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Facebook is giving up developing a device that “reads minds”; know the reason



Mind reading sounds like science fiction, but it is a wish of almost every company that deals with artificial intelligence. Neuralink, Elon Musk’s company, is one of the exponents in the industry, but Facebook was not far behind in this regard either. However, the idea of ​​the social network had to be stopped at least for the time being and without a solution.

Mark Zuckerberg’s company planned to build an interface that would enable thoughts to be turned into action. The idea was to develop what is known as Building 8, a type of helmet that can only send text messages with your thoughts. This would make it possible to convert brain impulses into up to 100 words per minute, which could enormously accelerate digital communication.

The Facebook Thought Broadcast Helmet (Image: Reproduction / Facebook)

Although it was a revolutionary idea, the project died on the beach. Facebook announced the interruption of the polls because mind reading is still a long way off. Instead, the company should focus on an experimental wrist controller geared towards virtual reality that can pick up muscle signals.

Mind reading is still a long way off

While the direct connection of the user-machine interface is extremely promising, the social media giant wants to work on something in the short term. The brain-reading project meant Facebook had to break new ground, like neuroscience and physics (for example, with helmets that shoot lights through the skull).

In addition to the high costs and setbacks, the research also encountered ethical issues in accessing private information from people’s brains. Given the many regulatory issues, Zuckerberg went so far as to state that the last thing to do would be to open skulls.

These limitations may also have contributed to the prototype being withdrawn, after all, there’s no point bringing something to life if society doesn’t accept it.

The project was led by the physicist and neuroscientist Mark Chevillet, who will now investigate how the network’s algorithm deals with voting processes. He says he has a lot of hands-on experience with the technologies required to build Building 8, but this is not the time for them. “We can safely say that a noiseless optical device mounted on a head is still a long way off as a consumer interface. Possibly more than we expected, ”the expert told MIT Technology Review.

Motivation for the device

Several companies around the world are exploring ways to develop a technology that can connect brains to software, which would bring huge advances in two areas: neuroscience and app development. In terms of the revolution, it would be comparable to the first graphical interface of PCs or the development of the mouse.

Furthermore, a device with such a purpose would have unlimited potential in science and health. Some experiments have already shown that completely paralyzed patients can return movement, as the command from the brain would come directly to the prosthesis, without being dependent on the muscular and neurological structure. There are reports of those who managed to move mechanical arms and, thanks to this, even play video games.

Facebook’s suggestion was to work with Oculus VR technology, acquired in 2014, to create a technology that has these ambitious uses but is applicable to a social consumption environment. This would make it possible to transmit messages to other people without physical exercise.

But have you ever thought about what it means for a company to know exactly what you are thinking and feeling? Do you have headache? Take an aspirin here for only R $ 2.99. Feeling alone? Join our app and find your soulmate. Mad at your boss? Buy a gun and do what you need right on our website.

What are the plans now?

Facebook now plans to focus on a technology it acquired for more than $ 500 million in September 2019 that captures electrical signals from muscles to detect gestures or movements. Instead of playing around with the complex brain, the focus is on the muscles. It’s still a way to connect the physical world with the virtual, but a little less ambitious than the original premise.

(Image: Reproduction / Facebook)

If it works, it’s an equally surprising innovation with practical applications in everyday life today. With the growing wave of apps targeting augmented reality, this technology would have practical and immediate benefits.

What has already been developed in relation to the decryption of brains is to be made available as open source, created with prototypes and other things. So if you are a researcher and you are ready to face this, you can try making your own helmet with messages.

Source: Facebook, MIT technology review

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Is it possible to measure the information stored in the universe? For this physicist, yes!




The universe is very strange when we stop thinking about some of the most basic principles of physics, like the uncertainty of the state of particles until we observe them, or gravity, which is a distortion of space-time. It is therefore not surprising that some “crazy” hypotheses published by scientists make sense. And the new idea that information is the fifth state of matter is such a case.

A physicist named Melvin Vopson of the University of Portsmouth in the UK decided to quantify information by estimating how much information is stored in a single elementary particle such as an electron and multiplying the result by the estimated number of particles in the observable universe. Just from someone who thinks about doing something like that is impressive, even more so, moving the idea forward.

Scientists have long suspected a link between information and the physical universe, using various experiments and paradoxes to study how information can be encoded in physical matter. And when it comes to information in that context, it’s kind bit stored in particles and determine their properties such as spin, mass and electrical charge. In fact, some ideas link the entropy of a system to information from its particles.

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We can also think of information as reducing uncertainty, since with particles we cannot determine many things like velocity (or momentum) and position at the same time. We cannot say Schrödinger’s cat is alive or dead until the box is opened, but once the box is opened it creates information and reduces uncertainty. In another analogy, text in a message reduces uncertainty about what to report; the more text (information), the less uncertainty.

Experiment graphic with quarks and muons at the LHC (Image: Reproduction / CERN / LHCb)

These ideas are rooted in information theory proposed by Claude Shannon in 1948. In this hypothesis (somewhat complex, but important to understand information as a physical state) the entropy of a random variable is the average level of “information”, “surprise”. ”Or“ Uncertainty ”about the possible outcomes of the variable. The classic example is a heads or tails game. When we toss the coin (random variable) we know that there will be a result that can be interpreted as small information.

If the result is expensive, it has value to the, while the crown has a value of 1 – p. If there is no reason to expect a certain result, the surprise is worth it p = 1/2. In this case, regardless of the result, we have an entropy of one bit. But if the coin is “addicting” and you already know the outcome, it is worth it p = 0 or p = 1, and the entropy is zero bits because there is no uncertainty, no freedom of choice, no information has been added to the system.

