Aliens are coming to read our brains.
No, I’m not talking about the Brain Bugs who have the capacity to steal the knowledge of human minds from 1997 sci-fi classic Starship Troopers. No, we’re talking about aliens who have taken human form, such as Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg.
Yes, it’s come to this. Tech companies are now getting their brain-reading ducks in line to build tech that can read our minds. Literally.
I’m not talking about Facebook snooping on your online browsing and compiling a dossier on you that could indicate when you will probably buy Skippy peanut butter or Dave’s Killer Bread. No, this is the real deal. This is mind-reading, as in “mind-reading.”
According to Vox, Facebook is funding research on brain-computer interfaces (let’s call them BCIs for short). The endgame is to pick up thoughts directly from people’s brain neurons and then translate these thoughts into words. Gulp.
And you thought it was bad enough when TSA said they could look through our social media accounts—just wait until they can sift through the dark resources of your brain as well.
Already, Facebook researchers have built an algorithm that can decode words from brain activity. And, this can be done in real time. Early tests at Facebook’s Reality Labs were able to use a brain-computer interface to decode speech directly from the human brain onto a screen.
Back in July, Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, Facebook vice president of AR/VR, said in a tweet:
“Today we’re sharing an update on our work to build a non-invasive wearable device that lets people type just by imagining what they want to say.” Adding, “Our progress shows real potential in how future inputs and interactions with AR glasses could one day look.”
Meanwhile, on the Elon Musk-front, his company, Neuralink, is working on a way to control your smartphone with your thoughts. Already, Musk wants to start testing in (that’s right, “in”) humans by the end of next year. Yes, this will be going down in 2020. The Musk plan involves implanting flexible “threads” (about one-tenth the size of a human hair) directly into your brain, which, in turn, will be the first step to turning us into a hybrid of man and machine—as these threads will allow you to control your smartphone with just your thoughts.
“It will enable anyone who wants to have superhuman cognition,” Musk said on the Joe Rogan podcast (the episode where he smoked pot). “How much smarter are you with a phone or computer or without?” Musk said. “Your phone is already an extension of you. You’re already a cyborg.”
“It’s like a tiny straw of information flow between your biological self and your digital self,” Musk added about Neuralink. “We need to make that tiny straw like a giant river, a huge, high-bandwidth interface.”
So, it’s almost a given that in the future (maybe even as early as the end of next year), tech companies will have some sort of capacity to merge tech and brain thoughts—as one.
Some ground rules obviously need to be put into place; otherwise, the potential for misuse could be phenomenal! Imagine a hacker… breaking into your brain.
So, rest assured, your brain—and your thoughts—may no longer be private anymore. Have a nice week.
“Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established” (Proverbs 16:3).