Neurophilosophy

Microsoft wants to read your mind

Researchers from the Microsoft Corporation recently filed an application for a patent for a brain-computer interface that can “classify brain states”.

They say that the device is needed to obtain accurate feedback about the effectiveness of computer-user interfaces, because the conventional way of  getting this information – by interview – is often unreliable.

To me this sounds a bit like the overblown claims that functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can be used to determine whether an individual is lying or telling the truth. Except that this seems like an even bigger exaggeration.

Comments

  1. #1 Eric
    October 21, 2007

    I’ve been waiting to have a bioport installed ever since I saw that Cronenberg film eXistenZ. But, wait, Microsoft wouldn’t possibly use this technology for evil would they?

  2. #2 Sonia Mansour-Robaey
    October 23, 2007

    I agree with you that FMRI data and what they tell us about brain states are often overblown. People in the field are still trying to understand exactly what is behind the FMRI signal, biologically speaking, and its correlation with neuronal activity.

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