Mind reading machines on their way: IBM

December 20, 2011
Century-old technology colossus IBM has depicted a near future in which machines read minds and recognize who they are dealing with.

Century-old technology colossus IBM depicted a near future in which machines read minds and recognize who they are dealing with.

The "IBM 5 in 5" predictions were based on societal trends and research which the New York State-based company expected to begin bearing fruit by the year 2017.

"From Houdini to Skywalker to X-Men, has merely been wishful thinking for science fiction fans for decades, but their wish may soon come true," IBM said in its annual assessment of innovations on the horizon.

"IBM scientists are among those researching how to link your brain to your devices, such as a computer or a smartphone," it continued.

IBM gave the examples of ringing someone up just by thinking it, or willing a cursor to move on a .

Biological makeup will become the key to , with retina scans of recognition of faces or voices used to confirm who people are rather than typing in passwords, the company forecast.

"Imagine you will be able to walk up to an to securely withdraw money by simply speaking your name or looking into a tiny sensor that can recognize the unique patterns in the retina of your eye," IBM said.

"Or by doing the same, you can check your account balance on your mobile phone or tablet," it continued.

Technology will also be able to produce electric power from any types of movement from walking or bicycle riding to water flowing through pipes of homes, IBM predicted.

Mobile phones will narrow the between "haves and have-nots" by making information easily accessible and junk email will be eliminated by smarter filtering and masterful targeting of ads people like, according to IBM.

Explore further: SEC launches formal probe of IBM accounts

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not rated yet Dec 20, 2011
This is another great example of why I love PhysOrg. IBM comes out in the news and talks about technologies that we've been reading about for more than a year (at least). I love being ahead of the curve like that.
1 / 5 (1) Dec 20, 2011
Electrical signals from the brain are simply to weak at the surface of the skull. I don't believe this mind reading technology can work reliable to select between more than 5 different items. The solution to obtain good signals would be to implant everybody's brain with a dense grid of electrodes.
not rated yet Dec 20, 2011
Yes you would have to implant electrodes into people's brains to get good results, but you can get some results (after you take away the background noise of other neurons you aren't interested in) from reading signals on the surface of the skull.

Ever seen the skull caps with electrodes on it??!?!
1 / 5 (2) Dec 20, 2011

Didn't trek anticipate this back in the 1960's?

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