Wednesday, 26 April, 2017

Facebook works on technology to control computer with power of thought

Facebook Literally Wants to Read Your Thoughts Facebook Aims to Connect Directly to Your Brain
Clarence Schmidt | 21 April, 2017, 03:58

Facebook revealed Wednesday that it is working on technology to let people type straight from their brains at 100 words per minute. Beyond the futuristic that this technology seems, Facebook says they expect it to be ready within a few years. Facebook Building 8 head Regina Dugan on stage. According to a source, the social media company is building a secretive team of engineers which have been tasked to develop a "brain-computer interface" based on neuroimaging technology that will be used for a so-called "communications system of the future". "It is these words, words that you have already chose to send to the speech center of your brain, that we seek to turn into text".

They want to create "category defining products" that are "social" first, products that allow us to form more human connections and, in the end, unite the digital world of the internet with the physical world and the human mind.

Not only could such technology allow users to send a text without actually physically touching their smartphone, but Dugan said that it could help disabled people communicate, Reuters said.

Fortunately for us, this technology doesn't exist as of now.

In a bid to placate privacy concerns, Dugan said that the technology was not interested in decoding a person's random thoughts.

Such brain-computer interface technology now involves implanting electrodes, but Facebook wants to use optical imaging to eliminate the need to surgically intrude on brains, according to Dugan. "Products from Building 8 will be powered by a breakthrough innovation engine modeled after DARPA and shipped at scale".

Another project in the works at Building 8, said BBC News and Reuters, is a system that draws its inspiration from Braille and would allow people to communicate via touch.

"Our brains produce enough data to stream 4 HD movies every second". Its system will instead only decode words that a person has already made a decision to share by sending them to the speech center of their brain. "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", Mark Zuckerberg shared in a Facebook post. Using a sensor, the patient was able to type. "Understanding semantics means that one day you may be able to choose to share your thoughts independent of language", Dugan said.

Details were relatively scant as to what this would really look like, though a Stanford University experiment Dugan referenced relied on "an array of electrodes the size of a pea" implanted inside the subject's brain.

The end-goal is to eventually be able to think in Mandarin and feel in Spanish, according to Dugna, who joined Facebook past year from Google's advanced projects division.

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