Thought Crimes? Facebook Along With Researchers Successfully Transcribes Thoughts Instantly Into Speech


02-08-19 06:29:00,


By Aaron Kesel

Facebook-backed research on brain reading has transmitted thoughts to speech, as we take a step towards pre-crime becoming a reality. Meanwhile, in an unrelated development, the FBI has demanded a “social media early alerting tool” that will help monitor terrorist groups, foreign intelligence services, criminal organizations and other domestic threats before they act. In other words, thought crimes and pre-crime — something that Facebook no doubt can help with its new brain-reading technology.

Two years ago in 2017, Facebook announced that it was working on a brain-computer interface (BCI) with 60 people on the project, The Guardian reported. The BCI is designed to let users type by simply thinking their words. The company has now revealed for the first time how far it’s come to make such a device a reality.

“Imagine a world where all the knowledge, fun, and utility of today’s smartphones were instantly accessible and completely hands-free,” reads a Facebook blog post from today. “Where you could connect with others in a meaningful way, regardless of external distractions, geographic constraints, and even physical disabilities and limitations.”

A research partnership between scientists at the University of California San Francisco, who want to help disabled people speak again, and Facebook, which seeks to enable typing with one’s mind, has achieved the feat of decoding thoughts to text.

This builds on previous research by the researchers where they developed a brain implant that could turn signals into synthesized speech, New Atlas reported. The study involved three human volunteers who had a small patch of electrodes implanted on the surface of their brains (exactly like the CIA’s MKUltra programs.) The team posed a series of nine questions to the volunteers, while using the newly developed machine learning algorithms to turn their brain signals into translated speech. The results were instantaneous and in real time, something that science hasn’t been able to accomplish until now.

The applicable use of helping disabled people speak again is a good cause. The latter involving Facebook having the ability to read thoughts and then decode that to text so its users can use the sanctity of their own minds to post on the social media platform is a scary prospect.

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Just When You Thought Surveillance Tech Couldn’t Get Any More Orwellian…


12-06-19 08:45:00,

By Graywolf

One of my favorite TV shows was Person of Interest. In that show, a genius programmer was hired by the government to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) computer to tap into and analyze communication feeds and predict activities that may pose a threat. Unfortunately, as you can imagine, things spun out of control; the system that was designed to benefit society was not always beneficial to citizens.

As amusing as it is to watch escapist fiction such as this, it’s not so enjoyable when you realize it’s no longer fiction. China has already developed the infrastructure to envelop their citizens in this protective surveillance net and has begun that slippery slope of using AI to not only catch activities deemed undesired by the government – it’s starting to take action against those observed.

In the city of Shenzhen (and most likely others), when an offender is observed jaywalking via video surveillance, they will publicly humiliate you by showing your face on screens located around the city. Now that’s bad enough, but they’re going a step further. Those identified will have their cell phone ‘pinged’ and be sent an immediate fine.

By the way, Intellifusion, the company behind the AI system involved, is in talks with WeChat and Seina Weibo (China’s equivalents of Facebook and Twitter).

The surveillance state is expanding, and even children are not exempt.

You may think there must be some kind of check-and-balance system built in to ensure that children would be protected so that they wouldn’t suffer the same consequences as an adult. You’d be wrong.

As you can imagine, this outing of a child in such a public manner has sparked outrage. Instead of backing down on their stance, the police have doubled down and stated that no one is above the law and its draconian reaction. Of course they have. I know if I wanted to start weeding out hidden miscreants, I’d set up exactly this scenario. Guess what’s going to happen to those expressing their discontent?

You may think that all this isn’t so bad because it’s just surveillance out in the street,

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ADL Thought Anti-BDS Laws Are ‘Unconstitutional,’ Will Create Antisemitism – Backed It Anyways


16-12-18 09:45:00,

A leaked internal memo reveals the Anti-Defamation League thought “anti-BDS” laws making it illegal to boycott Israel were “unconstitutional” and would be “harmful to the Jewish community” and give “the appearance that the Jewish community exercises undue influence in government,” but they backed them anyways, according to a bombshell new report from the Jewish Daily Forward.

The Anti-Defamation League has emerged as a supporter of controversial legislation targeting boycotts of Israel. But internal ADL documents obtained by the Forward show that the organization’s own staff believed the laws could actually harm American Jews.

In the summer of 2016, ADL staff wrote an internal memo arguing that legislating against the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement was a really bad idea. “Simply put, ADL does not believe that anti-BDS legislation is a strategic way to combat the BDS movement or defend Israel and is ultimately harmful to the Jewish community,” the memo reads. It calls anti-BDS laws “ineffective, unworkable, unconstitutional, and bad for the Jewish community.”Yet in the two years since the memo was written, the ADL has vigorously supported anti-BDS legislation, including one bill currently moving through the U.S. Congress, and some of those that have passed in statehouses across the country.
[…]The anti-BDS bill moving through Congress appears to be close to passing.[…]

Its supporters are trying to get it through before the end of the year as part of a spending bill, according to a report in The Intercept. […]

The documents attack the anti-BDS laws as unconstitutional, bad policy, and generally bad for the Jews. The first document, titled “ADL’S POSITION ON ANTI-BDS LEGISLATION,” says that the anti-BDS laws are bad for American Jews, diverting “community resources to an ineffective, unworkable, and unconstitutional endeavor instead of investing in more effective multi-layered strategies.” It says that bills raise the profile of the BDS movement while giving “the appearance that the Jewish community exercises undue influence in government.”
The memo argues that the model many state-level laws have followed, of identifying companies that boycott Israel and then banning financial ties between them and state governments, was unworkable, since it would be difficult to prove why a particular company wasn’t doing business with Israel.

It says that government investigation into the reasons why a particular company isn’t doing business with Israel “would represent a significant government intrusion.”

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They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45 | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45 | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

18-06-18 03:36:00,

Iconic. This particular image is borrowed from this site.

Journalist Milton Mayer traveled to Germany in the wake of World War II to find out how ordinary, normally decent, educated German people got caught up, co-opted or neutralized in the horrible devolution of the country that ended in the atrocities with which we are all so familiar — and a World War that cost countless lives.

The book he wrote should be better known: They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45 was published in 1955 by the University of Chicago Press.

There is an excerpt at the link, a chapter called “But Then It was too Late.” Under provisions of the U. of C Press copyright notice, included below, part of the excerpt is reproduced below.


“What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it…

“The dictatorship, and the whole process of its coming into being, was above all diverting.

It provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway. I do not speak of your ‘little men,’ your baker and so on; I speak of my colleagues and myself, learned men, mind you. Most of us did not want to think about fundamental things and never had. There was no need to. Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about—we were decent people—and kept us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’ and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the ‘national enemies,’ without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing….

Each step was so small, so inconsequential,

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