Mind Reading Devices Are Coming But Scientists Fear Telepathy

The scientific community has been increasing its efforts to build tools that could allow machines and people to read minds. But top scientists in the United Kingdom raised concerns since the progress might lead to major problems in the future. 

These technologies might make people telepathic and having such capability raises ethical issues, according to a recent study by the U.K.'s Royal Society. 

Scientists said companies could take advantage of commercial brain-to-computer devices. To date, hacking is widespread, affecting thousands of digital information, and companies previously faced issues due to access to personal data of employees and the public. 

The same problems might happen in the future as people begin to connect their brains to mind reading devices. Scientists said some potential use of the technology might enable people to share what they see to a friend, talk without speaking and download new skills, the BBC reported Tuesday

The Royal Society study also suggests the brain reading devices might also help patients recover from an injury or a medical condition. 

“By 2040 neural interfaces are likely to be an established option to enable people to walk after paralysis and tackle treatment-resistant depression, they may even have made treating Alzheimer's disease a reality,” Tim Constandinou, co-chair of the study and director of the Next Generation Neural Interfaces (NGNI) Lab at Imperial College London, said. 

Mind Reading Techs and Potential Issues

The study raised concerns with how companies would utilize the technology and how it would change what it means to be human.

"While advances like seamless brain-to-computer communication seem a much more distant possibility, we should act now to ensure our ethical and regulatory safeguards are flexible enough for any future development,” Constandinou said. "In this way we can guarantee these emerging technologies are implemented safely and for the benefit of humanity."

The scientists suggested conducting a national investigation focused on the ethical issues facing the mind reading technologies. They said the effort should also determine the data that can be collected using such tools, its security and the acceptability of merging machines and humans. 

artificial intelligence The scientific community continues to explore the use of tools that connect human brains to machines and enable mind reading. Pixabay