On April 19th the Facebook secretive division, Building 8's boss and ex-DARPA Regina Dugan claimed at the second day of a developer's conference that the company is studying sensors that connected to the brain could type messages without using arms. The project is to lasts a couple of years.

One day later, the CEO of 'Tesla motors' Elon Musk declared to the blog "Wait but Why" that his new start-up 'Neuralink' is studying a hat allowing consensual telepathy, merging the brain with a computer. He guessed that it could be available in eight to10 years.

The biomedicine editor Antonio Regalado is dubious about the project: on April 22nd in the "MIT Technology Review" he warned, "Don't Believe it."

The two companies fund research

According to Regalado, the companies are not able to create non-invasive sensors without damaging our brain and, above all, they're not able to read the brain movement. He quoted several scientists that are skeptical about these new technologies.

The efforts of the two groups are undeniable. Facebook created a team composed of scientist, engineers and system integrators coming from various universities: UC San Francisco, UC Berkley, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory and Washington University School of Medicine St.

Louis. The company 'Neuralink' was founded in 2016, with a huge capital base.

The experiments of the army

These innovations are apparently scaring people. A survey of the Pew Research Center (dated February 2017) revealed that Americans are more worried than enthusiastic about some new technologies: synthetic blood for much-improved physical abilities (63% worried), gene editing giving babies a much-reduced disease risk (68 % worried) and finally brain chip implant for much-improved cognitive abilities (69% worried).

Using the brain as a utility is the most worrying innovation. Yet, studies on mental activities are not new. Mrs. Regina Dugan worked in the past for DARPA, an agency of the US army. The US military, in fact, are studying sensors and the brain too, for example for transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), with which "a magnetical coil outside the head can create electrical pulses inside the brain".

Past research on telepathy

During the cold war, the US secret armies were already investigating telepathy for purpose of defence, the writer Annie Jacobsen tells in her new book "Phenomena: the secret history of the US government's Investigation into extrasensory perception and psychokinesis".

However, in the past, only a big state could fund these experimental researches. Nowadays private companies could do it, probably mainly for their interests, not for defence. This is still the great dread.