Are you thinking what I’m thinking? With the advent of new mind reading technology, this question may be made redundant. Firstly, because it may soon be possible to recreate imagery directly from your thoughts, and secondly, because tools are being developed to put it there.
The Natural Scenes Dataset “is a large-scale fMRI dataset conducted at ultra-high-field (7T) strength at the Center of Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) at the University of Minnesota.”
This is data captured by a magnetic resonance imaging machine, much like the ones used to perform scans in hospital. This one is different, as it is being used solely to record human brain activity when subjects are presented with a series of images. The results are being used to train technology with the aim of being able to capture and reproduce your thoughts.
A paper submitted on the efficacy of this technology in capturing specific images has published its results and its methodology. It is still awaiting peer-review, but can be read here.
Here you can see the pictures viewed by test subjects with the images captured from their brains shown below.
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The technology can also reconstruct textual input from brain signals:
This allows the development of a brain scanning technology which can extract the thoughts from your mind in real time.
If you thought that MRI scanners are simply too big to be of practical use outside the laboratory, think again. Early adopters – consumers who fetishize new technologies such as the voluntary surveillance device Alexa – have another new product over which to get excited. Ear buds which read your mind are being developed by a Google spinoff company called NextSense.
If you’re curious to delve deeper into the topic, read more about it here.