Technology that aims to read your mind and probe your memories is here

The US military has been working on developing mind-reading devices for many years. The goal is to create technologies that will allow us to help people with brain or nervous system damage, while also allowing soldiers to control drones and other devices with just their thoughts, like Paul Tullis report in 2019.

Some of the millionaires who made a fortune through technology have started projects to link the human brain to computers, to read our minds, to communicate or to enhance our intellectual abilities. Antonio Regalado spoke to businessman Bryan Johnson in 2017 about plans to build a neural prosthesis to enhance human intelligence. (Since then, Johnson has been working on ways to keep his body as young as possible.)

We can deliver electrical currents to the brain through headbands and hats—devices generally considered non-invasive. But given that they are probing our minds and potentially changing the way they work, perhaps we need to reconsider how invasive they really are, like I wrote in an earlier edition of The Checkup.

Elon Musk’s company Neuralink has stated that it has the ultimate goal of “creating a whole-brain interface capable of more closely connecting biological and artificial intelligence”. Antonio describes how much progress has been made by the company and its competitors a feature ran in computer problem of the magazine.

When a person with brain electrodes implanted to treat epilepsy was accused of assaulting a police officer, law enforcement officials asked to see brain data collected by the device. Data has been vindicated; Turns out that person was having a seizure at the time. But brain data can easily be used to accuse others, as well as I wrote in a recent issue of The Checkup.

From around the web

How do you feel when you receive AI-written letters from your doctor? A pilot study has shown that “it is possible to create clinic letters with a high overall score for accuracy and humanity with ChatGPT.” (Lancet Digital Health)

When Meredith Broussard discovered that her hospital was using AI to help diagnose her breast cancer, she explored how the technology stacked up against human doctors. Not great, it turned out. (Wired)

A federal judge in Texas is being asked in a lawsuit to direct the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to cancel the approval of mifepristone, one of two drugs used in medical abortions. A ruling against the FDA could diminish the organization’s authority and be “catastrophic for public health.” (washington articles)

The US Environmental Protection Agency has proposed regulation limiting the levels of six “forever chemicals” in drinking water. Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are synthetic chemicals that have been used to manufacture products since the 1950s. They break down extremely slowly and have been found in the environment and in the blood of humans and animals. all over the world. We still don’t know how harmful they are. (EPA)

Are you willing to pay thousands of dollars to have your jaw broken and remodeled to look like Batman? Surgery represents another disturbing cosmetic trend. (GQ)

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