back to article Zuckerberg's absolutely mental: Brain sensors that read YOUR MIND at 100 words a minute

Facebook sees such promise in virtual reality that it has taken to celebrating products and services that don't exist outside laboratory settings, like brain interfaces, augmented reality glasses, and "hearing" through one's skin. During the second day of its F8 developer conference on Wednesday, representatives of the social …

  1. Frumious Bandersnatch

    web 3.0 direct, from our brain to yours at 100wpm

    ... that old servant Ines told me that one drop even if it got into you at all after I tried with the Banana but I was afraid it might break and get lost up in me somewhere because they once took something down out of a woman that was up there for years covered with limesalts they're all mad to get in there where they come out of you'd think they could never go far enough up and then they're done with you in a way till the next time yes because there's a wonderful feeling there so tender all the time how did we finish it off yes O yes I pulled him off into my handkerchief pretending not to be excited but I opened my legs I wouldn't let him touch me inside my petticoat because I had a skirt opening up the side I tormented the life out of him first tickling him I loved rousing that dog in the hotel rrrsssstt awokwokawok his eyes shut and a bird flying below us he was shy all the same I liked him like that moaning I made him blush a little when I got over him that way when I unbuttoned him and took his out and drew back the skin it had a kind of eye in it they're all Buttons men down the middle on the wrong side of them Molly darling he called me what was his name ...

    1. TheVogon

      Re: web 3.0 direct, from our brain to yours at 100wpm

      Looks like a copy of the Nokia VR camera they launched years ago...

    2. TitterYeNot

      Re: web 3.0 direct, from our brain to yours at 100wpm

      I'm more worried about this...

      [Walks along pleasant leafy street]

      ...great weather, wonder if it'll rain the sound of the wind in the trees...ah there's Mr. Perkins walking his Spaniel, on time as usual, you could set your watch by him...oh yes, must remember to get some milk on the way home, we're almost out...<<BING BONG!...Yes, you need some ZuckerMilk (TM), great taste, great value for all the family, special promotion now on, free Zucker badge with every purchase!...BING BONG!>>...Aaaah!!! Get the fuck out of my head!!!! Now where was I?...oh yes, the trees...

  2. J.Smith

    No escape

    Maybe these people will make a world so horrible, I'll be able to escape into an artificial one provided for me, where I have privacy, and can keep myself to myself... via Facebook of course. Here's hoping.

    1. Chairo
      Big Brother

      Re: No escape

      You are alone in an artificial world, yet millions are watching every step you make.

      1. hplasm

        Re: No escape

        You are in a maze of twisted little freaks staring into their phones, all alike...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No escape

      Just say no for Facebook. Yes I know it is easier said than done but give liberation a try.

      There is a whole world out there that is not dictated to by the whims of (anti-)social media.

      This move (to read my thoughts) is just creepy. It smacks of Big Brother circa 2020.

      My thoughts are mine and mine alone. They are not the property of some mega corp (yet).

      I own my thoughts not you Zuck!

      Just say no to Facebook!

      1. Charles 9

        Re: No escape

        But wait until Facebook becomes a basic prerequisite to even APPLYING for a job (ANY job), just as the Internet is becoming a basic requirement in many places. What happens when it becomes a matter of "submit to Big Brother or STARVE"?

        1. Tim Seventh

          Re: No escape

          The irony is that the more a person use Facebook, the less productivity he/she is in office environment as he/she is too busy checking Facebook in the office.

          Partly because Facebook is aiming toward media consumption where they want to keep the users on Facebook as long as they could.

        2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

          Re Charles 9: No escape

          Wow, you really have been trained to limit your own thinking.

          Create a brick & mortar business. Some businesses, like restaurants, will always be there. Always.

          1. Charles 9

            Re: Re Charles 9: No escape

            And many of THEM are accepting online orders IN ADVANCE. That way the cooks are kept busy and the customers don't have to wait at table. More turnover = more profits = you get to kill the competition.

            Anyone that voluntarily refused to use the Internet would have to pray for a Luddite clientele: a dying breed.

            Try again.

            1. find users who cut cat tail

              Re: Re Charles 9: No escape

              > customers don't have to wait at table

              What do you mean by that?

              The point of going to a restaurant is not to stuff yourself with food as fast as you can. You can always do that faster and cheaper than in a restaurant. Have some beer/wine/whatever you like, talk, meanwhile order meal, drink and talk more... If you do not enjoy the time there what the hell are you doing there?

