20: Thomas Reardon — Building an API for the Brain

Listen to the episode on iTunes

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Thomas Reardon, co-founder and CEO of CTRL-labs
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W3 is an international standards organization founded and led by Tim Berners Lee. More info
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“what matters most is whether you are extending your life or your death” — from the Epistulae Ad Lucilium of L. Annaeus Seneca
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Larry Abbott helped found the Center of Theoretical Neuroscience at Columbia
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Patrick Kaifosh, Thomas Reardon, Tim Machado the co-founders of CTRL-labs
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The brain has upper motor neurons in the cortex which map to lower motor neurons in the spinal cord, which send long axons down to contact the muscles. They release neurotransmitters that turn individual muscle fibres on and off. Motor units have 1:1 correspondence with motor neurons. When motor neurons fire in the spinal cord, an output signal from the brain, you get a direct response in the muscle. If those EMG signals can be decoded, then you can decode the zeros and ones of the nervous system — action potential
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EEG toy “the Force Trainer”
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The MYO armband by Canadian startup Thalmic Labs
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Thomas Reardon demonstrating Myo control
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Patrick Kaifosh playing Asteroids — example of Neuro Control [from CTRL-labs, late 2017]
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Inside Out (2015, Pixar). Great movie. Not how the brain, thoughts or consciousness work
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Intention capture — rather than going through devices to interact, CTRL-labs will take the electrical activity of the body and decode that directly, allowing us to use that high bandwidth information to interact with all output devices. [Watch Reardon’s full keynote at O’Reilly]
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Myo control attempts to understand what each of the 14 muscles in the arm are doing, then deconvolve the signal into individual channels that map out to muscles. If they can build an accurate online map CTRL-labs believes there is no reason to have a keyboard or mouse
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Internet Explorer browser market share, 2002–2016
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Thomas Reardon demonstrating Myo control with the CTRL-labs wristband
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Harold and the Purple Crayon
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Magic Leap One — Creator Edition [website]
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More info on the CTRL-kit launching in Q1 on the CTRL-labs website

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