Most of us are familiar with the Kinect hardware now available on the XBox 360 that tracks players’ movements and implements facial recognition. When I initially heard about, and subsequently saw the technology firsthand, I immediately thought of all the potential ramification of this new applied science. Some of which are creepy, and some of which could be wondrous.
I’m still torn about DARPA’s take on the whole thing when it comes to treating and diagnosing soldiers suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and TBI (traumatic brain injury).
Here’s a link to the article on Wired.com
Essentially they are using the technology to create a “SIM Sensei” inside a kiosk, where a soldier would be able to interact with his choice of a 3-D rendered simulated therapist, answering questions and having his speech patterns and body language annalized to facilitate pre-diagnosis of a range of afflictions.
I find this concept fascinating, but not necessarily in its current form. I can easily see a future when all our speech and body language will be captured/observed/recorded to “take the pulse” of individuals and/or large groups of people. Take for example the Occupy movement that transpired last year… it’s not hard to imagine this tech being deployed on the masses gathering in order to predict whether or not they would turn violent. Think Minority Report, a sci-fi film that shows us a future where the police-state is able to predict crime before it happens. In the film, citizen’s thoughts are intercepted ahead of committing a violent crime… but with this new tech, the human mind need not be read… we could simply monitor people’s body language and tonality of speech, which as some of you know, is just as effective as reading someone’s thoughts.
The future is now… and it’s a Brave New World.
What do you think? Good, or bad?