Brain Game: How GPUs Help People with Disabilities Race Using Brain Signals

GPUs aren’t quite ready to help people with severe disabilities shed their wheelchairs, but they’ve helped researchers take a big step closer. At this fall’s Cybathlon — dubbed the world’s first “bionic Olympics,” and held in Zurich — a team of 40 students from Imperial College of London developed technology that let competitors participate in a brain-computer interface race. The participants, referred to as pilots, wear electroencephalogram (EEG) caps, which record the electrical activity of the brain and are connected to computers running GPU-powered machine learning algorithms. Normally unable to engage in physical competitions due to spinal cord injuries, neurological diseases or other trauma, the pilots raced in a video game, with the algorithms interpreting their brain impulses to control their digital avatars. The approach was the latest step in…


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