Mark Zuckerberg wants you to run Facebook with your mind. Yes, Facebook is working on devices that will be implanted in our brain, this with the aim of being able to communicate using only the mind. Does it sound like science fiction? Undoubtedly, but remember that Elon Musk is also investing in a similar project called Neurolink that seeks to create the desired and futuristic brain-computer interface (BCI), which aims to become the solution that will enhance human capabilities in the face of the arrival of robots And artificial intelligence.
Although it sounds like science fiction, the background is completely real. A Facebook research and development team is working on the biggest of the secrets a mind-computer interface that would basically allow you to manage a computer with thought.
During the second day of F8, the developer conference for Facebook, the company finally unveiled the details of ‘Building 8’, the project with which they will build brain-computer interfaces that will give us the ability to “Write with your brain and hearing through your skin”, an experience that will leave aside languages, providing the power to communication as a whole.
“Write with your brain and hear through your skin”
Regina Dugan is in charge of ‘Building 8’, which will have a team of 60 researchers and engineers; in addition, this project has the support of universities and institutes such as Stanford, Harvard and MIT. Facebook signed Dugan last year as one of the most prepared minds in this sector, just remember that she was the main responsibility of DARPA, the agency of advanced projects of defense of the US, in addition to that she directed the division of Technology Advanced and Google products.
During the presentation conference of Building 8, Dugan focused not only on talking about the technical aspects of the project, but on how this will help humans, where she stressed the idea that it is something designed for everyone. One of the goals in the next two years will be that we can write 100 words per minute, but without the need to use our hands, all through the mind, that is up to five times faster than writing on a Smartphone. To put this in context, according to Dugan, an average person can write between 38 and 40 words per minute on a computer or phone.
This brain-computer interface will be based on a series of “non-invasive” implants that will generate optical images of the brain, all at a scan rate of one hundred times per second, so that thoughts can be detected and later translated into text.
But that’s not all, they are also working on hardware and software that will allow the skin to mimic the function of the ear cochlea, this to translate the sound into frequencies that can be “read” by the brain. That is, technology that would allow us to “listen” with the skin, something that would serve for example that deaf people can hear again, or listen for the first time, regardless of the situation of their ears.
In the first instance, Building 8 will develop products in various categories for “social” purposes; they are intended to “promote more human connections” and, in the end, can unite the digital world with Physical world and the human mind. According to Dugan, the brain produces approximately one terabyte of information per second, but our senses limit the capacity of the brain, for example, through speech we can only transmit information that would be equivalent to 100 bytes of data per second. Therefore, Facebook wants to “get” all this information so that humans can take advantage of it in our daily tasks.
In the next two years people will be able to think of something and send that thought to someone else’s skin. This will allow people to think something in one language and let another person receive the thought in a totally different language. Ambitious? Yes, definitely.