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Listening to speech with a guinea pig-to-human brain-to-brain interface (nature.com)
52 points by dilawar 3 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 27 comments

>Study participants completed a four-word forced-choice test and identified the correct word in 34.8% of trials. The participants' recognition, defined by the ability to choose the same word twice, whether right or wrong, was 53.6%.

Is this a good result?

Better than chance, so there is something there, but not super great so it's hard to say what is being measured.

After reading the paper it seems that the biggest takeaway is that animal neural structures are sufficiently similar to human neural structures that they can process some of the same stimuli in much the same way.

The other interesting thing for me is the possibility that you could modulate these signals for RF transmission (I do like SDR's after all) and with a cochlear implant, and SDR, a computer to receive the signals from the radio and feed them to your ear, and a rodent wearing a backpack to send the data. You could have a rat running around the place and the "operator" could listen in on whatever the rat could hear. NOTE: There are at least two, if not four decimal orders of magnitude of work needed to get to something like that if it is possible. Not the least of which is increasing the bandwidth/fidelity of the hearing interface.

Two random choices from a set of four words has a 25% chance of being equal, so that seems significant.

No better than chance, given the limited number of trials.

A little better than a coin flip.

A lot better than a coin toss: same word twice out of a bank of 4 is 0.25^2, so 6.25%

No, it's 25%. It doesn't matter what the first word is as long as it's the same as the second.

That poor guinea pig.

One minute normal. Next minute, suddenly internal monologue? Wait Dialog? Wait, what's a dialog I, what's I? <SIGNAL LOST>

It's Flowers for Algernon for guinea pigs.

So eventually we'll get to the point where people say things like: "I'm only running a dual guinea setup. I can't wait to upgrade to an octo-guinea for HD perceptual transfer."


"I can't believe some people go direct brain to brain. Without a guinea buffer you open yourself up to all kinds attacks. Who wants to risk having their sense of taste ransomwared? Sure there's ethical issues with guinea arrays, but better their synapses get fried than than mine."

The cyberpunk "jack-into-the-matrix person is bleeding from the eyes due to feedback" trope is often complained about.

"Why not use a fuse?" people cry.

Well, storytelling is why that trope exists. Now storytelling has no excuse not to fix it. If military trained dolphins are hacker supremes then guinea pigs are the "fuse".

Can’t wait for laptops with gigaPig chips.

On a more serious note, we already have vision implants, so is there a similar study in the works on brain-to-brain vision?

Guinea pig farms selectively breading for ever smaller pigs will replace nanometer race in chip fabs. Neurons per mm^3 and the ratio of brain to overall body mass will be the new benchmarks. Heat dissipation will still be an issue, with the added complications of efficient sustenance delivery and excrement disposal. Cutting edge research will be done on immunology to prevent guinea array viruses.

There's definitely enough material here for a Douglas Adams style spoof on the traditional cyberpunk novel.

I would pay $14.95 to read that in trade paperback edition.

I can't wait to hear what my dog has to say about life. I'm sure I'll be part enamored and part horrified!

Tame animals are probably like kids or juveniles on neuronal and epigenetic level, at least that was the conclusion from siberian artic fox taming experiment. I would be more interested in what wild animals have to say about life, specially smart ones like dolphins and elephants.

I imagine dolphins are just biding there time. Waiting for us to put our guard down.

No, they have everything already figured out and they let us pretend we're in charge. They're just here for the fish.

if dolphins are at all Earth creatures. I mean it is quite possible that they are just avatar-style alien vacations.

I am so incredibly tired of cookie popups. Why is this not a standard in browsers to pass along our default settings?

"Please don't complain about website formatting, back-button breakage, and similar annoyances. They're too common to be interesting. Exception: when the author is present. Then friendly feedback might be helpful."


With "I Don't Care About Cookies" and uBlock, the web is a far nicer place.


It would be nice if you didn't need to grant a 3rd party extension privilege to literally everything you browse, to get websites to not warn you about a feature that has been in browsers for multiple decades.

But I DO care about cookies. I want to opt out forever.

There basically is, so I blame marketers wanting to fatigue users.

Its related to paranoia over gdpr, not marketers

It’s a toxic mix of both. If it wasn’t for the tracking and data reselling, those pop ups would be unnecessary.

Many also exhibit dark patterns, making it look like accepting everything is the only option, hiding or even flat-out not providing alternatives. That’s the marketing people, not the GDPR

Two problems with that.

Fist, they could comply with no popup at all if they only used necessary cookies: https://github.blog/2020-12-17-no-cookie-for-you/

And second, many of the popups do not comply with GDPR because they are not genuine, fair, unbiased consent: https://noyb.eu/en/noyb-aims-end-cookie-banner-terror-and-is...

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