A Facebook Mind Reading Machine?! Yeah, Basically…
If you’re concerned about any of those Facebook privacy scandals (please see here, here, here, here, or…. here.) or even worried that the company is listening in on your phone calls, you may be a little disturbed when we tell you that the near-infamous Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, wants to build a Facebook Mind Reading Machine. While recently speaking at Harvard, The Zuck dropped a few lines that sparked just a few privacy concerns.
Despite all of Facebook’s recent legal troubles, and is facing more and more skepticism from the public about its business practices, Zuckerberg still found time to discuss the Facebook’s research into a brain-computer interface that would allow people to use their mind to navigate through augmented reality. Yeah, we’re listening…
Of course, this sounds creepy, Zuckerberg, however, went on to say that they have no current plans to develop surgically implanted chips. The idea would stem from producing a type of external device, glasses, for instance, that allow users to control digital additions to the landscape without speaking or typing anything.
“I mean, presumably this [augmented reality technology] would be something that someone would choose to use a product. I’m not — yeah, yeah. I mean, yes, there’s of course all the other implications, but yeah, I think that this is going to be — that’s going to be an interesting thing down the line.” stated Zuckerberg.
Here We Go Again
The technology Zuckerberg is describing may very well be used in conjunction with new products or as part of headsets manufactured by Oculus VR, which is owned by Facebook. Zuckerberg continued to explain that something implantable would not scale: “If you’re actually trying to build things that everyone is going to use, you’re going to want to focus on the noninvasive things,” the CEO said.
Showing obvious skepticism himself, Zuckerberg stood strong, though, and elaborated on why he’s bullish on augmented reality. “The way that our phones work today, and all computing systems, organized around apps and tasks is fundamentally not how our brains work and how we approach the world,” Zuckerberg noted. “That’s one of the reasons I’m just very excited long-term about especially things like augmented reality because it’ll give us a platform that I think actually is how we think about stuff.”
Fox reports that Zuckerberg described the technology’s possible benefits, according to Wired, like this in 2017: “Our brains produce enough data to stream 4 HD movies every second. The problem is that the best way we have to get information out into the world—speech—can only transmit about the same amount of data as a 1980s modem. We’re working on a system that will let you type straight from your brain about 5x faster than you can type on your phone today. Eventually, we want to turn it into a wearable technology that can be manufactured at scale. Even a simple yes/no ‘brain click’ would help make things like augmented reality feel much more natural.”
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