MIT Robots Know What You're Thinking

Researchers with MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, more commonly called CSAIL, and Boston University have jointly created a robot that can read a human's thoughts. Thanks to this ability, the robot doesn't need to learn complex human languages or other ways to get orders from humans — those humans can instead command the robots using nothing more than thoughts and a special electrode cap.

The robot itself can't directly read what humans are thinking, of course, but rather it is one part of a larger system that relies on an EEG monitor, among other things, to figure out what a human is thinking and pass the commands on to robots.

The EEG monitor works by recording the brain activity from the human who is observing a robot performing tasks. If the robot performs a task incorrectly and the human notices, the system will pick up on that info via the EEG data and pass it on to the robot, which is then able to alter its actions to fix the problem.

The algorithms behind this technology don't need much time to detect the human's thoughts from the brain activity data — it only takes between 10 and 30 milliseconds. Though the technology can only be used for simple things at the moment, such a system may one day be utilized to operate robots performing much more complex tasks.