Siri Thought Control Demo is Likely a Hoax

This fascinating demo video was posted late last week. As you can see in the video, a team of hackers are claiming to have a way to control Siri, Amazon’s new virtual assistant, via a mind control interface. It’s probably a hoax, though.

This hasn’t been conclusively proven to be a hoax, but a number of scientists working on brain computer interface technology have spoken up and said that this demo is impossible. Trevor Coleman of Interaxon posted one such debunking. According to Trevor, there are multiple holes in this story, including the technology that is supposedly used, the data it measures, and the complexity of the instructions passed to the iPhone 4S.

First, the demo above only uses 4 sensors, and they’re not even the right technology. The caption on YouTube mentions ECG pads, while what they’re really supposed to be using is EEG pads; they’re not the same. And that caption also mentions measuring brain waves from o to 5v; that’s impossible because according to the experts brainwaves are measured in microvolts, and that’s a thousand times smaller. Furthermore, current brain computer interface technology cannot send signals as complex as in the demo video. After spending decades and millions of dollars, the leading legit brain computer interface technology is no where near capable of detecting “call john”, one of the examples in the video.

But as SF, this is a pretty cool video.