So I know I’m not the only one who has woken up after a good night sleep, gotten on with the day and later vaguely remembered dreaming about something cool or crazy, but couldn’t for the life of me remember what it was. Well, what if we could record our dreams and watch them back later on?
Very nice and friendly scientists from Berkeley University have recently started reconstructing imagery and video from people’s minds! Incredible! However, while the technology is still improving, you can see that the results are still a bit blurry and not quite cinema-worthy. I’ll explain why after you watch it:
So the researchers monitored the brainwave activity of three people who were watching YouTube videos from the inside of an MRI machine (they used some Hollywood trailers, of course). The information that was gathered from this analysis was then stored in voxels (3d-pixels), since the pictures were moving (like how they make animation).
The next step of the process was to analyse a few more YouTube videos to compare them to those watched by the researchers. 13-million seconds of videos were seen by the computer to build a potential database from which to reconstruct the original brain signals. The computer then picked 100 videos to combine to make the original videos again. The result is quite blurry and obviously not perfect, but it is apparent that the final video does in fact resemble the original!
The process works kind of like what you tried to do as a kid when you were fingerpainting your dog in primary school using only a few colours. You combined a bit of yellow and red to better resemble your orange dog, right? Well in this case the dog represents the original video, the colours represent the videos that the computers analysed and you are the painter. You mix the paint to recreate the image of the dog that you have in your mind!
Obviously the technology is not ready to make Inception a reality, but it looks like we’re on the way. It’s extremely exciting (even if it is a little unnerving); but I am quite excited for the day that I can relive my journeys around the world, flying like superman or just watching how dreams morph from one thing into another!.
What dreams will you be recording?