Computing with Skin and Mind – Facebook Building 8 Initiative


Using our skin and mind to control computing looks like a science fiction coming true. But this is the truth which is currently being invented at Building 8 of Facebook. Although futuristic but this is what the future of computing will be. Moreover, having Facebook behind such a vision removes all doubts about its feasibility. Facebook only works on those technologies which affect the larger population on the planet whether its facebook, messenger or internet for all. Their decision to buy Whatsapp also came for the fact that the most of population of earth was using Whatsapp.

Impact on human race

Although, current focus is to help specially able people to use this technology. But the larger picture is going to be different when this technology spreads to the whole population. We are in for some healthy ways for our eyes and fingers as it will aid us in having communication with computer without looking at a screen or exerting our fingers. Similar to other technological advancements, this will also be adopted slowly but adoption will increase with the passage of time.

Slow Adoption but large impact

Like our senior generation who still don’t want to use computers, the adoption of such embedded technology will also be fairly difficult. The change will take some time for us to adapt to such advancements. But it will be the kids whose fascination of such new technologies will make them adopt it fast. In the initial days, we might just have signals sent to brain as text but as this technology will develop the change from text to images will not be a distant dream. It will be something similar to computers which changed from text to image based and got widely accepted.

Do humans need it

This is an attempt to create super humans who can calculate like computers, have knowledge like computers. We certainly don’t need to become super humans as we are programmed to be happy with whatever we possess. Such things are being invented as today’s entrepreneurs have exorbitant resources to explore such complicated areas. This might help us in exploring the universe, but why to get computing embedded in our skin and brain. The purpose of such technological advancements must be well laid so that we are not adversely affected.

Some Side Effects

Every good thing comes with its own side effects, and this is no different. This is going to affect our intelligence directly. We might stop thinking about daily trivial tasks and become dependent on artificial intelligence. The recent study on use of Satellite navigation shows that use of navigation switches off the navigation part of our brain (Info link).  Similar to this, if we have computers wired into our nervous system then they will surely make us dependent on them. Just imagine, you are asking computer to know how much water you should drink before every glass to remain healthy. Although, it looks like a positive direction but similar to the Navigation case, we might be putting that area of brain to rest which directs us to drink water appropriately. This is just one example, I am sure it will have real bad side effects on our brain functioning.

I know it’s coming and will eventually rule us but still we have time to build protocols for the next generations so that they don’t succumb to computing power and keep using natural senses.

Kapil Munjal

An avid technology addict, I have major interest in all the new technologies around. Cloud has been very fascinating, which pushed me to start my own blog on the subject.

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  1. Pingback: Entertainment as a Service (EaaS) - Tapping into the mind – The Cloud Blog

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