World famous physicist Stephen Hawking, 70, has been working with scientists from Standford University who are developing a device that will help him to communicate with the outside world by picking up his brain waves via an electrical scanner and communicating them through a computer.
Hawking lost the power of speech nearly 30 years ago due to motor neurone disease, since then he has communicated with people by using a computer, however his condition is deteriorating and he may soon lose this ability.
The device, called the iBrain, has been likened to ‘hacking into his brain’, Professor Philip Low who is developing the device said: “We’d like to find a way to bypass his body, pretty much hack his brain.”
Low said that Hawking learnt to create patterns of impulses by imaging moving his hands and limbs, they both hope that as they technology becomes more advanced, it will eventually be able to “read a person’s mind” and could be a major advancement in medical science.
Low hopes that the device could be used to help doctors know how much medicine to administer by reading brainwaves, and could also be used to treat autism, depression and sleep disorders.
In the Telegraph article about the device, Low said:
“This is very exciting for us because it allows us to have a window into the brain. We’re building technology that will allow humanity to have access to the human brain for the first time…The emergence of such biomarkers opens the possibility to link intended movements to a library of words and convert them into speech, thus providing motor neurone sufferers with communication tools more dependent on the brain than on the body.”
The latest developments on the iBrain will be unveiled at a conference in Cambridge next month and it is rumored that Hawking himself will be there to demonstrate the technology.
Scientists Developing Device to ‘Hack’ Into Brain of Stephen Hawking (Via Telegraph)