New AI Technology Can See Through Your Poker Face
If you thought Facebook and Cambridge Analytica were on the cutting edge when it comes to violating privacy, you haven't seen anything yet: new tech from Dolby Labs may be able to read your inner feelings based on subtle tells like eye dilation, skin heat, brainwaves, speech patterns, and carbon dioxide on your breath.
If perfected, it won't matter how composed you seem to the naked eye—a complex AI program will be able to add up all these factors and use them to create a picture of your psychology.
This isn't the first technology to start peering into people's headspace. Earlier this month, we reported on a new device created by the University of California that can translate brain waves directly into words in real time.
It's an amazing breakthrough for neuroscience, but it's also the first, troubling step toward real-life mind-reading, which may expose our private thoughts to the world.
The one thing to take solace in is that the UC device requires electrodes and a lot of hardware connected to your skull to operate—it's not like a radio scanner that can peer into your mind without your consent.
The same may not hold true for the new tech developed by Dolby Labs, which apparently uses a combination of different sensors to monitor what's happening on the inside and outside of your body, meaning that "smart rooms" and high-tech accessories may be able to glean data from you without access to your skull.
"It is something people need to realize is here and is going to happen; so let's make it happen in a way we have control over," says Poppy Crum, the chief scientist attached to the project. "We will be able to know more about each other than we ever have. Let's use that for the right reasons rather than the wrong ones."
Some of the potential uses include creating dating apps that scan potential mates' faces to gauge genuine interest and equipping police with devices that can pick up on the cues of mental illness.
This begs the question, however: What happens if the device gets it wrong?
Even more importantly, when even our faces can't protect our privacy, what can we rely on to keep our inner thoughts and feelings private?
Maybe in the future, we'll all be wearing masks.