• Question: Will electronics ever be able to read your mind and text to the person you are thinking about without you doing?

    Asked by 475smap25 to Sheila, Piyush, Natalia, Gary, Dimitar on 9 Nov 2018.
    • Photo: Gary Munnelly

      Gary Munnelly answered on 9 Nov 2018:

      I believe so, but I don’t think the technology will be worth it.

      You can go into some Make shops in Dublin and buy a little headset for about 100 euro that you can put on your head and measure your brainwaves. It’s pretty crude, so it can only really pick up if you are stressed or relaxed. This is because your skull is like a massive echo chamber for all the electrical signals racing around your brain. By the time this sensor can pick them up, they’ve been massively distorted and can only be roughly measured.

      If you wanted something that could read what you were thinking and perform an action based on that, then the device would need to be implanted directly into your brain. We’re talking open skull surgery here. That would get over the problem with noisy signals, but you would still need a device that could figure out what you are thinking, which is actually part of ongoing research.

      Personally, I think my thumbs do a good job. I’m not ready to have someone poking around in my brain just yet.