Just as we take and share photos, Facebook is working on a “speech interface” that will translate thoughts into words. If you’ve ever been accused of “not being present” and instead, having your face buried in your phone, you will soon be able to think a sentence and click send… All with your brain.
This technology will save many marriages.
During this presentation (part of the Facebook Developers Conference) Regina Dugan, VP of Engineering at Facebook, introduces us to a woman with ALS, who has lost all motor function. Through an electrode implant, this woman can type eight words per minute with her brain. Facebook says they want to ramp the speed up to 100 words per minute.
The negative implications of this are absolutely terrifying: Having electrodes implanted in our brains, having our thoughts be readable… It has 1984 written all over it. In the presentation Dugan says “To be clear, we are not talking about decoding your random thoughts. That might be more than any of us care to know, and it’s not something any of us should have a right to know.”She goes on to say that the only thoughts that would be captured would be the ones you intend to share – just like taking and sharing photos.
There doesn’t seem to be any escaping technology – so embracing it and “running into the fire” seems to be the best option. The future for humans seems to be a physical existence in a digitally altered environment that we can create as we go. At this time, electrodes can only be implanted via major surgery, so we are years away from this becoming wide-spread. But welcome to our terrifyingly awesome future just the same.