Brain-image technologies that can read your thoughts and allow you to control computer interfaces. A fairly recent development, esp. prominent in assisstive technologies (helping people with severe speech impediments) which now seem to be showing potential for migrating to the more main-stream applications.
Here is the audio
link, in case you haven't had a chance to listen to today's "On the Current" on
simple terms, scientists are compiling and cataloguing our (prototypical,
flexible) brain responses to images. Such catalogues (or dictionaries) later
allow a computer program to identify what a person is actually thinking (i.e.,
imagining in his or her mind). They appear to work with only concrete object
images (apples, trees) for now, and have harder time with abstract ones (trust,
love), according to the interviewed scientists.
Fascinating! Where will keyword searching IR be in 5-10 years from
now? Imagine other consequences (e.g, in courtrooms or personal relations)?! The
ethical and social implication are equally
scary... Will there be time when there won't be private thoughts? At the
expense of some direly needed convenience, of course...