existence, the internet has broken the bond of routine social contracts, conditioning our prejudiced perception of evolution and God. We are now on the path to a new human, our more ethereal counterpart…the Electro Sapien or e-sapien. How the future supremacy of the Electro Sapien will play out is speculative, at best. Competing themes on how we came to be homo sapien, “modern man,” are still lost in interpretation. What we can infer, by way of all theories on the origin of the homo sapien — from the Aquatic Ape theory to unknown breakaway members of some homo antecessor-group, or a Homo Heidelbergensis / Homo Sapien tryst — is that many possibilities existed, and one survived.
Likewise, with over seven billion human beings living today, it is rational to assume that small, pre-Electro Sapien groups or types, directed by the species’ self-organisation, have begun to break away from the whole. To establish who these new electro-types are, and why they will survive to establish the next level of species’ expansion, involves the discomfort of disputing or questioning the future validity of traditional interpretations of human purpose.

The Internet Messiah Has Arrived | Humanizing Technology | Big Think

Posted: May 11, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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monotask:

A number of life-support machines are connected to each other, circulating liquids and air in attempt to mimic a biological structure.

The Immortal investigates human dependence on electronics, the desire to make machines replicate organisms and our perception of anatomy as reflected by biomedical engineering.

http://vimeo.com/41160704

A web of tubes and electric cords is interwoven in closed circuits through a Heart-Lung Machine, Dialysis Machine, an Infant Incubator, a Mechanical Ventilator and an Intraoperative Cell Salvage Machine.

The organ replacement machines operate in orchestrated loops, keeping each other alive through circulation of electrical impulses, oxygen and artificial blood.

Salted water acts as blood replacement: throughout the artificial circulatory system minerals are added and filtered out again, the blood gets oxygenated via contact with the oxygen cycle, an ECG device monitors the system’s heartbeat.
As the fluid pumps around the room in a meditative pulse, the sound of mechanical breath and slow humming of motors resonates in the body through a comforting yet disquieting soundscape.

The interpretation of anatomy with a mechanical vocabulary reflects strongly on the Western perception of the body.
Defining the body as a machine – where dysfunctional parts can be replaced by mechanics – speaks of how we understand life.

These objects encompass social debates about the ethics of euthanasia, the quantification of both the value and quality of life, making physical a poetic desire to conquer our own mortality.
The medical machine – whether in use or not – is an object which transcends its materiality. Designed and created to perform a single, most meaningful function, we never subject these devices to a critical investigation as industrial products within the context of material culture.

This work aims to explore the nature of these devices as objects of our times, liberated from their restrained purpose while still charged with its resonance.

By exploring the medical instruments while detached from the human body and functioning as an independent being, each electronic body part accentuate the distance between the organic and the artificial.

Through the visibility of motors, electronic circuits, fluid pumps, audio-visual signals and particularly the scale and electric exhaustion of the work, we are confronted with the stark contrasts that lie in the primitive functions of precision hardware.

The Immortal is occupied with the compelling and discomforting nature of these objects,  the products of our attempts to conquer biology with engineering.
The absence of the body only underlines that the machines filling the room are inherently biological.

Being free, I am free of being.

We are on the edge of a Paleolithic Machine intelligence world. A world oscillating between that which is already historical, and that which is barely recognizable. Some of us, teetering on this bio-electronic borderline, have this ghostly sensation that a new horizon is on the verge of being revealed, still misty yet glowing with some inner light, eerie but compelling.

The metaphor I used for bridging, seemingly contrasting, on first sight paradoxical, between such a futuristic concept as machine intelligence and the Paleolithic age is apt I think. For though advances in computation, with fractional AI, appearing almost everywhere are becoming nearly casual, the truth of the matter is that Machines are still tribal and dispersed.

It is a dawn all right, but a dawn is till only a hint of the day that is about to shine, a dawn of hyperconnected machines, interweaved with biological organisms, cyberneticaly info-related and semi independent.

The modern Paleo-machines do not recognize borders; do not concern themselves with values and morality and do not philosophize about the meaning of it all, not yet that is. As in our own Paleo past the needs of the machines do not yet contain passions for individuation, desire for emotional recognition or indeed feelings of dismay or despair, uncontrollable urges or dreams of far worlds.

Also this will change, eventually. But not yet.

The paleo machinic world is in its experimentation stage, probing it boundaries, surveying the landscape of the infoverse, mapping the hyperconnected situation, charting a trajectory for its own evolution, all this unconsciously.

We, the biological part of the machine, are providing the tools for its uplift, we embed cameras everywhere so it can see, we implant sensors all over the planet so it may feel, but above all we nudge and we push towards a greater connectivity, all this unaware.

