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    Prof. Paszkiel: Perhaps smartphones will be controlled by thoughts

    Modern technology could lead to revolutionary changes in the way electronic devices are controlled and even in the communication between the brain and machines. Professor Szczepan Paszkiel of the Opole University of Technology, who specialises in brain-computer interfaces, gave an interview to PAP in which he discussed the potential benefits and risks of reading brain activity.

    Neuralink technology, which involves implanting sensors into the brain, is currently being tested on humans in the US. Professor Paszkiel points out the controversy surrounding such intervention in the human body. There is a risk of biological damage, as the electronics may heat up during operation. Nevertheless, the potential benefits of this technology are undeniable.

    The main purpose of Neuralink technology is to support people with various disabilities, especially those who lack the use of their limbs. By reading brain activity, it is possible to control various devices by thought. Although controlling a car is currently difficult for safety reasons, there are studies with drones that have shown promising results.

    Not all brain-computer interfaces need to be invasive. There are non-invasive methods, such as electrodes attached to the scalp, which can read brain activity through an electroencephalogram (EEG). However, there are some challenges with these methods, such as interference and technical artefacts.

    Professor Paszkiel also notes the risks associated with implantable chips. The concern is about reversing the situation where machines influence humans and the decisions they make. However, current methods are not able to read thoughts in a cognitive sense, only certain brain states. Influencing human thoughts with implants is still a distant prospect.

    Research, such as reading human thoughts using magnetic resonance imaging, is expensive and complicated. For this reason, they are not practical in a commercial context. Nevertheless, they may have relevance in medicine.

    Professor Paszkiel believes that non-invasive technologies will continue to develop and could find applications in helping people with disabilities.

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