Imagine a world in which authors can write books in days, not months, using only the power of their minds. This hands-free future could be around the corner: scientists have created software that hooks up to your brainwaves and transcribes whatever you’re thinking.
Brain-to-Text is the software behind this futuristic, sci-fi-style concept. It has the potential to transform the lives of those who have lost the ability to communicate effectively. Stephen Hawking, for example, often has to scroll through letters of the alphabet one at a time while typing out messages. As you can imagine, the process is slow and laborious. Software like Brain-to-Text could therefore be life-changing.
A “smart” Barbie doll that can have “conversations” with children should not go on sale, privacy advocates have said.
Billed as the world’s first “interactive doll”, the toy uses voice recognition technology similar to that employed by Apple’s Siri and Google’s Now digital assistants to understand what a child is saying to Barbie and respond.
However, privacy advocates are worried about the use of voice recognition technology that sends recordings of children to third-party companies for processing, potentially revealing his or her intimate thoughts and details.
“If I had a young child, I would be very concerned that my child’s intimate conversations with her doll were being recorded and analysed,” said Professor Angela Campbell of Georgetown University law school.
“In Mattel’s demo, Barbie asks many questions that would elicit a great deal of information about a child, her interests, and her family. This information could be of great value to advertisers and be used to market unfairly to children.”