Comment: How AI could become an extension of your mind.

AlterEgo has sensors, embedded in a thin plastic, flexible and transparent device that sits on your neck just like a sticker. These sensors pick up on these internal signals sourced deep within the mouth cavity, right from the surface of the skin. An AI program running in the background then tries to figure out what the user’s trying to say. It then feeds back an answer to the user by means of bone conduction, audio conducted through the skull into the user’s inner ear, that the user hears, overlaid on top of the user’s natural hearing of the environment, without blocking it.

Kapur, A. (2019). How AI could become an extension of your mind. TED conference.

I don’t even know where to start with all the places that this will change people’s lives, personally and professionally. To be clear, the technology isn’t about “reading minds”; it picks up minute perturbations in the muscles responsible for vocalisation (even when your mouth doesn’t move), passes that question to an expert system (probably just a Google search with voice), and then receives the answer to the question as if it were spoken directly into the ear.

Even if we make no further progress on the move towards artificial general intelligence, narrow AI is still going to cause massive disruptions across all sectors of society, including healthcare and education.

By Michael Rowe

I'm a lecturer in the Department of Physiotherapy at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. I'm interested in technology, education and healthcare and look for places where these things meet.