It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.
I have mixed feelings about EmSense. As far as ethics go, I believe the way they go about gathering their data is ethical. They rely upon volunteers, and eventually compensate them for their time. What may or may not be ethical is how the data they gather will shape advertising in the future. If this technology continues to develop, it could become too “mentally incisive”, to the point where viewers are being manipulated. This is how advertising has always worked, but in the end, the consumer always has had a choice. Someday, research in this field may be able to bypass our ability to make that choice, and that is worrisome.
I would not volunteer, and I feel that 95% of people who have seen A Clockwork Orange would decline as well. I am not summarily opposed to the idea, in fact I find it quite intriguing. Ultimately though, the process of donning a piece of equipment that can read my thoughts seems too intrusive and physically/emotionally uncomfortable.
I agree that this technology can and should be put to better use, but I don’t blame the creators. It is their intellectual property and may use it however they like. The article did mention that they have over 40 patents on the technology, which is slightly worrisome; I can’t be sure, but it doesn’t seem like they will be too willing to share their technology with people that would want to put it to better use. If true, they really will become supervillain-esque, and I will publicly condemn them before the eyes of God and Mitt Romney.
In summation, I give the company props for broadening technological horizons, but I worry that they may be too concerned with the private/monetary uses of their creation, and not the humanitarian aspects.
We’ve gotta watch Big Brother too!