Facebook’s brain-computer interface is making progress and could soon read your mind, enabling you to type simple words just by thinking about them. But at what cost?
The social media giant, which has had privacy issues with its user data, plans to make the use of smartphones “hands-free”, it said in a blog post published on July 31.
In 2017, Facebook assembled a team that included machine-learning and neural prosthetics experts to build a system capable of typing 100 words per minute – five times faster than a person typically types on a smartphone – straight from the user’s thoughts.
“Imagine a world where all the knowledge, fun, and utility of today’s smartphones were instantly accessible and completely hands-free. Where you could connect with others in a meaningful way, regardless of external distractions, geographic constraints, and even physical disabilities and limitations,” the blog read.
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Facebook has been driving towards augmented reality. Mindless navigation is one of the early features that it plans to introduce. The feature was termed as “brain mouse” the first time it was presented two years ago.
This feature has raised eyebrows because it is potentially an extreme form of privacy invasion where artificial intelligence might be able to track what you’re thinking without you uttering a single word.
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, has said that the technology will not be invasive in nature when it finally arrives.
“If you’re actually trying to build things that everyone is going to use, you’re going to want to focus on the non-invasive things,” Zuckerberg said.
Elon Musk’s secretive company Neuralink is also working on developing brain-machine interfaces.
Elon Musk founded Neuralink in 2016 as part of addressing his concerns with the rise of artificial intelligence. Neuralink recently held a recruiting event where it highlighted its progress in developing a chip that can be implanted in our skulls and connected to our brains.