A timely review of a big growth area.
The Economist’s latest Technology Quarterly constitutes a thorough and accessible review of progress in developing brain-computer interfaces. There is no doubt that progress has been made in this interesting area. But there are two lessons. First, it is going to take many, many years to optimise such interfaces because we still do not know much about the workings of the brain. Secondly, machine learning might be one of our best ways of learning more about the brain. Its great strength is seeing patterns in, and making sense of, large amounts of noisy data. Large amounts of noisy data are exactly what the brain produces.
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