Have Uncle Sam Salivating
It sounds like science fiction, but the deployment of actual mind-reading devices into our everyday life is not all that far off.
The field of mind-reading technology is on the verge of exploding. Researchers are excited about the potential benefits. For example, imagine someone who is struck with a disease that makes speech and writing difficult, but leaves the mind intact. With this technology, they would be able to communicate with loved ones, friends and family.
On the downside, it’s impossible to consider mind-reading technology without thinking of all the ways government officials might misuse and abuse it. Do you want Uncle Sam to have even the option of placing a mind-reading chip in your head? I sure don’t.
And there’s only one small step between reading minds and influencing them. With mind-reading technology on the horizon, mind-control technology won’t be far behind.
Brain Decoding Advances
By Leaps and Bounds
Small mind-reading devices are still several years away. Right now, to read your mind, scientists have to hook you up to a brain scanner that is linked to a program that interprets your brain activity. You’d be surprised how accurate the program is. When test subjects are shown random images, the program provides an accurate assessment of what the people are looking at most of the time.
Interpreting the brain’s response to imagery is the easiest approach to mind reading, but scientists are already taking an interest in interpreting responses to other input. That could lead to technology that reads your mind when you’re asked a question – or at least verifies whether or not you’re telling the truth.
In fact, some companies are already using brain decoding to produce better lie detectors. One company, No Lie MRI, promises a foolproof lie detector test that uses brain decoding to assess the truth of what a person is saying.
Remote Neural Monitoring is similar to brain decoding and is already used by neurosurgeons. Implants make it possible for neurologists to supervise brain surgeries, adapting the surgeon’s approach as necessary. Some fear this same technology can be used to monitor the thoughts and intents of individuals.
The military is also using similar technology to make soldiers better in the field. In this case, super-strength binoculars with brain-scanning electrodes help soldiers to determine enemy combatants from an impossible distance with 100 percent accuracy. The connection between a soldier’s mind and the binoculars sorts out subconscious reactions, which it turns out, are incredibly accurate.
With all these new mind-reading devices already deployed or on the horizon, do you have to worry about government bureaucrats trying to get a look inside your mind?
Your Best Defense
Is to Know What’s Coming
Right now, all the mind reading and brain-decoding technology that’s available is pretty obvious. By that, I mean no one is going to sneak up on you and read your mind. They’ll have to hook you up to electrodes and do a brain scan or implant a chip in your head. You’d notice.
The real danger here is that computing companies will begin offering implants that allow you remote control over your computer, smart phone, even your home security system, with just a thought. Government officials could later use those implants to remotely read your thoughts or even implant ideas and influence your behavior.
That sounds outlandish, but it’s not far off. IBM predicts such technology will be available with the next five years. When it does become available, I advise you take a pass. The potential for misuse is extremely high.
With all this in mind, it’s a good idea to stay informed about developments in this field. In other countries, brain decoding lie detector tests are already admissible in court. It may not be long before the government can seek a search warrant for your thoughts.