The technology that aims to read your mind and probe your memories is already here

The technology that aims to read your mind and probe your memories is already here

The technology that aims to read your mind and probe your memories is already here

The US military has been working on developing mind-reading devices for years. The goal is to create technologies that allow us to help people with brain or nervous system injuries, but also allow soldiers to direct drones and other devices with thought alone, as reported Paul Tullis in 2019.

Several multimillionaires who have made their fortunes in technology have launched projects to link human brains to computers, whether to read our minds, communicate or supercharge our brains. Antonio Regalado spoke to entrepreneur Bryan Johnson in 2017 about his plan to build a neural prosthesis for the enhancement of human intelligence. (Since then, Johnson has embarked on a quest to keep his body as youthful as possible.)

We can deliver electric shocks to the brain via headbands and caps, devices generally considered non-invasive. But given that they probe our minds and potentially change the way they work, perhaps we need to reconsider just how intrusive they really are, as I wrote in a previous edition of The Checkup.

Elon Musk’s company Neuralink said its eventual goal is to “create a whole-brain interface that can more closely connect biological and artificial intelligence.” Antonio described the progress made by the company and its competitors in an article in the magazine’s IT issue.

When a person with an electrode implanted in the brain to treat epilepsy was charged with assaulting a police officer, law enforcement officials demanded to see the brain data collected by the device. The data was exonerating; it turns out the person was having a seizure at the time. But the brain data could just as well be used to incriminate someone else, as I wrote in a recent edition of The Checkup.

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How about receiving letters from your doctor written by an AI? A pilot study showed that “it is possible to generate clinical letters with a high overall score of accuracy and humanity with ChatGPT”. (The Lancet Digital Health)

When Meredith Broussard discovered that her hospital had used AI to help diagnose her breast cancer, she explored the technology’s effects on human doctors. Not great, it turned out. (Cable)

A Texas federal judge is being asked in a lawsuit to order the US Food and Drug Administration to rescind its approval of mifepristone, one of two drugs used in medical abortions. A decision against the FDA could diminish the authority of the organization and “be catastrophic for public health”. (The Washington Post)

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has proposed regulations that would limit the levels of six “permanent chemicals” in drinking water. Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are synthetic chemicals that have been used to make products since the 1950s. They break down extremely slowly and have been found in the environment and in the blood of people and animals all over the world. . We still don’t know how harmful they are. (EPA)

Would you pay thousands of dollars to have your jaw broken and reshaped to look like Batman? Another worrying cosmetic trend is surgery. (GQ)


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