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    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2010
    'Mind-reading' brain-scan software showcased in NY

    By SAMANTHA GROSS, Associated Press Writer Samantha Gross, Associated Press Writer – Thu Apr 8, 4:15 am ET

    NEW YORK – Mind reading may no longer be the domain of psychics and fortune tellers — now some computers can do it, too.

    Software that uses brain scans to determine what items people are thinking about was among the technological innovations showcased Wednesday by Intel Corp., which drew back the curtain on a number of projects that are still under development.

    The software analyzes functional MRI scans to determine what parts of a person's brain is being activated as he or she thinks. In tests, it guessed with 90 percent accuracy which of two words a person was thinking about, said Intel Labs researcher Dean Pomerleau.

    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2010
    I remember that ep of Cowboy Bebop.
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2010
    'Thank you sir, now place your luggage on the conveyor and put the helmet on your head. Now read the words on the display...'


    'Now read the display again...'


    'Thank you Sir, now place your hands in the restraints, I'm afraid we'll need to ask you a few more questions...'
  1.  (8026.4)
    Is this really surprising to anyone? Heck, I remember about two years back Warren had posted on his site an article regarding that "Paranormal State" show. Something about a billboard, which beamed a high frequency advertisement right into your head? Saw the tech first hand as well. They have this little hand held device, which allows you to "hear" things without actually using your ears. To hear tell of it, you "Hear" these messages in the front of your brain. Kinda scary that our thoughts may not be our own....
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2010

    It did not "beam it into your head", it was an ultrafocused sound projector that simply narrowed sound down so that the advertisement would speak directly to you rather than blasting everyone in an area.
  2.  (8026.6)
    That kinda sounds like splitting hairs, doesn't it? In anycase, I'm uncomfortable with such tech out there....
  3.  (8026.7)
    I wouldn't call that splitting hairs, no. Focusing sound at someone means you're definitely still limited to sending sound, writing directly to the sound-hearing brain parts suggests you could also write to any of the other brain parts too.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeApr 13th 2010

    Indeed. Furthermore, it's still just sound and soundwaves; if you don't like it you could block it with headphones just like you could if the forty-foot tall advertisement was shouting down at you. If it was able to beam it into your brain meat there'd be no blocking it.
  4.  (8026.9)
    Good points. However isn't this issue about the tech that CAN muck with your head in ways that can't be blocked, short of a lead painted helmet?
  5.  (8026.10)
    Well, it can guess what word you're visualising while your head's in an MRI machine. We're a long way off that being deployable in a scary way.
  6.  (8026.11)
    I hope so. Incidentally, when that bit of "sound to mind tech" had been displayed to Jesse Ventura in his Conspiracy Theory show, his ears had been plugged. Ergo, however this device operates, it clearly does not do so via the audio canal. It is sending a frequency directly to the portion of the brain that registers all things audible. I'll get back to you on this after I've done some further research on this gizmo as, quite obviously, I can't use one documentary to verify this.
  7.  (8026.12)
    I seem to recall a Fortean Times article a few years back about this kind of tech - the example was, I think, an aimable narrow-beam microwave projector that vibrated the head bones...
  8.  (8026.13)
    Cat: I've heard a similar story, amidst the many things this monstrosity is capable of. I think I had heard a mans head was exploded.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010

    I think you should take the things you read on the internet with a very large grain of salt.
  9.  (8026.15)
    Or more specifically, the things I "hear" on the internet. Still. I wouldn't rule anything out.
    • CommentTimeMay 12th 2010
    The sound projection technology you're talking about has existed for a while. You still hear it with your eardrums. It's two subsonic waves focused such that they constructively interfere inside your skull, making the actual sound, but only in your head. So your brain is technically involved, but only in the ways it squishes. At least, I know that technology exists, and it sounds consistent with what you're talking about without being ridiculously implausible.

    As to the fMRI data... fMRI data has been used to establish that pictures of naked ladies arouse dead salmon. This stuff is not nearly as advanced as the news reports on these points lead people to imagine. It requires hours of baseline preparation, and the "mind reading" consists of matching the way your brain lights up to the ways it lit up before. It's better than an E-Meter, but only by about an order of magnitude, in my opinion. So not very good.
  10.  (8026.17)
    interesting. And very scary.