Sunday, May 03, 2009

Brainjacking: Something to think about

Can your secret desires, passing thoughts become public knowledge? The Times claim that Scientists are using technology to open our minds, to understand our preferences, read our secret thoughts and much more. Companies are already marketing the technology to understand the brain and what we are thinking.

British neuroscientist John-Dylan Haynes, has found how our intentions leave telltale traces in the brain and claims that he can accurately predict in the lab what we will want to buy. Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University, in the journal PloS, claim their computer could tell with 78% accuracy objects on a volunteer’s mind. EmSense, has developed a EEG headset they claim shows how wearers react to speeches and debates. Researchers at Honeywell Aerospace have developed a system that reads defence analysts’ brains as they examine spy-satellite photographs and claims to register a visual anomaly long before they may become aware of it.

An Indian court found Aditi Sharma, 24, a Pune-based MBA student guilty of murder based, in part, on evidence of “guilty knowledge” revealed by her brain waves. In January, Ravindra Kantrole, a Mumbai petty criminal, was convicted of the serial killer of seven victims, largely on brain-mapping evidence. Earlier this month, two priests and a nun were freed on in a murder case after brain tests showed “no memory of the killing”. So will it replace the lie detector? Prof. Sean Spence of Sheffield University has pioneered the use of brain-scan lie detection in Britain. In 2003 Susan Hamilton, was given four years for poisoning a child in her care with salt overdoses and maintains her innocence, but Spence claims his tests are consistent with someone telling the truth. The results have not, however, been submitted as evidence to a British court.

Should there be a statutory right to “mental privacy”. Some would argue ‘What have you got to hide and does refusal equal guilt?'


Wrye Sententia said...

I would appreciate it if you could clarify where/when I made that comment--I don't remember speaking to you and it seems out of step (or possibly) context from my position on neurotechnologies. Thank you. Dr. Sententia

Martyn Daniels said...

In response to Dr Sententia we have removed the quote taken from the Times Online Article.

We are unable to contact Dr Sententia directly but apologise that we took the quotes on the 3rd page of the Times article, we refered to, as authorised.

These quotes are also refered to in The Week article.

We have left the Times article linked.