What if you could type directly from your brain?
That’s the question Facebook is asking. According to Tech Crunch:
Today at F8, Facebook revealed it has a team of 60 engineers working on building a brain-computer interface that will let you type with just your mind without invasive implants. The team plans to use optical imaging to scan your brain a hundred times per second to detect you speaking silently in your head, and translate it into text.
Um…no, thank you?
I don’t know about you, but most of my time spent on social media consists of me typing smart-assed remarks to people and then deleting them at the last minute. All told, I would say I only post about 25% of the shit I’m thinking, and I’m still known as a pretty snarky bitch.
For example, maybe you have seen some of these texting stories:
That’s me, all day long.
So, when Facebook unveiled its emerging brain interface technology, I immediately calculated the number of nanoseconds it would take for me to become friendless.
I barely have any brain to mouth (or in this case, brain to fingertips) filter as it is. I can piss off a friend or family member online at a rate of approximately 80 words per minute. I don’t need Facebook removing the already minute time delay that occasionally saves me from myself.
Clearly, there are some incredible applications for this technology that have nothing to do with clapping back at your creepy uncle and his racist memes.
For one, the Stephen Hawkings of the world could communicate more quickly and efficiently. This technology already exists, to an extent, with brain implants. Building 8, Facebook’s R&D division, is working on technology that accomplishes the same thing without brain implants:
Building 8 only began working on the brain typing project six months ago, but it now is collaborating with UC San Francisco, UC Berkeley, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Researchers who specialize in machine learning for decoding speech and language, building optical neuroimaging systems with advanced spatial resolution and next-generation neural prosthetics are involved.
Perhaps even more incredibly, Facebook’s team of researchers is working on a silent, tactile method of communication that would transcend language barriers:
Through learning to “feel the acoustic shape” of a word on her arm, the research team member was able to accurately relay a set of commands silently sent to her through a separate computer interface….[It]could effectively serve as a universal translator, reducing words and concepts to tactile messages that would give, for example, a Chinese speaker the ability to speak to an English speaker, with both speakers using their native languages.
So, I can tell someone to fuck off, even if they speak another language, just by imagining my middle finger extending? That sounds dangerous. I can just imagine my social media posts becoming a Tourette’s Syndrome tirade of expletives ending with “MIDDLE FINGER EMOJI OH SHIT BACKSPACE BACKSPACE DELETE DELETE DELETE!”
What do you think of this new technology? Would you dare try it?