Wednesday, September 23, 2015


There is extensive research going on at Carnegie Mellon University today on, what they call, thought recognition. This is basically the idea of a machine being able to read a person's mind based on previous exposure to other brain activity. We talked vaguely in class today about how this works and we watched a video about the research they were doing on this topic at Carnegie Mellon in 2008. I did some more searching and I found that today, the study is still going on but I could not find any information about the study that was much different than what they were doing back then. I did find however, that they are using this idea to help diagnose conditions such as Schizophrenia and Autism. The way thought recognition works is they put a person into an fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan and show them pictures of common objects such as a hammer or a car. The computer records their brain activity when they see these images and can then make a guess as to which image the person is looking at without being prepped. I think the idea of this is frightening, because this technology could be taken to the point of machines being able to read our every thought. It is also very interesting because it has the potential to explain many cognitive disorders that are still currently not known much about. Either way, this is a very interesting topic and I urge everyone to learn more about it.

Here is a video of the researchers at Carnegie Mellon talking about how they are using this idea of thought recognition and reading people's minds to accurately diagnose Autism: 


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