Facebook has today updated the press about its plans to create an artificial intelligence-driven interface that can read brain signals and transcribe in real-time what you are thinking.
Thanks to a team of scientists supported by Facebook Reality Labs at the University of California, researchers have just published the results of an experiment to decode words that are simply thoughts, not spoken sentences, using electrodes implanted in the skull. In practice, Facebook is now able to literally read entire words and phrases from your mind.
People will then be able to type a text on a computer simply by thinking about it, using a virtual keyboard in times of difficulty. In this experiment, published today in Nature Communications, subjects listened to multiple-choice questions and expressed their answers out loud. An array of electrodes recorded activities in the parts of their brains associated with understanding and producing language, looking for patterns that corresponded to specific words and phrases in real-time.
Although we will never see this brain-reading technology in future Facebook products, or at least not in the near future, researchers may use it to improve the lives of people who cannot speak because of paralysis or other problems. "Currently, patients with speech loss due to paralysis are limited to saying the words very slowly," reported a researcher.
Are you concerned about this kind of discovery?