It’s only a matter of time before mind-control technology is unleashed to the masses. The promise of new gadgets that allegedly allow you to surf the web hands-free, with nothing more than the power of your own mind may seem intriguing to some, but there are many concerns about the true price that comes with such an “interactive” interface. Two of the world’s most hated companies — Facebook and Microsoft — are leading the way towards a brain-computer interface that could change the way we use computers, but at what cost?
Earlier this year, it was revealed that Microsoft filed a patent for a new technology described as a “brain control interface that decodes electrical signals from the brain to launch and operate apps and web browsers.” The gadget in question would resemble a headband and would even detect when users wish to scroll or click.
Microsoft’s device would reportedly learn each user’s individual brain behavior via an intricate algorithm — and could be used in everything from video games to modeling software or simple web browsers.
In other words, they want this mind-control software to be everywhere, and in everything.
Last year, Facebook also confirmed that they were working on similar “mind-control” technology. It appears the tech companies are now racing to tap into the minds of their consumers at an even deeper level. Facebook reportedly has 60 engineers working on the project. “We’re building further out beyond augmented reality, and that includes work around direct brain interfaces that one day will let you communicate using only your mind, although that stuff is pretty far out,” Mark Zuckerberg commented.
Plot lines such as this have been featured in many a Sci-Fi novel — and it rarely ends well in fiction, let alone real life.
Facebook has already come under fire for using their current social media platform to manipulate their users. The social media giant has often used their tech to block users from seeing content that didn’t align with their agenda — like articles published by Natural News.
But the madness doesn’t stop at censorship. As The Guardian reported in 2014, Facebook conducted an experiment on 689,000 unsuspecting users by controlling what was present in their news feeds. Through a process dubbed “emotional contagion,” Facebook found they could influence their users’ feelings making them feel more positive or negative at whim.
Facebook has literally used their current technology to control people’s emotions — what will happen when this corporation has their claws literally inside your mind?
This kind of technology sets the stage for the next wave of mind control — with massive corporations steering the wheel. It would be virtually impossible for the unquestioning user to know if what they “see” in the mind-computer interface is simply what the corporations want them to see or think.
Indeed, it will be all too easy for tech giants like Facebook or Microsoft to control the news you hear and the advertisements you see, once they’ve got a device that connects directly and effortlessly to your brain.
Such technological advancements are undoubtedly impressive; the thought of being able to operate a computer or talk to your friends without ever lifting a finger is fascinating, but ultimately, corporations looking to profit off your thoughts are not exactly trustworthy. Adopting mind-computer interfaces leaves one very question for consumers: Who is in control, you or the corporations? They are building these devices to serve themselves — and no one else.