Researchers at the University of Washington just successfully demonstrated a brain-to-brain interface in a six-person study. This is the second such study, but with more people, more confidence, and enough success to presume that telepathy might just leap out of the realm of sci-fi.

Advertisement

Basically what happened is this: One subject was located in one room and the other in another room, and they couldn't communicate in any way other than via their brains. They both looked at a game where they had to defend a city by firing a cannon. But one guy had his brain hooked up to a electroencephalography machine that read his brain signals, and instead of having any kind of joystick, he'd just think about moving his hand to fire the cannon. That was be transmitted over the internet to the other operator, whose hand was situated on a touchpad, and would twitch and tap in the right direction if the signals went through.

Researchers tried this out on three pairs of six, and saw a 25 to 83 percent success rate. Which is a really wide range, but your main takeaway is this: the researchers have now seen enough success with brain-to-brain mind/motor control, they're confident it's a thing that works.

Advertisement

UW plans to take it even further, thanks to a one million dollar grant they're using to figure out what kind of information you can send between people's brains. For example, they want to know if one day, a teacher could dump information directly in a student's brain. The possibilities might be endless, including never having to go to class ever again. [Kurzweil AI]