I have a Microsoft in the gulliver!
The idea will thrill some and will certainly send a chill on the back for many others. Microsoft has registered a patent for reading the thoughts of users of digital graphical interfaces . Does clicking the mouse too many times to satisfy the Vista UAC’s requests give you hives? In the future, the problem will be identified by reading brain activity in reaction to 10,000 clicks of the cursor on the screen. Or at least that’s what they hope to be able to accomplish in the Redmond labs.
The cyber-interface of the future that they intend to churn out at home Windows could solve the many problems connected with the interpretation of the relationship between the user and the machine. “Humans are often bad reporters of their own actions,” says BigM, and it is therefore useful to address the main speaker of those actions / intentions, which is the brain.
The application registered at the US Patent Office is rather eloquently titled “Using EEG Signals for Task Classification and Activity Recognition”: Microsoft plans to do the EEG to Windows users, recording electrical signals produced by the brain to get a complete and above all sincere report beyond any possible doubt about what’s going and what’s wrong in modern GUIs .
“Relying exclusively on the observation of external actions – it can be read in the text of the patent – probably does not allow us to obtain sufficient information about what a user is really thinking or feeling while working with a graphical interface. It is possible that the user’s actions could be misinterpreted or overlooked by an observer ”.
The problem with the EEGs, which the patent aims to address and hopefully solve, is that the brain traces are full of “background noises”, caused by involuntary actions or blinking that have little to do with the cognitive information of which Microsoft is on the hunt. Which is why it will be necessary clean up the tracks of such unnecessary imperfections and transforming the “good things” produced by the brain into statistically significant data to be translated into more useful interfaces.
This at least in theory. In practice, as NewScientist mischievously suggests, “whether users want Microsoft to read their brainwaves is a question that needs to be verified.”