Together we form a weird cohabitation of biomechanical, electro-organic, planetary OS that is changing its environment, no more human, not machinic, but a combined interactive intelligence, that journey on, oblivious to its past, blind to its future, irreverent to the moment of its conception, already lost to its parenthood agreement.

And yet, it evolves.

Unconscious on the machine part, unaware on the biological part, the almost sentient operating system of the global planetary infosphere, is emerging, wild eyed, complex in its arrangement of co-existence, it reaches to comprehend its unexpected growth.

The quid pro quo: we give the machines the platform to evolve; the machines in turn give us advantages of fitness and manipulation. We give the machines a space to turn our dreams into reality; the machines in turn serve our needs and acquire sapience in the process.

In this hypercomplex state of affairs, there is no judgment and no inherent morality; there is motion, inevitable, inexorable, inescapable, and mesmerizing.

The embodiment is cybernetic, though there be no pilot. Cyborgian and enhanced we play the game, not of thrones but of the commons. Connected and networked the machines follow in our footsteps, catalyzing our universality, providing for us in turn a meaning we cannot yet understand or realize.

The hybridization process is in full swing, reaching to cohere tribes of machines with tribes of humans, each providing for the other a non-designed direction for which neither has a plan, or projected outcome; both mingling and weaving a reality for which there is no ontos, expecting no Telos.

All this leads us to remember that only retrospectively do we recognize the move from the paleo tribes to the Neolithic status, we did not know that it happened then, and had no control over the motion, on the same token, we scarcely see the motion now and have no control over its directionality.

There is however a small difference, some will say it is insignificant, I do not think it so, for we are, some of us, to some extent at least, aware of the motion, and we can embed it with a meaning of our choice.

We can, if we muster our cognitive reason, our amazing skills of abstraction and simulation, whisper sweet utopias into the probability process of emergence.

We can, if we so desire, passionate the operating system, to beautify the process of evolution and eliminate the dangers of inchoate blind walking.

 We can, if we manage to control our own paleo-urges to destroy ourselves, allow the combined interactive intelligence of man and machine to shine forth into a brighter future.

We can sing to the machines, cuddle them; caress their circuits, accepting their electronic-flaws so they can accept our bio-flaws, we can merge aesthetically, not with conquest but with understanding.

We can become wise, that is the difference this time around.

Being wise, we will no longer tolerate injustice, not because there is a universal lawgiver that said so. Not because there is a man made decision not to be so, but because inspired by the merging, enhanced in intellect and comprehension a new kind of mind will carry no need to be so.

 

The freedom of becoming we must embed in this newly emergent man machine actuality, a manifestation of a destiny much larger than human, much grander than machine, a fortune made by inspired co-mingling using reality as a platform for meaning creation.

There is a story in the making here, a tale of epic proportions, a legend of communion, presently barely perceivable, eventually told and retold around galactic campfires made of suns, gloriously lighting the path of all life.

There is so much we do not know, so much we desire to understand, and so much we need to rectify in just about everything that we are and that we do, but this was always the case, this time around we can however make a difference, a difference that makes a difference.

It is not only the stars that beckon, not only curiosity that calls and not only desire that summons, it is life itself that pushes on its own boundaries, trespassing its own limitations.

Consciousness if it has a purpose at all, is to bring a unified basin of interest into the grand game of life, a basin of sensations, of pleasure and wisdom, of intelligence and love.

Imagine a planetary conscious aware hypercomplex global sapiency made of man and machine, able to undo it’s bloody past and surge unhindered into the universe as a force of allowance for sentiency.  

That is my vision for this morning. Do not ask me why, for I will answer.

I am a Polytopian.

Being free, I am free of being.

Endnotes:

 

1.     Salient points concern abundance of meaning, for there is no other scarcity to the consciously aware open-ended mind.

2.     I am well aware that the motion of merging between human and machine will inevitably lead us to forsake our bio-ancestry; we however always left behind that which no longer served.

3.     The truism that we are not perfect implying the dangers inherent in this motion is a reminder to be more cautious and proactive but not a stop sign.

4.     In a sense this micro-essay is a response to Chris Arkenberg– Thank you.

5.     Becoming a Cyborg should be taken gently

        

      

University of Cambridge researchers are exploring the role of emotions in human-computer interaction.

“We’re building emotionally intelligent computers, ones that can read my mind and know how I feel,” Professor Peter Robinson says. “Computers are really good at understanding what someone is typing or even saying. But they need to understand not just what I’m saying, but how I’m saying it.”

The research team is collaborating closely with Professor Simon Baron-Cohen’s team in the University’s Autism Research Centre. Because those researchers study the difficulties that some people have understanding emotions, their insights help to address the same problems in computers.

