No, this is not some new futuristic sci-fi movie plot ― although it reminds me of a few ― during the 2017 F8 convention, Facebook announced it’s been working with 60 engineers to monitor your brain waves to transcribe your thoughts into text… Can you tell what I’m thinking? “No thank you! Get out of my head Facebook!”
Digital Mind Reading (/Writing)
Got read/write permissions for your brain?
Communication is a two-way street with an exchange of ideas or messages. So, if you’re wearing a Facebook device that can read your mind, then wouldn’t it follow that it can send you messages as well. Those little app notifications can get annoying sometimes but imagine if they were pinging in your brain and even influencing your thoughts and decisions. Google already boasts it can predict the future based on past actions and trending behaviors but, if Abraham Lincoln was right saying “the best way to predict the future is to create it,” then they probably will by sending signals to trigger behaviors. So, be careful who you permit to access your mind ― there are many warnings throughout our past.
Trade Privacy for Convenience?
Facebook Research & Development head, Regina Dugan, promotes this invasion of privacy as helping people type 5x faster than by hand, while CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, tempts us with being able to control virtual reality with our minds. An interesting fact to note is that Dugan was the former lead of Google’s Advanced Technology & Products division and a former head of U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). This may not raise some peoples’ eyebrows but it does make one question what military-related agendas Google and Facebook are involved with as the world’s most popular digital social interfaces. Maybe a “mind reading world wide web military artificially intelligent supercomputer that already knows everything about you… and all your so-called friends?”
Hiding in Plain Sight
Facebook’s “Area 404” (like error 404: page not found) hardware lab in Menlo Park, California is where their secret projects are hidden in plain sight as exciting advancements in entertainment and medical industries. Facebook R&D team is developing various machine learning non-invasive neural prosthetic prototypes that, according to them, “is about decoding the words you’ve already decided to share by sending them to the speech center of your brain.” So maybe we don’t have to worry about them data mining all our thoughts…
Facebook is getting help from UC San Francisco, UC Berkeley, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory, and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. They’re also hiring a Brain-Computer Interface Engineer and a Neural Imaging Engineer to push such projects forward.
Facebook VR Matrix?
Facebook recently announced it’s new mission statement. Zuckerberg said “Instead of making the world ‘more open and connected,’ Facebook’s goal now is to ‘bring the world closer together.’ To prove this, Facebook has been launching lots of projects: Terragraph Wi-Fi nodes, Project ARIES antenna, Aquila solar-powered drone, Wedge, Open Vault, Surround 360 camera, and even mobile virtual reality headsets.
He added, “I used to think that if we just gave people a voice and helped people connect, that would make the world a better place by itself. Now I believe we have a responsibility to do even more.”
With megalithic companies like Google, Facebook, DARPA, and others developing technologies that are getting more and more personal, it’s wise to take a precautionary stance and decide for yourself the path towards a bright and moral future for humankind.