              Wait... are you from some place where McDonald's is called restaurant?

              > More turnover = more profits = you get to kill the competition.

              Your competition, yes. Actual restaurants, no.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Re Charles 9: No escape

                "Wait... are you from some place where McDonald's is called restaurant?"

                Perhaps he is.

        3. Eddy Ito

          Re: No escape

          What happens when it becomes a matter of "submit to Big Brother or STARVE"?

          There's always being an entrepreneur in the black market darknet!

        4. nilfs2
          Black Helicopters

          Re: No escape

          I know how to make molotov bombs and can use my motorcycle gear to go against the copers on a protest against privacy invasion, if that ever becomes a reality of course.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just say no

        "Just say no for Facebook. Yes I know it is easier said than done but give liberation a try."

        As things stand, it's very, very easy and short of it being mandatory I can't see that changing.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's certainly possible to operate a keyboard or predictive text input via bci/bmi - apps available now and some rugged non-invasive open source platform's notably which can match the work he's referring to. This stuff has great potential in the assistive tech space where mechanical switching and eye gaze provide functional but irksome and tiring interfaces...

    ....but he's selling another monorail for shareholders - you can almost smell the fear and desperation now.

    Stanford's interface provides a switching capability - 'mental gesture recognition' of sorts - with a little more work on the autocomplete software 100 wpm is perfectly achievable, but no-one would choose to input text this way.

    Advances in neuroscience are legion, but we're centuries, certainly a massive advance in sensors and quantum computing, away from actually understanding the brain let alone reading the mind.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Sad

      It is 99.9999% certain that you don't need quantum computing to "understand the brain" (it would help much anyway, people rarely want to perform large number factorizations)

      Anyway, first pic on this article from the hive of ADHD called "Twitter"

      "zuckerberg's vision: mulatto underclass clicking sponsored content all day; ruled over by autistic jew-asian elite. soylent only legal food."

      The posting account has been purged in the meantime. Goodthink patrol dropped by I guess.

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: Sad

        "Facebook sees such promise in virtual reality"

        I could live with a strictly virtual Facebook... provided I do not have to use it myself.

        As to visions of the future: why not put all the people immersed in AR into womb-like pods and harvest their body heat as an energy source? Hang on, wait a minute...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sad

        >It is 99.9999% certain that you don't need quantum computing

        Not a fan of Roger Penrose then?

        1. Roj Blake Silver badge

          Re: Sad

          Roger Penrose has only one fan. Roger Penrose.

  4. FozzyBear

    Why All the need for tech to read minds

    If Zucky asks I am more than willing to unleash my unfiltered thoughts verbally about him and flopbook

  5. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    A brain mouse for AR

    Didn't Nintendo had something like that in the 1990ies?

  6. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    "Zuckerberg's absolutely mental"

    If he has started to believe his own bullshit (and it looks like it), then yes.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Missing the big picture

    Zuckerberg doesn't have a soul. He knows it, and you know it. Just look at his eyes.

    The reason Zuckerberg built facebook is because he believes he'll eventually be able to steal enough of your souls to create one of his own, and thus gain entry into the kingdom of heaven. Otherwise he'll be trapped in limbo (MySpace) forever.

    1. Tim Seventh

      Re: Missing the big picture

      Well, he is definitely trapped in HisSpace forever.

  8. m-k

    "What if we make it possible to hear through your skin?"

    I can hear (through my skin) vibration, louder and lounder, a stampede. I can see a cloud on the horizon. I can see the ad-men and adbots charging this way. I can smell their excitement. There are bad people heading this way :(

    1. Rich 11

      Re: "What if we make it possible to hear through your skin?"

      A Facebook employee identified as Francis has managed to learn nine words in this manner.

      "oh god let me outta this machine just kill me kill me"

    2. Swarthy

      Re: "What if we make it possible to hear through your skin?"

      By the pricking f my thumbs....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        By the pricking if my thumbs..

        ..I know they're implanting the Facebook control sensors.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "What if we make it possible to hear through your skin?"

      "I can smell their excitement.."

      Ah, another one of those odd English spellings, like "aluminium". We spell it "excrement" in the states.

  9. tiggity Silver badge

    100 WPM

    100 WPM would give very incomplete data, way too low unless people were made to think slowly, which rather defeats the point.

    Anyway, total fantasy on that timescale

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: 100 WPM

      it also assumes you think in "words". i write and speak in "words". thinking is more efficient without them.

  10. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Write what you think

    > "can type 100 words per minute straight from your brain."

