Known conspicuously as the "Building 8," or B8, team, the crew working on the project is using advanced neuroscience and electrical engineering to build a platform whereby it will one day be possible for Facebook to use artificial intelligence to map the thoughts and movements of users' brain in order to exploit them. The technology will have the ability to "capture a thought," to quote the words of Zuckerberg, who explained how it will all work at a question and answer session he attended back in 2016.
In essence, the technology will give Facebook the ability to enter the human brain and extrapolate whatever is going on there, taking this information "in its ideal and perfect form in your head and shar[ing] that with the world," Zuckerberg says. "The B8 team will apply DARPA-style breakthrough development at the intersection of ambitious science and product development," reads a jobs announcement posted by Facebook about what the new project will entail. "It will operate on aggressive, fixed timelines, with extensive use of partnerships in universities, small and large businesses."
In an attempt to merge humans with machines, this latest Facebook endeavor is an absolute privacy and security nightmare that threatens to allow near-unlimited access into the human brain by advanced computer systems. Much like how Amazon's "Alexa" can listen to speech and follow commands, Facebook's B8 project will be able to listen to and track a person's thoughts.
An alarming ramification of such a prospect is the idea that Facebook, potentially working in lockstep with government spying programs like those at the National Security Agency (NSA), might gain access to the private thoughts of individuals who would rather keep such information to themselves. Facebook's attempts to create a more "realistic and immersive" experience with its products could end up creating a thought prison of epic proportions. (RELATED: Read up on technological invasions of your privacy at PrivacyWatch.news)
Whether such technology ever comes to fruition remains to be seen, but this certainly wouldn't be the first time that Facebook as pushed the limits of spying and control — nor is it the first time that emerging Facebook technology has had such nefarious underpinnings.
Facebook officials claim that users who are to become targets of active government monitoring or surveillance will be notified in advance, suggesting that anyone who has not received such a notice likely has nothing to worry about in terms of spying. But a statement released by Facebook's security chief Alex Stamos about the company's policy on this infers that only government "attacks" will be subject to such notification, and what exactly constitutes an attack?
"While we have always taken steps to secure accounts that we believe to have been compromised, we decided to show this additional warning if we have a strong suspicion that an attack could be government-sponsored," Stamos says. "We do this because these types of attacks tend to be more advanced and dangerous than others, and we strongly encourage affected people to take the actions necessary to secure all of their online accounts."
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