Wise Up Journal

Published by AP: “United States on Wednesday said they had made extraordinary progress towards reading the brain.” This massive break through was reported last week by the press that a team of world-leading neuroscientists at Berkeley University of California have reached 70% accuracy in reading the thoughts of humans, sometimes even with accuracy above 90%. The new devices dubbed ‘brain scanners’ are used remotely without any need of physical contact with the target person.

You can see from the London Guardian report published below that experts have urged it to be used for imprisoning people before they commit a crime, prosecuting them with an incriminating brain scan. Undoubtedly this will be brought in by governments under the broad banner of terrorism. And undoubtedly it will be used on the public just like other surveillance measures brought in.

Experts are also making absurd statements to pacify an apathetic public from even desiring a ban on the use of this technology in law, as Professor Haynes doublespeaks, “if we prohibit it, we are also denying people who aren’t going to commit any crime the possibility of proving their innocence.” What the Professor is saying is that everyone will be deemed guilty by default; the law will arrest people before they commit crimes, and as there can be no evidence on something that has not yet happened the only way people can defend themselves is by submitting to thought-scans. It won’t matter what your real thoughts are, only what the scan report says they are, which judges (and most likely the public) will believe to be true as neuroscientists, Government officials, and the manufacturers of the device will assure us that they are accurate. When brought into law our police forces will have the opportunity to imprison people such as animal protesters who have a desire to free tortured animals from labs and so on. The public must deny governments the use of this technology at the introductory phase.

What’s on your mind?
By Richard Ingham

United States on Wednesday said they had made extraordinary progress towards reading the brain.

The tool used by the University of California at Berkeley neuroscientists is functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a non-invasive scanner that detects minute flows of blood within the brain, thus highlighting which cerebral areas are triggered by light, sound and touch.

They notched up a 92-percent success rate with one volunteer, and accuracy was 72 percent in the other. The probability of this happening on the basis of chance — i.e. the computer picking the right image out of the 120 — is only 0.8 percent.

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The brain scan that can read people’s intentions

The Guardian
Ian Sample, science correspondent

A team of world-leading neuroscientists has developed a powerful technique that allows them to look deep inside a person’s brain and read their intentions before they act.

The research breaks controversial new ground in scientists’ ability to probe people’s minds and eavesdrop on their thoughts, and raises serious ethical issues over how brain-reading technology may be used in the future.

“Using the scanner, we could look around the brain for this information and read out something that from the outside there’s no way you could possibly tell is in there. It’s like shining a torch around, looking for writing on a wall,” said John-Dylan Haynes at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Germany, who led the study with colleagues at University College London and Oxford University.

The latest work reveals the dramatic pace at which neuroscience is progressing… If brain-reading can be refined, it could quickly be adopted…, and even usher in a “Minority Report” era.., where judgments are handed down before the law is broken on the strength of an incriminating brain scan.

“These things are going to come to us in the next few years and we should really be prepared,” Professor Haynes told the Guardian.

The use of brain scanners to judge whether people are likely to commit crimes is a contentious issue that society should tackle now, according to Prof Haynes. “We see the danger that this might become compulsory one day, but we have to be aware that if we prohibit it, we are also denying people who aren’t going to commit any crime the possibility of proving their innocence.”

During the study, the researchers asked volunteers to decide whether to add or subtract two numbers they were later shown on a screen.

Before the numbers flashed up, they were given a brain scan using a technique called functional magnetic imaging resonance. The researchers then used a software that had been designed to spot subtle differences in brain activity to predict the person’s intentions with 70% accuracy.

…researchers are already devising ways of deducing what patterns are associated with different thoughts.

Professor Colin Blakemore, a neuroscientist and director of the Medical Research Council, said: … what you can be absolutely sure of is that these will continue to roll out and we will have more and more ability to probe people’s intentions, minds, background thoughts, hopes and emotions.

FAQ: Mind reading

What have the scientists developed?
They have devised a system that analyses brain activity to work out a person’s intentions before they have acted on them. More advanced versions may be able to read complex thoughts and even pick them up before the person is conscious of them.

How does it work?
The computer learns unique patterns of brain activity or signatures that correspond to different thoughts. It then scans the brain to look for these signatures and predicts what the person is thinking.

How could it be used?
It is expected to drive advances in brain-controlled computers… they may be able to spot people who plan to commit crimes before they break the law.

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