Facebook wants to get in your head

By Teamspirit on Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Facebook has assigned a research team of 60 to develop a system which will allow you to look up from your phone more often – but not use the device any less.

Experts in machine learning and neural prosthetics at the company are working towards technology that will read your brainwaves, enabling you to type emails, texts and posts without the need for any manual input. The social media platform say the advance could address the addictive relationships many have with their smartphones while enabling users to better connect with their direct company.

The ambition is to allow individuals to write one hundred words per minute using the power of their thoughts – this is five times faster than the average person can type on a smartphone. It will require the creation of technology which does not currently exist, based on non-invasive laser analysis of changes in the properties of neurons to read brain signals.

With so much personal data already at their disposal, the prospect of what the social network could do with access to your thoughts is scary to say the least. How could you control what you are sharing? How can you ensure the privacy of what crosses your mind?

Although Facebook argue that they will only be able to translate those parts of the brain responsible for speech, meaning that they are only decoding words you are about to say, it raises a whole new level of security concerns. If this is an indication of communications to come, financial services will need to meet the technology with equally powerful safeguards to ensure the protection of sensitive personal information at risk.

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