Friday 13 January 2017

In The Nearer Future Facebook Will Be Able To Read Your Mind


Facebook already has your name, your friends and your photos: now it might want your thoughts.

Job adverts posted in California suggest that the social network is planning telepathic technology that can read brain waves and send them between people, a way of sharing that would go far beyond liking status updates or sharing holiday photos.

The vacancies at Facebook's secretive "Building 8" division, spotted by Business Insider, include PhD-level roles for a "brain-computer interface engineer" and a "neural imaging engineer", for a two-year project that will "accomplish bold things".

Another advert for the same two-year period describes building a "communication and computing platform of the future". The roles include analysis of "neuroimaging and electrophysiological data" and "developing novel non-invasive neuroimaging technologies".

The idea of Facebook being able to read minds may sound like a science-fiction fantasy, and could potentially be the ultimate privacy nightmare. But it is not the first indication the company has given that it wants to make telepathy a reality.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's billionaire founder, has previously described telepathy as the "ultimate communication technology" and a way to capture feelings "in its ideal and perfect form".

"One day, I believe we'll be able to send full rich thoughts to each other directly using technology. You'll just be able to think of something and your friends will immediately be able to experience it too, if you'd like. This would be the ultimate communication technology," he said in 2015.

Last year he said that the world would move beyond the current vogue, virtual reality, towards even more immersive ways to communicate.

"What I think we’re going to get to... past VR, is a world where more than just being able to capture what’s going on in a scene, I think you’re going to be able to capture a thought, what you’re thinking or feeling, in its kind of ideal and perfect form in your head and be able to share that with the world," Zuckerberg said.

"Of course it’s really important that people have the power to do this in the way that they want, to be able to share that with other people."

While Zuckerberg has said that such technology is decades away, the job adverts suggest Facebook is not waiting around. The company has a history of getting ahead when it comes to new technology that could represent a threat to its dominance of social media: buying photo app Instagram and virtual reality company Oculus.

Mind reading technology is in its early days, but researchers have made breakthroughs in decoding brainwaves. Scientists at the University of Washington last year demonstrated that they could detect whether a subject was looking at a photo of a face or of a house. Prior to that, linked human brains managed to play a game of 20 questions.



Etiam at libero iaculis, mollis justo non, blandit augue. Vestibulum sit amet sodales est, a lacinia ex. Suspendisse vel enim sagittis, volutpat sem eget, condimentum sem.