Wednesday, January 06, 2010

So what if we apply Moore's Law to the process of tweeting by thinking?

You'll have to excuse me -- I'm a Twitter newbie, and my head is exploding. Just by following a handful of people I respect and poking around a little bit, I'm finding out all kinds of things that have slipped through the holes of my sieve-like mind recently. Case in point:

I've long thought that the day would come when we do away with keyboards and all the other computer paraphernalia and communicate with machine intelligence directly with our minds. What I didn't know (and you probably did) was that earlier this year, we already took another giant step. TIME called it tweeting by thinking, and really, that's what it is. Wearing a skull cap with EEG sensors, Adam Wilson, a grad student at the UW's Brain-Computer Interface Laboratory, sent this tweet by using only his mind.

There have been a number of news stories about this in the local and national media, but I somehow missed them. I found out while trying to get the lay of the land of tweeting in Madison and saw that a Madison tweeter named Adam Wilson had more than 330,000 followers, an order of magnitude more than anybody else. I wondered what was going on and went to his Twitter page, which led me to the TIME story.

Obviously the direct data link beween minds and computers is in its infancy, and it's not clear how fast it will progress. But Moore's law, which says computing power roughly doubles every two years or less, and which also seems to describe the exponential growth of other technological processes, might give us a hint.

Currently the speediest brain tweeters just manage a bit more than a word a minute (8 characters). You can follow the progression down the road and see where it leads: 2 years, 2 words per minute; 4 years, 4 words; 6 years, 8 words; 8 years, 16 words; 10 years, 32 words, 12 years, 64 words. And in a decade and a half, 128 words per minute, which takes you into the range of conversational speech.

In other words, in about a decade or so you might want to start switching some of your portfolio away from companies that make e-readers, tablets and the like, into companies making stylish electronic skull caps.


thechrisproject said...

So what's your twitter handle?

Madison Guy said...

Madison Guy, one word -- what's yours?

Citizen Reader said...

This makes me sad. I don't know why. It just does. But then again maybe that's because if people could hear or see what I'm thinking about 98% of the time, I would be unmarriageable, unemployable, and destitute.

astrogerbil said...

When one is driving-and-tweeting and then has an accident .... how will the brain feed translate into a tweet at the time of injury/death?