    Since people can't think at 100 wpm, this will just be an unfiltered feed of their consciousness. I would expect the "output" from such a system to be something like:

    The minutes of the last meeting oooh, my nose itches are distributed wow look at her to the steering subcommittee WOW for their approval I feel a fart coming on. Having been approved I hope I don't sneeze it'll make the fart worse they will be sent to all the I wish that guy would stop talking so loudly other committee members is it lunchtime yet? who should complete their uh-oh, here it comes their actions before ACHOO damn! .... oh crap the next quarterly meeting I fancy the curry for lunch.

    Though I can see that a largely unfiltered stream, straight from the brain, would start to drag psychoanalysis into the 18th century. And that the advent of actual data could end up giving it a basis similar to what Mendeleev did for chemistry.

    1. Not also known as SC

      Re: Write what you think

      I don't know if this is just me but if I try to verbalise a thought in my mind, I actually find that I think the thought first so I end up verbalising the thought al least twice (more if I consciously think about it). Assuming that this is normal behaviour and my mind hasn't been warped by years of The Register then wouldn't any 'write what you think' software end up printing both my intended verbalised thought, and the pre-verbalise thought which immediately proceeded the intended thought? So like you said, unless the software is going to perform some major filtering, most of what will be outputted will be noise (I was going to say crap but that doesn't really narrow things down much).

  11. alain williams Silver badge

    Words per minute ???

    Surely the wrong units; if you get a direct feed into the brain the units of information are going to be something like: memes or gestalts.

    A word is only one way that we communicate these internal entities to others; it is because of the limitations of our input/output hardware (ears/mouth/...). If you can interact directly with the brain then you can access the underlying units of thought.

    1. Rich 11

      Re: Words per minute ???

      If you can interact directly with the brain then you can access the underlying units of thought.

      But would two people -- even if they'd grown up in the same culture -- have the same mental representation of a meme? If you think of 'cat', do you hold the same identifiable imagery and associations which I do?

  12. Justicesays

    Bunch of mealy mouthed morons

    What they really think:

    "Give everyone us the power to share get anything with from anyone."

    "That will require AR glasses and those will be much more technologically challenging than VR headsets. In fact, the set of technologies needed to build them doesn't yet exist."

    I'm sure Hololens and Google Glass are fascinated to discover that they don't exist in the FB world.

    And their idea of an alternative sound feed is haptic sound translation done via skin and intensive training?

    Sure, that might have, perhaps, medical applications for the seriously disabled (or military applications...).

    But really most people just want subtitles or a dub (subtitles would work for deaf people as well) ...or some way of injecting the entire language directly into their brains without all that tedious learning!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bunch of mealy mouthed morons

      "That will require AR glasses and those will be much more technologically challenging than VR headsets. In fact, the set of technologies needed to build them doesn't yet exist."

      I'm sure Hololens and Google Glass are fascinated to discover that they don't exist in the FB world.

      Re-read the sentence "The true breakthrough will come when the real and virtual worlds can mix freely, wherever we are, whatever we're doing", and then contemplate to what extent Google Glass and Hololens actually deliver on that. They are, at best, very tentative first steps towards that kind of AR experience.

      1. Charles 9

        Re: Bunch of mealy mouthed morons

        So in other words, Dennō Coil.

  13. Pen-y-gors

    Share and enjoy

    "Give everyone the power to share anything with anyone."

    There are already caveats - sharing piccies of your naughty bits (or anyone else's) is evil of the most satanic type, and must never be allowed under any circumstances. Oh yes, and neither must piccies of a mummy feeding her baby.

    I think that mission statement needs working on...

  14. Morten

    Great! We need wetware to hardware interfaces as the first step of fully blending man and machine.

    This is just the first step towards sublimation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Cultured Strange Days

      Can I have the clicking sound with the 100 words p/m and no settings to turn them off?

      Also what thoughts would it interpret when you accidently looked at T Mays knees?

      1. Rich 11

        Re: Cultured Strange Days

        Also what thoughts would it interpret when you accidently looked at T Mays knees?

        I'm willing to bet that your brain would generate a different response to that image than would, say, the brain of Boris Johnson.

  15. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Impedance missmatch.

    Shakespeare wrote good stuff cos it was hard for him to get it onto paper and gave him time and the need to think about what he was writing.

    Today it is a lot easier to put your thoughts on paper and we get the sun and the mail as you can write shit without thinking,

    If your thoughts come out without thinking I really dread to think how seriously low the usable data rate will be.

