Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 10th Oct 2011 19:55 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces Within the last few days we read the news about Apple's Siri AI personal assistant, and about a brain implant that lets monkeys control virtual limps & feel virtual objects. I believe that if someone is to also combine a few more technologies (e.g. high-res eyeware, appropriate operating system changes), we will be looking at the next user interface revolution, after the inventions of the computer mouse and touch interfaces.
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Not holding my breath...
by steve_s on Tue 11th Oct 2011 17:14 UTC
steve_s
Member since:
2006-01-16

Doug Englebart gave his infamous "mother of all demos" back in 1968. It was not until Apple launched the Macintosh in 1984 that many of the concepts he demonstrated became mainstream. Some of the things he demonstrated have only recently become an every-day reality.

Speech recognition, and speech driven user interfaces, have been touted since the early 80s. We've had to wait until 2011 to get Siri, and whilst Siri does appear to be fairly smart I strongly suspect it may take another decade for it to truly mature.

Back in the 80s we all believed that we'd be using speech as a primary interaction method by the mid 90's. We saw plenty of speech recognition demos back then, and it looked like the big problems had been solved. We vastly underestimated the complexity of the task.

There is no doubt that progress has been made in "brainwave interfaces", with fairly impressive demonstrations of people moving mouse pointers with their minds, and monkeys moving robot arms. Direct, or indirect, neural interfacing is however several orders of magnitude more complex than speech interaction. I have no doubt that it's a problem that will eventually get solved but I'm in my late 30s now and, given the historical rate of progress we've seen on other forms of human computer interaction, I doubt very much that it is something that is going to get solved within my lifetime.

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