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Technology: Science That ‘Plays Your Brain Like a Videotape’

Okay. Technology is REALLY taking the ‘fiction’ out of science fiction. Let Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg, an associate editor at The Atlantic, ‘drop some science’ on you:

‘Our senses take in a vast array of sights and sounds every day, sparking activity in our neural circuits in corresponding patterns. Now, scientists are developing ways to decode these patterns and recreate the original audiovisual stimuli — not unlike the video playback of a VHS tape. This episode of Science Bytes explores some of the research in this field.’

Last year, scientists at the University of California Berkeley demonstrated that they could reconstruct the YouTube videos their research subjects were watching by analyzing fMRI scans of their brain activity. The video above is a shot-by-shot comparison between the video presented to the subjects and the video reconstructed by scientists brain scans. See how close the scientist got to what subjects saw…just by scanning their brain waves? Now, the episode write-up (and its included links) go MUCH DEEPER into the science; but let me lift another passage that will cut to the chase:

‘It’s not hard to imagine a cyborg future in which we can “make movies with our brains,” to quote music video directors Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan.’

In a word: WOW!


Here’s another word: SCARY. Check it:

‘For experts: The real advance of this study was the construction of a movie-to-brain activity encoding model that accurately predicts brain activity evoked by arbitrary novel movies.’

Said another way, scientists are on the verge of inventing technology that enables people to put out videos/movies and KNOW how we will respond to them. In the near future, will you truly ‘like’ a movie or music video… or will you have been TOLD that you liked it because of the way it was encoded? Chew on that food for thought and try to swallow. With that… I’ll let “Locutus” have the last word…

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