Lecture

Mind Reading and Telepathy for Beginners and Intermediates

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019
4:10 pm to 5:30 pm
Nick Merrill

Mind Reading and Telepathy for Beginners and Intermediates (Nick Merrill)

Mind Reading and Telepathy for Beginners and Intermediates (Nick Merrill)

What people think machines can know about the mind, and why their beliefs matter

What can machines can know about the mind, even theoretically? I examine engineers' and users' beliefs about the answer to this question through (1) a controlled experiment on emotional interpretations of heartrate, and (2) a technology probe–a working brain computer interface–that revealed how software engineers in Silicon Valley imagine futures of mind-machine interfaces. I discuss how sensing technologies meet with human beliefs to shift the boundary between sensing bodies and sensing minds, and what this moving boundary means for the future of cybersecurity. I center engineers' speculative capacity as an undervalued resource in security, and motivate my ongoing work applying speculative HCI practices to surface sociotechnical security threats.

Nick Merrill directs the Daylight Lab at the UC Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity. He uses qualitative and quantitative methods to study speculative dimensions of cybersecurity, and their social practice. This talk is based on his dissertation research.

Last updated:

September 11, 2019