This Week in Technology: Mapping the Mind


April 23, 2017 10:02 pm by Jacob McAllister



A Round-Up of the News At the Intersection Technology and Politics For the Week

big data

Here are a few of the more compelling stories from this past week in the world of technology, April 23 2017.

    • Facebook is hoping to be able to read your mind, according to this article from VICE.

      At its F8 conference Wednesday, it revealed it has a 60-strong team of engineers trying to figure out how to read thoughts without the need for surgical implants, so that you can essentially type with your brain…The Facebook team has been working on the project for six months already, collaborating with scientists and researchers from universities including San Francisco, Berkeley, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins University’s applied physics laboratory, and the Washington University school of medicine in St. Louis.

      The project faces huge logistical issues in getting the project up and running:

      As well as overcoming privacy concerns, Facebook’s engineers face huge technical challenges to get the system they describe up and running. According to Dr. Jason Taylor, a neuroscientist at Manchester University, the type of “brain reading” experiment we hear about today requires participants to lie still in an MRI scanner for an hour while watching a film or a stream of images of different types of objects.

      The article came a day after Zuckerburg announced that the company was working on technology which would allow users to share thoughts as they would a picture or video.

    • It has been more than 90 days since the president promised to implement a new cyber security plan, missing his own deadline, writes The Independent. But you don’t have to take their word for it:
      https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/819865802849587200?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.independent.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fdonald-trump-cyber-security-plan-president-misses-deadline-a7694096.html
    • Google’s new ad-blocker could make them the ultimate gatekeeper on what advertising content gets seen on the web. The ad-blocker will become a feature of the Chrome browser, which is used by 44.5 percent of all web users. Could Google be using this product to weed out advertisers that it doesn’t like?
    • The Intercept released this video which instructs those who protest how to protect their privacy:
    • Confide, the preferred messaging app of many White House staffers, has a major security hole according to this article from VICE.
    • Silicon Valley firms are starting to take notice of Chinese tech giants like Alibaba and Tenecent, who are increasingly vying for global market share writes The Economist.

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