Is Facebook Building a Machine that Can Read Minds?

Mark Zuckerberg has revealed Facebook’s interest in coming up with what is being called a “brain mouse.” In short, this is supposed to be a brain-computer interface, which in more practical terms, means a tool that will let interested individuals send commands to computers and other smart devices using their thoughts and nothing but their thoughts. Theoretically, this is possible, though it will still take an enormous amount of time, effort, and other limited resources to come up with something that can support the kind of widespread use that Zuckerberg is envisioning. Instead, the bigger issue would be the practicality of the “brain mouse” because speaking bluntly, Facebook’s recent shenanigans don’t exactly inspire a great deal of confidence that it can keep such private information both safe and sound. Certainly, there will be people out there who can be convinced to use a “brain mouse” for the sake of novelty if nothing else, but unless Facebook somehow manages to polish up its reputation, it seems unlikely that most people will treat it with anything but leery hesitation in the near future.

Can Mind-Reading Machines Be Created?

At this point, some people might be curious about whether it is even possible to make mind-reading machines or not. If so, they should know that such machines are perfectly possible, so much so that they are actually closer to coming into existence than a lot of other concepts that were once relegated to the realm of science fiction.

In short, scientists have had the ability to detect brain-wave patterns for literal decades by this point in time, meaning that this particular part of the process is a non-issue. Instead, the real barrier has been the ability to make sense of the brain-wave patterns that are being detected, which is something that is being overcome through the use of machine learning as well as other examples of very, very rudimentary AI. Essentially, what happens nowadays is that researchers will use the relevant hardware and software to get readings that can be matched up to particular words, particular images, and the like. After which, they can use said information to map out the relevant parts of the brain, which in turn, helps machines make better interpretations of future readings. On the whole, the process is very crude, but it is nonetheless something that exists in the present, which promises to be continued to be enhanced in the times to come.

As for how far scientists have already gotten, well, suffice to say that a thought-to-text has already been created. To be exact, it is a face-mounted machine that reads the signals that the brain sends to the face so that they can be translated into text. So far, it has managed to get more than 90 percent accurate with just 15 minutes of training, which is rather remarkable when one considers that everyone’s physiology has significant differences from everyone else’s. Granted, the thought-to-text device is still very inconvenient as well as very crude-looking. However, its mere existence serves as a visible reminder that mind reading machines can be built, meaning that their presence on the consumer market is no more than a matter of time.

Why Are Mind-Reading Machines Seeing So Much Interest?

Of course, mind-reading machines are both very exciting and very terrifying. After all, machine-reading machines promise to make a lot of things much more convenient and otherwise beneficial for us. For instance, Facebook’s proposed “brain mouse” would be indeed be a huge improvement on current systems if it wasn’t for the fact that the corporation has shown itself to be a trustworthy custodian of people’s private information. Likewise, mind-reading machines could theoretically be used for everything from finer control over complicated machines to enabling virtual reality consoles of a kind that people can only dream about at the moment. However, the downside is that mind-reading machines would be, well, capable of reading minds, which would come with a lot of potential for abuse. Chances are good that some people are already thinking of totalitarian dystopias monitoring people for thought crimes. However, we don’t need to go that far to come up with something less terrible but still very concerning. After all, Facebook and other tech companies are already good at predicting our shopping habits and other behavioral patterns based on nothing but the information collected through current capabilities. Imagine how well they would be able to predict us if they had literal access to what we were thinking while we were engaged in shopping and other day-to-day activities?

Summed up, it is clear that mind-reading machines possess great potential for both desirable and not so desirable ends. Combined with the fact that they are already coming into existence, now seems like a good time to start talking about their implications sooner rather than later.

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Why is Health Insurance So Expensive?
James Lico
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Fortive CEO James Lico
Youth Development Fund
The 20 Worst Charities You Shouldn’t Be Donating To
Eva Gonda de Rivera
The 10 Richest People in Mexico in 2019
The 20 Most Expensive Stocks in 2019 By Share Price
Advice on Obtaining a Credit Card as a College Student
Takeaways from The 2019 Student Card Survey from
American Tower
Why American Tower is a Solid Long-Term Dividend Stock
20 ‘Smart’ Technologies That Will Be Available Before We Know It
embedded personal devices
Where are We With Embedded Personal Devices?
20 Smartphone Technologies That Will Blow You Away
bullets that change direction
Where are We With Bullets that Change Direction?
The 20 Worst Airlines in the World in 2019
Swift and Sons
The 20 Best Steakhouses in Chicago
Caladesi Island
The 20 Best Beaches in Florida in 2019
Why La Cosecha Argentinian Steakhouse is One of Miami’s Finest Steakhouses
Hybrid Cars
The 20 Best Hybrid Cars of All-Time
Rolls Royce Silver Seraph
The Rolls Royce Silver Seraph: A Closer Look
The Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit
The Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit: Its History and Its Evolution
Rolls Royce Twenty
A Closer Look at the Rolls Royce Twenty
A Closer Look at the Hublot Bigger Bang
IWC Big Pilot's Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition Le Petit Prince
A Closer Look at the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition Le Petit Prince
A Closer Look at the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon
Time Traveling: The Hublot Classic Fusion Zirconium