Editor's note

How much do tech firms know about you? They’ve probably got a good idea about your interests, your relationships, your frequent haunts, your health and your financial status. And that’s gathered just from your smartphone use and internet searches. Now imagine they knew what you were thinking.

Facebook and Elon Musk’s Neuralink are just two of the Silicon Valley firms that want to connect your brain to your devices. Facebook recently made a breakthrough in technology that could allow you to type just by thinking. And Neuralink is hoping to plug you in directly with a brain implant.

Being able to control computers with your mind could provide a productivity boost. How much quicker would you work if you didn’t have to faff about with touch screens and track pads? But you could be giving away a lot more in the process.

Silicon Valley firms have a history of keeping us in the dark about what data they’re extracting from us, who’s accessing it and what they do with it. What starts with instructions to computers could one day include our most personal memories, beliefs and desires. And, writes Garfield Benjamin, the dangers of technology that’s connected to our brains are only set to increase as it advances.

Stephen Harris

Commissioning + Science Editor

Top stories

Image Flow/Shutterstock

Silicon Valley wants to read your mind – here’s why you should be worried

Garfield Benjamin, Solent University

Facebook and Neuralink are developing interfaces to link our brains to computers, with serious ethical issues.


Let’s teach our children to connect as well as count – why schools need more community in the curriculum

Suzanne Wilson, University of Central Lancashire

Children feel lonelier and spend less time outside than ever before. New research is showing how reconnecting children with the community can help.

Kirsty O'Connor/PA

Jeremy Corbyn’s unity government plan: these are the numbers he would need to block no-deal Brexit

Christopher Kirkland, York St John University

The Labour leader wants to call a vote of no confidence, form a short-term government and then quickly call an election. Can it be done?

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