Wednesday, June 29, 2022

China ‘mindreading’ device can detect when men watch porn: report

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Chinese researchers claim to have patented a device that is capable of “reading a man’s mind” and detecting when he is watching porn, according to a report

The prototype helmet is said to be able to detect the brainwaves that are triggered by exposure to lewd content, according to South China Morning Post.

The device would help Chinese authorities enforce laws that prohibit citizens from consuming pornography.

Researchers reportedly tested the helmet on 15 male university students who sat in front of a computer screen while wearing it on their heads.

Whenever an explicit image was displayed, the device triggered an alarm that was supposedly set off by the detected brainwaves.

Researchers tested the “porn police” helmet by juxtaposing explicit images with those that wouldn’t trigger the same brainwave reaction. The device would then be able to process a stream of photos and flag anything suspicious.

Xu Jianjun, the director of the electrical engineering department at Beijing Jiaotong University, published the results of his findings in the Journal of Electronic Measurement and Instrumentation.

Pornography is illegal in China, where censors comb social media to search for and flag inappropriate content.

He called the prototype a device “for bad information detection.”

The device, which researchers claim is 80% accurate, is said to be able to filter out other signals that could trigger brainwaves when people emit emotions unrelated to exposure to porn.

The Chinese government maintains its crackdown on porn by deploying censors known as “porn appraisers” (jian huang shi) who comb social media in order to flag content that is deemed inappropriate.

Since porn is illegal in China, researchers had difficulty finding enough material to be used in order to train the device, according to the report. The explicit images that the researchers were able to obtain had to be redacted and censored in order to avoid running afoul of the law.

In 2018, it was reported that Chinese authorities offered its citizens rewards of $ 86,000 for snitching on their fellow citizens who were suspected of watching pornographic material.

China has reportedly invested in research for other mindreading devices. The country’s military, also known as the People’s Liberation Army, funded the development of mindreading helmets that allow soldiers to communicate with smart weapons.

Last year, a California tech start-up, Kernel, said it developed a $ 50,000 helmet that was capable of analyzing neurons in the brain that could provide researchers a window into human emotions, memory, arousal, attention, and learning.

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