Our minds may no longer be a safe haven for secrets. Scientists are working toward building mind-reading algorithms that could potentially decode our innermost thoughts through memories that act as a database. For most, this probably sounds like an episode of Netflix’s hit series Black Mirror. The dystopian sci-fi thriller recently showcased a chilling episode called “Crocodile” that used memory-reading techniques to investigate accidents for insurance purposes. The eerie episode is set in an AI-driven world of driverless vehicles and facial recognition technologies. The plot of “Crocodile” centers on the icy crimes of a witness that investigators revealed with help from intelligent technology. The insurance agent uses a memory recaller (known as “corroborator” in the episode) that comes with a surveillance chip. Once connected to the user, the device allows insurance agents to access engrams and creates a corroborative picture of the witness’ range of memories on a screen. It replays the entire accident from the user’s position. The agent recreates a similar atmosphere to jog the subject’s memory (in this case employing a song and beer). While insurance tech in the real world may not be quite this sophisticated, technology that reveals a subject’s innermost thoughts could actually be a reality one day.
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