The Daily Mail was hyperventilating the other day, erupting in this headline: “Mind-reading machine can translate your thoughts and display them as text INSTANTLY” (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5565179/Mind-reading-machine-translate-thoughts-display-text.html). We have to make allowances for what passes for “journalism” these days.
As usual, whether it’s transplanting human brain tissue into rats or using super-powerful magnets to make you think unrestricted immigration is a good thing, the reason given is “potential medical breakthrough”–in this case, to restore communication to people who are unable to speak. Of course that would be a truly excellent thing. It would also inevitably be misused.
If it were real. A lot of Daily Mail readers thought the whole article was an April Fool’s prank.
Anyhoo, this thingy is supposed to work by analyzing “the combination of vowels and consonants that we use when constructing a sentence in our brains.” Gee, I know people who couldn’t constructed a sentence in their brains if their lives depended on it. I know people who think mostly in pictures. I daresay most of us do both.
Some folks are worried that the scientists will use this technology to get at people’s secret thoughts and put them on a screen for everyone to see. It could also be used to find out who really loves Big Brother and who’s just fakin’ it.
It reminds me of a Bible verse, 2 Timothy 3:7, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Come, Lord Jesus, come…