MIT Technology review: Big tech firms are trying to read people’s thoughts, and no one’s ready for the consequences. “In 2017, Facebook announced that it wanted to create a headband that would let people type at a speed of 100 words per minute, just by thinking. Now, a little over two years later, the social-media giant is revealing that it has been financing extensive university research on human volunteers. Today, some of that research was described in a scientific paper from the University of California, San Francisco, where researchers have been developing “speech decoders” able to determine what people are trying to say by analyzing their brain signals. The research is important because it could help show whether a wearable brain-control device is feasible and because it is an early example of a giant tech company being involved in getting hold of data directly from people’s minds. To some neuro-ethicists, that means we are going to need some rules, and fast, about how brain data is collected, stored, and used.
In the report published today in Nature Communications, UCSF researchers led by neuroscientist Edward Chang used sheets of electrodes, called ECoG arrays, that were placed directly on the brains of volunteers…”