Reading Minds on Facebook

Source: James Titcomb in The Telegraph, April 19

Facebook is developing technology to let users communicate using only their thoughts, the internet giant confirmed on Wednesday night. A secretive division at Facebook’s California headquarters has been experimenting with mind-reading technology for several months, the company revealed.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, has previously described telepathy as the “ultimate communication technology”, but the social network’s ambitions have been unclear.

At Facebook’s annual developer conference on Wednesday, Regina Dugan, head of the company’s experimental technologies division Building 8, said Facebook was working on “optical neuro-imaging systems” that would allow people to type words directly from their brain at 100 words per minute: five times the speed possible on a smartphone.

“It sounds impossible but it’s closer than you think,” said Ms Dugan, who joined Facebook from Google last year and previously led DARPA, the US government’s advanced defence research division.

She said that allowing people to rapidly transcribe thoughts would allow them to privately send texts and emails in an instant, but said the project was only the beginning of Facebook’s mind-reading efforts. Ms Dugan suggested that in the future, people may be able to share thoughts directly, removing the barriers of different languages. “You may be able to share your thoughts independent of language: English, Spanish or Mandarin, they become the same,” she said….

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5 responses to “Reading Minds on Facebook

  1. David Schatzky

    You know what I think about this.

  2. This is an idea that should be put in a sack with a cinder block and dropped into the deepest part of Lake Superior.
    You think you’ve got privacy problems now? Be very careful what you wish for.

  3. If it does not remain in the realm of science fiction it certainly creates a huge threat to privacy. But cannot the developers of the new technology argue that there is no harm if the user gives informed consent which may be implied if one uses Facebook? I make no comment on the validity of the argument.

  4. Morry Kernerman

    David, be careful! What you think about this could be very dangerous for you. I suggest you direct your thoughts elsewhere until we can re-educate you.

  5. Vut are de smokin’! First Elon Musk wants to send us to Mars and now Mark Zucherberg is going to burrow into the depths of my cranium.

    Clearly, we have a case of too much Star Tek with its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.

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