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South Korea is expected to play an active role in establishing an international standard for data formats used to connect human brains to computers.
According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS) on Monday, Korea’s proposal for a new international standard for brain-computer interface (BCI) data format recently approved at the brain-computer interface technical committee (International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission Joint Technical Committee 1)’s plenary meeting held in Hangzhou, China.
Advanced countries such as the United States have recently started developing BCI technology, an example of which is the research on implanting computer chips in the human brain led by Elon Musk, chief executive officer at Tesla Inc., alongside neuroscience startup Neuralink Corp.
This technology can be used in various industries such as healthcare and mobility by empowering people with limited physical movement to use computers or control cars using thoughts instead of physical movement.
The newly approved international standard will establish an interface data format standard for collecting brain information in a non-invasive manner without implanting the devices in the brain.
It also defines the scope of common and essential data as well as using a unified data format to ensure data interoperability between different BCI device manufacturers.
Once the proposal becomes the international standard after relevant discussions and unifies the data format, it will help promote BCI industrialization and reduce product development costs, according to KATS.
An international standard is finalized through steps including the approval of a new work item proposal (NP), preparing a working draft (WD) followed by a committee draft (CD), and finally developing a draft international standard (DIS).
The new international standard proposal was developed through a project to enhance technologies for Korean national standards led by Professor Cho Young-im at Gachon University.
Following the standard’s approval, a working group will be set up to facilitate follow-up discussions with Korea to serve as the group’s interim chair.
Founded in 2022, the brain-computer interface technical committee has 11 full members, including current chair China, Korea, the United States, Japan, Australia, and Belgium.
The committee has two working groups tasked with the “basic” and “applications” areas respectively. The new working group will be dedicated to finalize Korea’s data standard proposal.
“The advanced digital technology industry is evolving and expanding into areas of connecting human brains and computers,” according to Jin Jong-wook, head of KATS. “We will actively support Korea to take the lead in the technical committee, which is in its infancy.”
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