‘Mind-Reading’ Cap Keeps Men from Watching Porn in China Where the Content Is Illegal

Although porn is beyond normalized in the U.S.—whether for good or bad—it is, apparently, utterly illegal in China. To help aid in combating the spread of porn in the country, a team of scientists at Beijing Jiaotong University has developed a “mind-reading” cap that can read men’s minds and sound an alarm when they’re watching illicit content. Particularly “porn appraisers”—a.k.a. jian huang shi—whose job it is to rid the Chinese internet of the material.

The South China Morning Post reports that the device could “speed up the work” of these porn appraisers (which the outlet refers to literally as “censors”) by alerting them—with an alarm—as to when they’re seeing pornographic material. These appraisers—much like Facebook content reviewers, it seems—scan thousands upon thousands of images and videos every day on the look out for porn. The problem is sometimes they miss images: this cap is supposed to solve that problem.

According to the scientists, who published their research the Journal of Electronic Measurement and Instrumentation, the cap is able to pick up on a spike in brainwaves triggered by a wearer seeing explicit content. The researchers tested the cap on 15 male university students between the ages of 20 and 25 as they watched images flit one after another on a computer screen; sounding an “alarm” any time one of the wearer’s saw (somewhat) pornographic images amidst normal, acceptable ones.

“The prototype device proved that human-machine collaboration was feasible ‘for bad information detection,’” Xu Jianjun, director of the electrical engineering experiment center at Beijing Jiaotong University told the Post. As the news outlet notes, human eyes and brains still outperform machines—which utilize machine-learning algorithms—when detecting porn; at least some of the time, particularly when the images contain complex backgrounds.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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