Elise Thomas writes at Hopes & Fears:

"Right now, in a handful of computing labs scattered across the world, new software is being developed which has the potential to completely change our relationship with technology. Affective computing is about creating technology which recognizes and responds to your emotions. Using webcams, microphones or biometric sensors, the software uses a person's physical reactions to analyze their emotional state, generating data which can then be used to monitor, mimic or manipulate that person’s emotions."

[...]

"Corporations spend billions each year trying to build "authentic" emotional connections to their target audiences. Marketing research is one of the most prolific research fields around, conducting thousands of studies on how to more effectively manipulate consumers’ decision-making. Advertisers are extremely interested in affective computing and particularly in a branch known as emotion analytics, which offers unprecedented real-time access to consumers' emotional reactions and the ability to program alternative responses depending on how the content is being received.

For example, if two people watch an advertisement with a joke and only one person laughs, the software can be programmed to show more of the same kind of advertising to the person who laughs while trying different sorts of advertising on the person who did not laugh to see if it's more effective. In essence, affective computing could enable advertisers to create individually-tailored advertising en masse."

"Say 15 years from now a particular brand of weight loss supplements obtains a particular girl's information and locks on. When she scrolls through her Facebook, she sees pictures of rail-thin celebrities, carefully calibrated to capture her attention. When she turns on the TV, it automatically starts on an episode of "The Biggest Loser," tracking her facial expressions to find the optimal moment for a supplement commercial. When she sets her music on shuffle, it "randomly" plays through a selection of the songs which make her sad. This goes on for weeks. 

Now let's add another layer. This girl is 14, and struggling with depression. She's being bullied in school. Having become the target of a deliberate and persistent campaign by her technology to undermine her body image and sense of self-worth, she's at risk of making some drastic choices."

 

Source: http://www.hopesandfears.com/hopes/now/int...
Source: http://www.canadianbusiness.com/lists-and-rankings/most-innovative-companies/interaxon/

Source: http://www.canadianbusiness.com/lists-and-rankings/most-innovative-companies/interaxon/

"About 2.7 million Americans served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and at least 20 per cent of them have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The US Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (Darpa) says it can reduce this number by treating war veterans using chip implants.

Researchers at the organisation say wireless 'neuroprosthetic' brain implants will also help restore memory functions and heal traumatic brain injuries."

Source  here

A must watch TED talk for anyone interested in privacy and social media.

Thanks MGM

"By day there were tech entrepreneurs, students, web designers and IT consultants - but that night they were going to be transformed into cyborgs.

It may sound like the beginning of a science-fiction novel, but in fact it is a recollection of real events, by bio-hacker Hannes Sjoblad.

He organised the so-called implant party, which took place in late November and was one of several he has arranged. At it, eight volunteers were implanted with a small RFID (radio frequency identification) chip under the skin in their hand. Mr Sjoblad also has one.

He is starting small, aiming to get 100 volunteers signed up in the coming few months, with 50 people already implanted. But his vision is much bigger.

"Then will be a 1,000, then 10,000. I am convinced that this technology is here to stay and we will think it nothing strange to have an implant in their hand."

More here

Thanks for the link SB.

This "conversation" and "debate" began a long time ago... it is not new. Just take a look at http://ro.uow.edu.au/kmichael and http://www.katherinealbrecht.com/about-katherine/books-and-book-chapters/first-chapter-of-spychips/

"Mr Sjoblad also hopes that his implant party will spark a conversation about our possible cyborg future.

"The idea is to become a community that is why they get implants done together," he says.

"People bond over the experience and start asking questions about what it means to be a man and machine.

"Curiosity is one of the biggest drivers for us humans. I come from a maker hacker culture and I just want to see what I can do with this."

For those who decide life as a cyborg isn't for them, the procedure Mr Sjoblad uses is reversible and takes just five minutes.

But he has no intention of removing his.

"We've been putting chips in animals for 20 years," he points out.

Now it is the turn of the humans.

"This is a fun thing, a conversation starter. It opens up interesting discussions about what it means to be human. This is not just for opening doors."