If you are confused, calm down, because entropy is not an easy subject in any of its “strands”. Thermodynamic entropy (older than information theory) was introduced to characterize the degree of disorder in a system. According to Shannon, the information entropy relates to the uncertainty of the probability distribution. In the case of probabilistic uncertainty, the possible states and the probability distribution for them are known, but it is not possible to determine with such certainty what will occur. The more “spread out” the probability distribution, the more uncertainty it reflects.

Well, this whole tour of the entropy of information just shows how quantum systems can carry those “bits” that theoretical physicists call information. But back to Vopson’s work, the information entropy calculations were applied to the mass, charge, and spin of protons, neutrons, quarks, and electrons to get their estimate of how much information they carry. Then, using estimates of how many of these particles exist in the universe, he came up with an impressive (but not quite) number: about 6, followed by 80 zeros, in bits of information.

A comparison that shows how scientists understood in the 1980s that the three valence quarks of a proton (red, green, blue) only make up a fraction of the proton’s total spin. Recent measurements have shown that gluons (yellow spirals) contribute just as much or perhaps even more than quarks. The spin is considered to be one of the pieces of information stored in a particle (Image: Reproduction / National Brookhaven Laboratory)

This number is lower than previous estimates, but there is a reason for it. It’s just that Vopson decided to limit his calculations to the observable parts of matter, thereby excluding antiparticles and things like light bosons and very short-lived quarks that decay into other particles in a split second. Because such particles do not store any information, they only transmit it (in the case of bosons) or because they hold so little that an observation is only possible through artificially created experimental conditions (in the case of unstable quarks). “Therefore, their participation in the observable universe is negligible and their ability to record information, extrapolated, is also negligible,” wrote the physicist.

Like some other “crazy” (but reasonable) hypotheses, Vopson’s work is based on the principle that information is physical and is recorded by physical systems, “and all physical systems can record information,” he said. He had already suggested that information could be a fifth physical state alongside solid, liquid, gas, and plasma, and even suggested that information could be dark matter.

The search was published in AIP Advances.

Source: AIP advances, Science alert

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Learn how to create a custom feed on Facebook




Did you know that Facebook (Android | iOS | network) can you create a custom timeline with only select people? This function is called “Favorites”, there you can add some friends and Facebook pages that you want to follow new posts.

This way it is possible to create a second timeline with the latest news from the sites and from your favorite friends. Do you want to find out how to do it? See how in the next few lines!

How to find your favorites on Facebook

Before you start, remember that this feature is available in the Facebook app for Android and iOS devices.

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Step 1: Tap on the “Menu” symbol on the Facebook homepage to display further options. Once that’s done, go to the “Recent and Favorites” category.

step 2: On this page you will find all the posts from the last 3 days by the people and pages you have bookmarked. To add someone to your favorites, tap Manage Favorites.

step 3: Here you can search for your Facebook friends in the search bar. Then just tap the blue “Add” button to add it to your custom “News Feed”. You can also add pages to follow by tapping the Pages tab.

Step 4: After all, when you go to the “Favorites” tab again, you will only find the latest posts from the people you have selected.

Quick, right? Did you like this tip? Share this story with your Facebook friends.

Source: Facebook

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YouTube creators stole accounts through cookie-stealing malware




This Wednesday (20), Google announced that YouTube creators are being targeted by cyberattacks aimed at stealing their accounts through phishing scams from employed criminals.

According to researchers from Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG), who discovered the first cases of this fraud in late 2019, those responsible are being recruited from job postings in forums where users communicate in Russian, with promises of a basic payment plus part of the profit from videos of the stolen canal made.

Criminals used emailed social engineering tactics that directed victims to bogus websites simulating social networks or large platforms like Steam or Cisco to prevent this Phishing. When accessed, these sites infected computers with malicious agents designed to steal information used in credential theft and attacks. Pass on cookie (pass the cookie, in free translation) where the attacker catches Cookies Internet access of users and use them to access content on another device.

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Sample message trying to trick users into falling for the scam. (Image: Playback / Google)

You Cookies they are small files created by websites and stored on the user’s computer by the browser. These documents contain information that enables the site to identify the visitor. Theft and execution on other computers can provide a lot of information from victims to criminals.

According to TAG, the following malware was identified in the attacks:

  • Red line
  • Life
  • Predator the thief
  • Nexus thief
  • Azorult
  • racoon
  • Big thief
  • Vicro-thief
  • masad
  • Kanta


In total, Google has identified more than a thousand internet domains with links to these attacks and at least 15,000 Youtube accounts specially created for this scam that contain links that direct those who access it to pages where the malware is installed .

Channels compromised in this campaign were renamed to be sites associated with top tech executives or cryptocurrency brokers (exchanges) and were used to spread crypto-asset market scams.

The Threat Analysis Group also claims that some hacked accounts have been sold in the credentials market, with prices ranging from $ 3 (about R $ 17 at current prices) to $ 4,000 (about $ 4,000 at current prices) depending on the number of subscribers.

According to Ashley Shen, security engineer at TAG, social engineering scams have been known for decades but are on the rise in 2021 as online service users adopt multi-factor authentication more widely, compounding the theft process. difficult credentials that require more effort to gain access to an account.

Shen concludes by stating that since May 2021, TAG has managed to block 99.6% of the emails used in these scams.

Source: BleepingComputer

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