Psychic computer that can read people's minds developed
2009 11 03
By Charles Smith | ibtimes.co.uk
Criminals beware - a team of international scientists have developed a "psychic computer" which reportedly can read people's minds and reproduce images of what they are seeing or even remembering by scanning their brain activity.
According to The Sunday Times, the scientists, in a major breakthrough, have been able to "decode" and convert brain signals or activity into crude moving images on a computer screen.
During the research, the scientists used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology to scan the brains of two volunteers as they watched videos.
Subsequently, the computer, which was specially developed for the research, was used to search for links between configuration of shapes, colours and movements in the videos, and patterns of activity in the patients' visual cortex.
It was then fed more than 200 days' worth of YouTube Internet clips and asked to predict which areas of the brain the clips would stimulate if people were watching them.
Finally, the computer was used to monitor the brains of the two volunteers as they watched a new film and asked to reproduce correctly what they were seeing based on their neural activity alone.
Although the results were crude, the computer was able to correctly reproduce the rough shape of a man in a white shirt but not his face (the volunteers were watching a video footage of comic actor Steve Martin in a white shirt) and the vague image of a city skyline (the volunteers were watching an image of a city skyline with a plane flying past) minus the flying plane.
According to the scientists, the computer could easily interpret brain patterns if the subject was looking at a static image or a person or a human face but presently it is too confusing for the computer to "decode" brain patterns if the subject is looking at a fast moving object.
According to the scientists, one day the computer could be used to study people's dreams or thoughts or behaviours or even be used to help solve crimes by scanning the brain of witnesses.
"At the moment when you see something and want to describe it to someone you have to use words or draw it and it doesn't work very well," said Prof. Jack Gallant of the University of California, Berkeley.
"You could use this technology to transmit the image to someone. It might be useful for artists or to allow you to recover an eye witness' memory of a crime," he said.
However, it could also herald a new Big Brother era, similar to that envisaged in the Tom Cruise-starring Hollywood film Minority Report where police in the future read minds and make arrests based on 'thought crimes.'
No wonder, Gallant warned that their scientific breakthrough could have "serious ethical and privacy implications."
"We believe that no one should be subjected to any form of brain-reading involuntarily, covertly, or without informed consent," Gallant said.
Agrees Russell Foster, a neuroscientist at Oxford University.
"It's absolutely critical for scientists to inform the public about what we are doing so they can engage in the debate about how this knowledge should be used," Foster said.
"It's the age-old problem: knowledge is power and it can be used for both good and evil," he said.
However, Gallant's research is not the first of its kind. Earlier, scientists at University College London have conducted separate tests that detect, with an accuracy of about 50 percent, memories recalled by patients.
In America, security agencies are researching the use of brain scanners for interrogating prisoners while US defence contractor Lockheed Martin is reported to have studied the possibility of scanning brains at a distance without knowledge of the subjects in sensitive locations such as airports.
Have Scientists Discovered a Way of Peering Into the Future?
Is Quantum Mechanics Controlling Your Thoughts?
The 'telepathy' chip, turn on the TV using the power of thought
'We'll be able to upload our brains to a computer'
Influencing Human Cognition: US Electromagnetic Weapons and Human Rights
Next-generation toys read brain waves
We are moving ever closer to the era of mind control
The Mind Has No Firewall
Reading This Will Change Your Brain
Many Scientists are Convinced that Man Can See the Future
Big Brother Brain Scanners To Detect Pre-Crime
Latest News from our Front Page
NATO Exercise in Ukraine Coincided with MH-17 Shoot-down
2014 07 24
Rapid Trident was omitted from the flurry of coverage on the shoot-down MH-17.
From the U.S. Army in Europe website:
Rapid Trident supports interoperability among Ukraine, the United States, NATO and Partnership for Peace member nations. The exercise helps prepare participants to operate successfully in a joint, multinational, integrated environment with host-nation support from civil and governmental agencies. ...
Warning of ’imminent’ terror attack in Norway
2014 07 24
Norwegians were warned Thursday of the concrete possibility of a terror attack occurring in that country at the hands of people with connections to an extremist group in Syria.
A press conference was called in Oslo, Norway on Thursday where an announcement was made of a "possible concrete threat" to national security in that country from terrorists related to an extremist ...
Judge says government can access everything in a Gmail account
2014 07 24
All your emails are belong to us.
At least that’s what the latest court order from a judge in New York says. The warrant, granted on June 11, states that the government can access all the content and files contained in a Gmail account.
Yes, this is a significant blow to privacy.
The subject of this specific search relates to a money laundering ...
Scotland Yard Spied on Grieving Families: secret surveillance after police victim shot seven times in head ’by mistake’
2014 07 24
More terror from the ’anti-terror’ brigade.
Undercover police gathered evidence on 18 grieving families
By Rob Evans and Vikram Dodd | The Guardian
Undercover police officers secretly gathered intelligence over two decades on 18 families fighting to get justice from the police, it was revealed on Thursday.
The intelligence covering high-profile campaigns was collected between the mid-1980s and 2005, and affected grieving families ...
Air Algerie AH5017 with 116 onboard goes missing for hours, found crashed in Mali
2014 07 24
An Air Algerie flight carrying 110 passengers and six crew members has reportedly crashed in Mali after having disappeared from radar early on Thursday morning between Burkina Faso and Algeria.
A French Ministry of Defense official told Fox News that the two French fighter jets located the wreckage of the plane, which had crashed in Mali. An airport official additionally confirmed ...
|More News » |