For several years now, Facebook has been researching a brain-computer interface (BCI) that will read our minds and enable us to write using the power of our minds alone. That sounds highly futuristic but also a little scary. The question is: do we even want that? A comment.
Thoughts are free, but how long will digitization stop in front of you? Facebook has been researching how to turn our thoughts into language since 2017.
The social media giant wants to use it to help people who have lost their ability to speak, for example, due to a serious illness. Facebook is working with scientists from the University of San Francisco to do this. And as the company has now announced, the researchers have made groundbreaking advances.
BCI Already Recognizes Single Words
The team has developed so-called speech decoders that can use brain signals to translate what a person is about to say. This is reported by the English-language journal Nature.
The BCI can currently decode a few individual words. However, scientists want to develop the technology so that it can also recognize complete sentences.
Read Minds For A New, Fun Experience
In addition, the researchers are currently developing a headset that we can use to control music or interact in virtual reality with the power of our minds alone. The latter, in particular, would certainly be an incredibly big step in the computer and video game industry.
If you think about how the gaming experience would change in open-world games, for example, in games with an above-average amount of freedom and possibilities – you would be able to immerse yourself in completely new worlds without using your imagination.
Do We Want Facebook To Be Able To Read Our Minds?
However, the question arises whether we want that at all. The technology would be a real breakthrough, especially in medicine, used in a controlled manner.
Eddie Chang, a linguist, and neuroscientist, working on the research project, agrees: “Currently, patients with speech loss due to paralysis can only spell words very slowly using eye movements.
In many cases, the information needed for fluent speech is still present in people’s brains.
Controlled Versus Uncontrolled Mind Reading
That being said, it sounds scary when technology can read and transcribe our minds. It would be an incredibly powerful tool that would have to be used with the utmost caution, responsibility, and control.
Above all, the BCI should not fall into the wrong hands. Otherwise, the surveillance of citizens and countries, for example, could take on entirely new dimensions.
It would also be scary enough if technology made it possible to record and translate brain waves as you went by.
We are certainly still a long way from that. But a world in which this technology would theoretically be accessible to everyone, i.e, Everyone could read the minds of others – that would destroy all privacy and rob us of what is probably our greatest asset next to our health: our consciousness. The social media giant wants to use it to help people who have lost their ability to speak, for example, due to a serious illness. Facebook is working with scientists from the University of San Francisco to do this