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- Journal Article Title: Mind Readers: Brain-Scanning Machines May Soon Be Capable of Discerning Rudimentary Thoughts and Separating Fact From Fiction
- Journal Article Author: Philip Ross
- Journal Title and Date of Publication: Scientific American, 2003, September.
This article discusses different techniques, including polygraphs, fMRI, and brain imaging that promise to provide means of measuring people’s emotions. These techniques, however, have some strengths and weaknesses in terms of reading emotions. They use different concepts that determine their efficacy in reading emotions. Lastly, the author claims that the future in many spheres of human life belongs to the technologies for reading emotions while anticipating its adverse effect.
The author relies on brief reviews of various researches on technology deemed to provide a solution to mind reading.
From those brief reviews of different studies evaluating the accuracy of various technologies, the author has established that brain imaging is the most promising technique for reading emotions as it reflects the brain activities of a person when he/she is subjected to certain social stimuli.
Most devices proposed to read people’s emotions are not accurate as their concepts do not capture all the significant features of emotions. Also, scientists need to improve existing technologies to be able to get all the intrinsic details of emotions in order accurately to portray a person’s emotions.
Issues for class
The impact of mind readers in the social context would be very significant as it could make people control their emotions. Therefore, people would lead a very uneasy life as they would struggle to hide their innate ambitions and wishes from all-knowing technology. It would create tension between people so that they would be demoralized to participate in any social event. Essentially, brain readers would kill the social aspect of trust among humans and undermine their relationships.
Ross, P. (2003). Mind Readers: Brain-Scanning Machines May Soon Be Capable of Discerning Rudimentary Thoughts and Separating Fact from Fiction. Scientific American, 74-77.