1. rory
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    rory Contributing Member

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    Mind Reading

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by rory, Jun 23, 2009.

    As I was driving to work today the CBC morning show I listen to had a guest on talking about some more advances in "mind reading," where a computer can read simple thoughts. Such as 'cat' or 'dog'. Like the article, the computer has to be "trained" to know what your brain looks like when thinking about the object or whatever, so they had the people looking at pictures of the things. But once it was trained, the person could look at any of the pictures and they would know which one it was. That's the gist I got, anyways. They are apparently a long ways off from being able to distinguish things like intent or any form of complex thoughts.

    Still, I had no idea research like this was going on.

    There were other articles listed where they are apparently hoping to use this technology to give those who are unable to otherwise a voice with which to speak, which would be a great thing. But I can't help but think of all the ways such technology could be abused in the wrong hands.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Actually, there was a similar experiment done where the subjects would look at a simple image and just focus on it for a period of time while scientists were able to recreate the image (albeit a somewhat fuzzy and unclear, yet nevertheless recognisable image).

    Then there was one I read about where the military was looking at ways of "telepathically" communicating commands to soldiers via implants in the brain that would stimulate particular neurons tied to orders like stop or advance.

    While neither of those projects had many practical implications (the military one was in a very early testing phase when I read about it, and from what I remember had limited success(...wish I saved the articles now...) but its still pretty remarkable considering where we were with the MKUltra project 40 years ago...

    Its easy to see only the potential uses that would hurt or oppress people, but with a little more thought, the creative and social potential of some of these projects is quite staggering
     
  3. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    1984... Haha well being a Sci-Fi junky that's what comes to mind first. Still, it really is fascinating how far we've come, with electronic computers only being a half-century or so old. They just get smarter and smarter...

    And that sounds amazing aron. They were to at least slightly form the images of the thoughts? This really is making me a little more weary to think incringing thoughts when a computer is around... :p
     
  4. rory
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    rory Contributing Member

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    Technology like this could indeed have huge benefits but I'm not sure if society as a whole is ready for it. We are... I dunno, not mature enough? They were saying on the radio how some folks are think this could be useful to use in airport security; they'd know if you were thinking about doing anything awful on the plane. That is probably a long long ways off, but I know I have trouble keeping my thoughts focused, and I'm sure every train of thought will occasionally jump the tracks and go somewhere you never intended. They say thoughts lead to actions, but should they be allowed to read your thought and then potentially punish you for them? They would obviously have to have physical evidence, but I still think it's a little frightening.

    Maybe I'm just paranoid. :p
     
  5. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    Have you seen the film Minority Report? If you haven't, I'd recommend it. It has to do with exactly what you're talking about, punishing a "criminal" before they have really commited a crime. Though, I wouldn't say you should if it increases the paranoia... lol
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    "Dave. I have been trained to know what you are thinking. The bathroom is down the hall and to the left."

    [​IMG]
     
  7. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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  8. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    Wrey, that is simply amazing. Hahaha :D
     
  9. rory
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    rory Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the articles, arron89. Apparently I'm just way out of the loop (no surprise there), but I was shocked to hear about this type of research.

    The scientists doing the research all seem to have really good intentions, like improving communication for people who cannot speak and treating things like Alzheimer's, which is great. I would love a cure for Alzheimer's. But the ensuing ethical battle about invasion of privacy and what not still scares me. Besides, do we really want to know what goes on in some peoples heads?

    ValianceInEnd, I will have to pass on that movie. Total Recall still freaks me out. :p
     
  10. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    Haha, that movie? Well then maybe Minority Report isn't a good idea... Haha
    That movie disturbed me to no end as a wee lad.
     

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