Michio Kako, the American born physicist and futurist who is working on “the theory of everything” was interviewed by Fox! News recently and is really excited about the new advancements in “mind reading technology”.
Now, Mr Kaku has impressive credentials. He is one of the world’s most prominent theoretical physicists, and has lead the way in the advancement of String Theory. Why he is hyping “telepathic homes” and “telepathic video games”, I have no idea.
I would recommend watching the video first and then reading my take on it. I am all for this technology and see the benefit of it for certain people. My concern is with the way it is hyped and the person that is hyping it.
I am trying to explore the relationship between science and the media and am just coming from a skeptical point of view.
This “mind reading” technology works through censors on the scalp that can pick up information from a person’s brain waves. A person wears this high-tech ‘thinking cap’ and the information is fed into a computer, which will then learn how to interpret the data and automatically work the controls on the wheelchair.
As Michio gleefully states, “Give me five years and we will read your thoughts.”
Mr Kaku goes on, “The brain emits radio waves, it emits electric and magnetic fields. The new twist is we now have computers that can analyze that, recognize patterns, sort of know what you’re thinking. We can use that to energize machines like wheelchairs…and that’s just the beginning.“
Even more gleefully he announces, “It’s a game changer. Commercialization of this technology is coming. In the future, the elderly will have a telepathic house!”
Just ask Grandma what she would like for Christmas and don’t be shocked when she screams, “Telepathic house!” “If only I could have a house that could read my mind!”
Michio continues, “The brain has brain waves that we normally emit, but they are very faint. So these electrodes pick up these brain waves and computers massage the data, recognize patterns…it can translate these things into mechanical motion.”
“Think of all the elderly who want to live in a telepathic house,” says Michio again.
The Fox News host really gets into at 3:00, “You’re transferring your thoughts to another robot to do something for you!” he says. I think he just admitted he was a robot. No surprise there.
Now that we have been softened up by all the ‘this is all for the elderly and disabled’ talk, here comes the juicy stuff.
Michio reveals that, “Kids are the other market. Video games will be controlled by the mind.”
Michio has no qualms about this technology being under corporate and government control. He has no issue with the militarization and rampant violence in video games.
Michio just seems to love the technology, and pines for the day when these ‘faint’ brain waves can be made loud enough for the machines to pick up. Sounds good to me. What could go wrong? When we look around us at all the machines, I think one of the first things we say is, “If only these machines could read our minds! That would be awesome!”
I know some people are like, “What is up with all these machines, man! There’s too many and it’s too noisy! Ugh!”
But shouldn’t we be listening to the visionary who is saying, “I know the problem with machines, they just are not reading our minds! We need to be focusing more on merging with them!”
People who’s overwhelming thoughts when coming upon a machine is along the lines of “Let me get with that!” These are the visionaries of today’s world.
Oh, I know, they might say, “You must be watching too many ‘Terminator’ movies. “The Terminator” is just a movie. Just because Arnold Schwarzenegger is the governor of our wealthiest and most populous state, and if a constitutional loophole is overturned could be the leader of the free world, does not mean that he is a cyborg. He may look, act and talk like a cyborg, but you would be paranoid to think that he actually was of course.”
Yeah, they are probably right. I mean, just because Mel Gibson always puts himself into the role of a crazy and delusional crackpot who is the only one who is aware of a giant conspiracy by certain groups of people does not mean that…ok so that’s a bad example. Let’s move on.
Mr Kaku wants to put your grandparents in a telepathic house, really bad, but I don’t think he has thought this through.
Let me put on my electrode thinking cap for this one.
Maybe grandparents are not thinking about a future that will see their children having a clean and healthy environment in which to live, but are actually pining away for their “telepathic house”.
I am sure the elderly will just love their “telepathic homes”. What could go wrong? Wake up in the morning, put on the electrode hat and have a ball!
Grandma walks into the kitchen and thinks, “I want toast. No, wait, I want to make french toast. Do I have a griddle around here somewhere? Oh wait, that’s for waffles?”
And the appliances respond accordingly. Sounds like fun to me.
Or what if you are having an argument and your wife is by the garbage disposal? Ooops!
I like the idea of a mind controlled lawnmower for Grandpa. “Is that the dog that keeps pooping on my lawn? Damn that thing! If I ever get a hold of….”. Oops!
Anyway, like every new gadget it will of course lead to a better world. I mean T.V. and cell phones have made the world a much better place.
The kids love the video games as Mr Kaku informs us, “The video game market is bigger than Hollywood!”
Before video games, kids had to play outside and get dirty. And that means germs, which we all know leads to horrible death and dismemberment.
We don’t want grandma to be telling the kids about some ‘old timey’ stuff that would just upset them. You know that ridiculous revelry of, “I remember when this whole place was a beautiful forest with a clean river,” or, “I remember when people would come over and we would all play music and laugh and dance.”
If she gets tired of her ‘telepathic house’ just tell her to shut up and play “Dance Dance Revolution’. Let’s see her get to level 5!
Will Michio Kaku be pushing the next generation of these brain-helmets in 10 years? Will he be going on Fox and saying, “The brain-implants are a game changer! No more helmet, it is all here right in this tiny transistor that is inserted through a little syringe into the cerebral cortex. Think how much grandma wants a head and hands free telepathic house! And the kids love it too!”
Hey I know, if you have nothing to hide then you wont mind me searching through your bags…..or through your mind.
Michio Kaku seems to be a great guy. He supposedly has great ethics, but I have to say I am worried about this one.
As a futurist he is supposed to just predict the possibilities or likelihoods of trends and events. He is not an ethicist. But to get on Fox News and do a sales job for this technology seems a little weird. I know that Fox! made sure they got the name drop in…”Mattel”…at the end.
Michio Kaku must really love the elderly. Or does he just love telepathy? Will we ever know? According to him we will. Maybe he actually hates the elderly and children. Maybe this “mind reading” technology will backfire on him and we will find out that he is a bad guy.
I am also getting older and starting to resent the fact that things are getting more complicated, but not necessarily better.
I can’t wait for the first fully automated Nursing Home controlled by the minds of the elderly residents. Now that sounds awesome!