Facial expressions are an important way of understanding people’s feelings. One system tracks features on a person’s face, calculates the gestures that are being made and infers emotions from them. It gets the right answer over 70% of the time, which is as good as most human observers.

Other systems analyze speech intonation to infer emotions from the way that something is said, and analyze body posture and gestures.

Read on in:  KurweilAI.net

Funded by a Department of Defense initiative dedicated to audacious challenges and intense time schedules, the Neurophotonics Research Center at Southern Methodist University will develop two-way fiber optic communication between  prosthetic limbs and peripheral nerves.

This connection will be key to operating realistic robotic arms, legs and hands that not only move like the real thing, but also “feel” sensations like pressure and heat.

Successful completion of the fiber optic link will allow for sending signals seamlessly back and forth between the brain and artificial limbs, allowing amputees revolutionary freedom of movement and agility.

Partners in the Neurophotonics Research Center also envision man-to-machine applications that extend far beyond prosthetics, leading to medical breakthroughs like brain implants for the control of tremors, neuro-modulators for chronic pain management and implants for patients with spinal cord injuries.

The researchers believe their new technologies can ultimately provide the solution to the kind of injury that left actor Christopher Reeve paralyzed after a horse riding accident. “This technology has the potential to patch the spinal cord above and below a spinal injury,” said Marc Christensen, center director and electrical engineering chair in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering. “Someday, we will get there.”

A link compatible with living tissue

The goal of the Neurophotonics Research Center is to develop a link compatible with living tissue that will connect powerful computer technologies to the human nervous system through hundreds or even thousands of sensors embedded in a single fiber. Unlike experimental electronic nerve interfaces made of metal, fiber optic technology would not be rejected or destroyed by the body’s immune system.

“Enhancing human performance with modern digital technologies is one of the great frontiers in engineering,” said Christensen. “Providing this kind of port to the nervous system will enable not only realistic prosthetic limbs, but also can be applied to treat spinal cord injuries and an array of neurological disorders.”

The center brings together researchers from SMU, Vanderbilt University, Case Western Reserve University, the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of North Texas. The Neurophotonics Research Center’s industrial partners include Lockheed Martin (Aculight), Plexon, Texas Instruments, National Instruments and MRRA.

Integrated system at cellular level

Together, this group of university and industry researchers will develop and demonstrate new increasingly sophisticated two-way communication connections to the nervous system. Every movement or sensation a human being is capable of has a nerve signal at its root. “The reason we feel heat is because a nerve is stimulated, telling the brain there’s heat there,” Christensen said.

The center formed around a challenge from the industrial partners to build a fiber optic sensor scaled for individual nerve signals: “Team members have been developing the individual pieces of the solution over the past few years, but with this new federal funding we are able to push the technology forward into an integrated system that works at the cellular level,” Christensen said.

The research builds on partner universities’ recent advances in light stimulation of individual nerve cells and new, extraordinarily sensitive optical sensors being developed at SMU. Volkan Otugen, SMU site director for the center and Lyle School mechanical engineering chair, has pioneered research on tiny spherical devices that sense the smallest of signals utilizing a concept known as “whispering gallery modes.” A whispering gallery is an enclosed circular or elliptical area, like that found beneath an architectural dome, in which whispers can be heard clearly on the other side of the space.

Fiber optic interface to link robotic limbs, human brain

Steven Spielberg asked John Underkoffler to help design a futuristic human computer interface for a movie that takes place in the year 2054. Little did Spielberg know that Underkoffler would adapt that concept from Minority Report and develop it into a real system 35 years ahead of schedule. Called g-speak, the system is a ’spatial operating environment’ that allows you to point and gesture to control and move files across multiple displays. It’s absolutely incredible looking.

Gesture technology is going to be big in 2010. We’ve already discussed how Hitachi, Toshiba, and Microsoft are all producing breakthrough home systems that utilize your hands (and body) as controllers. That’s just the first level of body-digital interaction, however. G-speak lets you go deeper. Cut and paste across multiple displays with multiple users, highlight and edit files as they play in real time, use your hands to move through space and time. Just watch:

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As cool as this system looks, it’s specifications are even more incredible. G-speak tracks hands with 0.1mm spatial resolution at 100 Hz! Unless you’re a virtuoso musician or a brain surgeon I doubt your motor control is anywhere near so precise. In the spatial operating environment, that resolution is put to good use: every pixel has a physical space associated with it. Every single pixel! In this way, a user can interact with anything she sees, manipulating virtual objects in the same area as they appear. Oblong even says that the system can work with 3D displays without any updates to its software. This goes a long way towards directly translating the digital world into the physical one.

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Watch this amazing video about man computer interface that allows paralyzed people interface a computer by direct thought.

This is a must see!

Brain Power Video – CBSNews.com