Friday, December 12, 2008

The Thought Police Are Coming

A fascinating story was posted at New Scientist yesterday about scientists inventing mind-reading software that might soon be able to record even your dreams.

At this stage it's pretty crude, as these things always start out, but already an image of the word "neuron" can be constructed from scratch just by scanning the brainwave patterns of someone looking at it. Crude maybe, but that's pretty full on if you think about it. 

The leader of the project, Yukiyasu Kamitani also recognizes the ethical implications:

Kamitani is well aware of the negative potential of the technology. 
"If the image quality improves, it could have a very serious impact on our privacy and other issues. We will have to discuss with many people - not just scientists - how to apply this technology," he says.

Well, stuff that I say. I mean, this is perfect - it's a total godsend for the authorities and the government! Think about it: a thought scanner in every home! If anyone so much as thinks or dreams about prohibited matters such as terrorism, euthanasia, child porn or what a boofhead Kevin Rudd is, the Australian Federal Police will be able to detain and arrest them before even the remotest possibility of a crime being committed is realized. Who could ask for more?

Thought Crime can finally become reality. George Orwell had no idea what a good thing he was on to.

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