Training machines to listen. Life. Tautologies.

Brain-computer interfaces, known as BCI, can replace bodily functions to a certain degree. Thanks to BCI, physically impaired persons can control special prostheses through the power of their minds, surf in internet and write emails.

Under the title of “Brain Composer,” a group led by BCI expert Gernot Müller-Putz from TU Graz’s Institute of Neural Engineering shows that experiences of quite a different tone can be sounded from the keys of brain-computer interfaces. Derived from an established BCI method which mainly serves to spell — more accurately — write by means of BCI, the team has developed a new application by which music can be composed and transferred onto a musical score — just through the power of thought. All you need is a special cap which measures brain waves, the adapted BCI, a software for composing music, and of course a bit of musical knowledge.

The basic principle of the BCI method used, which is called P300, can be briefly described: various options, such as letters or notes, pauses, chords, etc. flash by one after the other in a table. If you’re trained and can focus on the desired option while it lights up, you cause a minute change in your brain waves. The BCI recognises this change and draws conclusions about the chosen option. (1)

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Training the computer to recognize what we think.

And then…


The computer recognizes what we think.

In a sense, it is not only mathematics which are tautologies, as Wittgenstein said. Everything we do is a tautology. The cosmos is constantly restructured someway, somehow. At the end, what we do is what is done. What we want is what the cosmos is. Who we are makes us into who we want to be…

Look into the mirror.

Move your hand.

And the cosmos will move in the opposite direction…

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