Studies done at Microsoft Research are using electroencephalograph (EEG) measurements to read users’ minds in order to help tag online images. The researchers say the mind-reading technique is the first step toward a hybrid human-computer data analysis system. The manual process for tagging images is often tedious and repetitive, but with the new method of EEG tagging, workers may be able to perform other tasks during the tagging process. Computers can recognize shapes and movements very well, but they have a harder time with categorizing objects in human terms, says Microsoft Research’s Desney Tan. During testing, researchers could determine if the subject was looking at a face, an animal, or an inanimate object with good results. The researchers found that no improvement was seen if the viewer was given more than half a second to look at each image. This leads researchers to think images could be displayed at that speed with no loss of accuracy.
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