Then, using artificial intelligence and machine learning, those signals are converted into what Aydarkhanov calls “meaningful information”: the details that translate into what the user wants to do.
This particular prototype uses a combination of the aforementioned brain signals and eye movements to assist with the activity of selecting a movie to watch.
“For the simple selections of menus, we just use eye movements, because it’s much more efficient,” explains Aydarkhanov. “But when you want to find a movie, it’s a more complicated task, because you’re not sure exactly what you want to see.”
That’s where the artificial intelligence and machine learning come in.
“We use the reaction of the brain to see what is interesting to you,” Aydarkhanov says, “and we show a sample of movies so that the system can, based on your reaction, understand what is this particular thing that you want to watch.”
But what presents one of the biggest challenges to developing this prototype are the nuances of human interaction — whether it’s with other humans, or with machines.
Ricardo Chavarriaga speaks about the technology of Project Pontis
“A brain is not static, so every day, it’s changing little by little,” Aydarkhanov says. “That means the signal that we record is also changing, and we have to adapt the artificial intelligence system to still make sense of the signal.”
What the prototype is trying to replicate is that nuanced brain “signature” that is produced as a result of external stimulus. It’s far from simple, and actually involves a combined process triggered by that external stimulus and what the user is experiencing internally.
“How does the user’s brain react when it has this ‘click’?” asks Chavarriaga. “I need to be sure that what I’m getting from the electrodes [read by the prototype] actually means what I think it means … in this case, what the person wants to do with the TV.”
Should that “click” be successfully replicated, Chavarriaga suggested, it could be carried over to other intelligent devices, such as prosthetics, which would likely be heavily reliant on technology that can understand user intent of movement — something that also changes quickly and frequently, based on internal and external stimuli.
“Everybody is different. This variability has to be taken into account, [which is why we need] technology that is more intelligent,” Chavarriaga explains. “We have to find ways to properly match technology to the users, and we have to take into account the variability of the users.”
Project Prontis is one of Samsung’s Corporate Citizenship programs, which works to develop technological advancements to meet various social and mission-driven needs.
The current trajectory of Project Prontis is to develop a second prototype into the first quarter of 2019. After that, the plan is to test the technology in hospitals and specialized institutions throughout Switzerland.
Featured image source: Samsung
Originally published Nov 8, 2018 7:42:58 PM, updated November 09 2018