    1. Charles 9

      Re: Impedance missmatch.

      Shakespeare also probably didn't have to face a deadline.

      You can do things right, or you can do things fast.

      The world today wants things done rightfast.

  16. Chris Tierney


    How long before DHS asks you to wear one of these going into and out of America?

    1. Rich 11

      Re: DHS

      Since yesterday, citizen. Now bend over so this modified golf-ball detector can be inserted to scan your brain.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To be fair the best solution for planet earth is to stick the 8 people who own 51% of the world's wealth in a hugh VR simulation without telling them and redistribute their money while they're gone. As such I support this initiative. :-)

  18. Stevie


    Combining this tech warning with some other well-known statistics suggests that men using this UI should pause every six minutes in order to prevent the word "wank" inserting itself fifty or so times into the RFP or program code.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like he's been talking to "bag-head" in

  20. Tikimon

    Statements mean nothing, WHY are they doing this?

    Peoples! Stop being distracted by the fluffy kitten! You're all chewing on the words Faceborg said, which are merely a smokescreen and distraction. They don't give a damn about the brain-to-text typing or any of that other marketing fluff.

    It's about the ultimate in spying and data-gathering. Nothing more. It's Zuckerborg's dream to know AND SELL everything about everyone, what better way than sucking it right out of your neurons? We like to keep some things to ourselves and Faceborg hates that, this would bypass the pesky user consent or intent.

    It's SOP these days for Faceborg, Google et. al. Paper over evil plans and intent with glowing claims of making the world a better place. And of course they run rough-shod over us for OUR benefit, lol tell another one.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Honestly Facebook, save yourself the effort.

    You can get my thoughts right now, without interface, and even at a much faster rate.

    I'll do it in BASIC so you don't even have to buy in any expertise.

    10 PRINT "F*CK OFF"

    20 GOTO 10

    You're welcome.

    PS: no longer on your platform, and unlikely to return.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Utopia anyone...

    Well all's I can say is:

    Every human attempt at utopia ends in distopia.

    I guess this is the latest incarnation. When we all learn to apply all the rules equally to everyone in every socioeconomic situation, religion, race, region... we can and only then attempt at a utopia. This I am predicting will end up vaporware. Once upon a time engineers and scientists would have a finished product they would demo, these days we have half baked ones.

    Look at what many call a wonder has brought us, Facebook, the privacy invading, job loosing, relationship ending, attention seeking (murders posting a murder), self absorbed, narcissistic platform. For the handful of good things it brings there are mountains of bad that come with it. A knife can be used to butter toast or kill. We need to weight the pros and cons for every technology, look at google glass, sounded great until people realized that it was technically illegal (try to bring one in a movie theater, or a secure environment, or anyone who has not explicitly allowed you to film them...).

    This goal that tech leaders have been trying to accomplish (living for ever, uploading your brain to the cloud) will definitely end up in horror. AI will not evolve into skynet an uploaded brain will, let me ask a simple question "what do you get when you have a emotionally devoid human", answer a psychopath. Why do I say emotionally devoid, where does emotion stem from "a hormonal/chemical balance" and what does silicon not have hormones/chemicals...

  23. ma1010

    The great filter?

    I'm wondering if the "Great Filter" that keeps us from noticing all those extraterrestrial civilizations was something like this? Perhaps they all invented something like this idea of Zuckerberg's and then dissolved into total chaos. Sounds plausible to me.

  24. Dwarf

    Tinfoil hats

    In other news, sales of tinfoil has sky rocketed. Anyone want a personal Faraday cage ?

    I'll start making prefabricated tinfoil hats and market them in different colours and styles, perhaps a cyberman version or a Magneto style hat, I might even dabble on some choice wording on the outside, after all that works on T shirts and other random clothing, alternatively I'll sell it to FCUK to market for me.

    There - you can see my thoughts, but only the ones that I want you to see. After all, I don't want it snitching on my inner thoughts when that hottie from accounts walks past again.

  25. Dagg
    Big Brother

    Danger Will Robinson

    Mark Zuckerberg summarized his plan thus: "Give everyone the power to share anything with anyone."

    Yea, as long as everything shared goes via farcebork so all that lovely data can be mined and then passed on to the next person with "value added advertisements".

  26. David.Voigts

    This Technology Already Exists as a Weapon

    I'm a former naval officer and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. I assure you this technology already exists as a weapon. If you would like to learn more, I refer you to this book written by a developer of the technology.

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