Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

What Could Facebook's Brain-Linking Technology Mean for Legal Marketing?

Body language is so yesterday. Tomorrow, it will be head language.

That's because today Facebook researchers are working on a brain-computer interface that will let you type with just your mind. They want people to communicate with the computers through their heads -- no wires or strings attached.

It sounds like the closest thing to mind-reading since Kreskin's ESP, which means it will probably be a board game before it's a practical interface. Not to be a buzz-kill, but the voice in my head is saying, "Objection. Hypothetical."

Hypothetically Speaking

"What if you could type directly from your brain?" Regina Dugan asked a conference at Facebook headquarters.

Dugan showed a video of a paralyzed patient who can type by thought, using an implanted sensor. She said Facebook wants to do the same without surgical implants.

The Facebook team began working on the brain-typing project six months ago, and have joined with other researchers who specialize in machine-learning for decoding speech and language. They are also collaborating with experts in optical neuro-imaging and neural prosthetics.

It is not the only entrepreneur-driven research to link brains directly to technology. Elon Musk, Tesla founder and futurist, is recruiting scientists and engineers through Neuralink.

Mental Marketing?

In any case, the specter of mind-mingling computers is unsettling to some. A la 1984, it is one step away from corporate conglomerates reading our minds to sell us something.

"More than two-thirds of Americans are concerned about the future of brain implants," according to Forbes. "They don't want companies spying on their thoughts or interfering with the way they think and feel."

On the other hand, it opens up marketing possibilities as consumers will be able to get information faster than ever by simply thinking it into their devices. Imagine a driver getting pulled over for a D.U.I., and the first thing that pops into his head -- after a curse word -- is "Larry H. Parker."

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