Mind reading and augmented reality, Facebook has been talking about both.
Do you really want to see sharks swimming in your bowl of cereal?
Well, maybe if you had been watching Jaws the night before, you might have sharks on your mind, and Facebook reckons it is close to being able to read what’s on your mind.
It also reckons it is developing technology such that you could point your smart-phone at objects and see things – sharks in your cornflakes, for example.
More practically, friends could write a message on the front door of your favourite restaurant, but in virtual space, and only visible to you, and from your smart-phone.
“I am sitting at the back mate,” it might say. Or, ‘your blind date looks hot.’
Marr Zuckerberg says he envisages few boundaries as to how the technology might work.
But what about mind reading?
It was the time of the Facebook annual developer conference, and Regina Dugan, head of Facebook’s Building 8 – which is responsible for off the wall type of thinking – said that the company has developed ‘optical neuro-imagining systems”
The idea is that you just think stuff, and a keyboard types, at 100 words a minute.
It sounds impossible but it is closer than you think.” she said: and added: “You will be able to share your thoughts independent of language: English, Spanish or Mandarin, they become the same.”
It’s a neat idea but, to put it mildly, there are implications.
Technology that can read minds may be very good at anticipating our needs – so that could be good, providing it does not merely end up removing serendipity from the world, no more chance discoveries, because we only see what algorithms have decided we want to see.
Or maybe such technology can influence our minds too.
And what about cyber security? Do we want hackers to read our mind?
Then again, that is how things are going. You can’t stop technology, you have to embrace it, or you become irrelevant.
You just may need to learn how to mind your own business, or indeed, reality.