Telepathy is the Ultimate Communication Technology, says Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg is persuaded that we will become telepathic species. The technology of social networks like Facebook will, someday, become so advanced that people will be able to exchange thoughts directly, brain to brain, just like we exchange pictures of cats today.

Zuckerberg held a public questions and answers online session on Tuesday, of course on Facebook, and answered questions by, among others, Stephen Hawking and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Some interesting snippets from Zuckerberg’s Facebook Q&A, a real marathon of 45,000 entries that seems to never end, are collected below.

Immersive Experiences Like Virtual Reality and Telepathy Will Become the Norm

neurons-glowing“One day, I believe we’ll be able to send full rich thoughts to each other directly using technology,” said Zuckerberg. “You’ll just be able to think of something and your friends will immediately be able to experience it too, if you’d like. This would be the ultimate communication technology.”

This scenario of telepathic communications mediated by wireless neurotech, which sounds like science fiction but is actively explored by research labs around the world, is but the logical end point of the communication platform that Facebook is building.

“There are a few important trends in human communication that we hope to improve,” Zuckerberg said in reply to a question about Facebook’s future. “First, people are gaining the power to share in richer and richer ways. We used to just share in text, and now we post mainly with photos. In the future video will be even more important than photos. After that, immersive experiences like virtual reality will become the norm.”

And after that, we’ll have the power to share our full sensory and emotional experience with people whenever we’d like.

In reply to a question from Stephen Hawking about which of the “big questions in science” he would like to know the answer to and why, Zuckerberg said that he’s most interested in questions about people, such as “What will enable us to live forever? How do we cure all diseases? How does the brain work? How does learning work and how we can empower humans to learn a million times more?” He added that he is also curious about whether there is a fundamental mathematical law underlying human social relationships that governs the balance of who and what we all care about.

The Terminator Won’t Win, Says Zuckerberg to Schwarzenegger

Zuckerberg gave a short overview of Facebook’s research and initiatives in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and emphasized that most of Facebook’s AI work is focused on understanding the meaning of what people share. Facebook is building systems that can recognize everything that appears in an image or a video, including people, objects, and scenes, and understand the context of the image or video as well.

These are but small preliminary steps toward building machines as intelligent as humans, or more, which some fear might exterminate humanity. But we shouldn’t fear them. “No, the machines won’t win,” Zuckerberg replied to a question asked by Schwarzenegger, aka The Terminator.

Images from Wikimedia Commons.

Giulio Prisco is a freelance writer specialized in science, technology, business and future studies.