At the recent gathering of global leaders in Davos, Switzerland, a presentation on brain wave monitoring technology was demonstrated.
This technology promises to allow employers to gauge their employees’ level of effort, track distractions, and even detect romantic attraction between coworkers.
“You can not only tell whether a person is paying attention or their mind is wandering, but you can discriminate between the kinds of things they are paying attention to,” the presenter said enthusiastically. “Whether they’re doing something like central tasks, like programming, peripheral tasks like writing documentation, or unrelated tasks like surfing social media or online browsing.
“When you combine brain-wave activity together with other forms of software and surveillance technology, the power becomes quite precise.”
At the Davos event titled “Are you ready for brain transparency?” The WEF speaker explained how brain-wave data collected by your ear pods will be used by your boss to make you “more productive” and help government authorities “fight crime” (link embedded) h/t @peopleconspire pic.twitter.com/7eJkjY8fBQ — Jeremy Loffredo (@loffredojeremy) January 29, 2023
Critics claim that the implementation of this technology poses a threat to individuals’ privacy and could lead to a society where people are reduced to mere worker slaves, monitored and evaluated solely based on their productivity.
A visual representation depicts a futuristic work environment where an employee is concerned that her employer may discover her secret crush on a colleague through the analysis of her brainwave patterns. However, she is pleasantly shocked when she receives a performance bonus due to exceptional “brain metrics” that reflect her productivity.
In the following scene, the government issues a subpoena for the brainwave data of employees in an effort to uncover accomplices in an office-wide wire fraud scheme.
“You discover they are looking for synchronized brain activity between your coworker and the people he has been working with. While you know you’re innocent of any crime, you’ve been secretly working with him on a new start-up venture. Shaking, you remove your earbuds.”
The presentation delved into other potential applications of the technology, such as an alarm that wakes individuals up. It also showcased a haptic scarf created by MIT, which provides mild stimulation to alert people when their attention begins to wander, or they start to nod off.
The speaker explained that the demonstration of this dystopian future of mind-reading was intended to emphasize the potential benefits of brain monitoring technology. They stated that their goal was to avoid a knee-jerk reaction of outright banning the technology.