Apparently, lie detectors will be a thing of the past if this new decoding system actually works as promised. Developed by neuroscientists from the University of California at Berkeley, this computer will go about analyzing your brain activity in order to know just what you’re currently thinking. This is made possible by the use of a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine (in layman’s terms, a real-time brain scanner) to record all mental activity of a person while viewing thousands upon thousands of random images which range from people to animals, landscapes, objects, and everyday stuff. These recordings will then be processed and used to predict the mental patterns of the said person in the future based on the database garnered. So far, tests with neurological readouts generated by a different set of pictures proved to be an easy task for the decoder with a relatively high accuracy rate. I wonder whether the machine can be fooled by thinking about an food while looking at a car and vice versa.
According to Jack Gallant, the study’s co-author, “No one that I know would ever have guessed our decoder would do this well. One day it may even be possible to reconstruct the visual content of dreams.” Now that would definitely go a long way in helping psychologists assist their patients toward the road of recovery where mental problems are concerned. Unfortunately, as with most inventions, this could be a double-edged sword depending on how you use it. Take for example a marketing campaign that has been skewed for maximum mental penetration. I guess where jocks abound, chances are you will see nothing but ad after ad of Victoria’s Secret and fast cars. Even scarier is the though of having our heads examined against our will just because Big Brother wants to ensure no acts of terrorism and crime happen.