There are a lot of companies out there that feel like they own the employees who work for them and cross any boundaries that might exist in this regard.
Several companies have come up with offering employers mind-reading devices for their workforce. InnerEye is one such example. It is an Israeli company that claims its headsets combine machine learning with the innate power of the human mind. This helps workers eliminate indecisiveness and work faster than ever before. Emotiv, a San Francisco startup, states that it can track employees’ well-being with wireless EEGs headsets.
“By connecting humans and machines,” reads InnerEyes’s website, “InnerEye combines the best of both worlds.”
This might feel like an alternate twisted reality but it is actually happening and there are several companies that are interested in this tech. Also, the companies offering these services have ample funding available from various other companies who support the idea.
The main selling point of this it that it is not just used to improve productivity, but for ensuring employee wellness. They might technically be monitoring employees, but only for their sake. In helping employees make quick, almost mindless decisions, InnerEye’s AI turns everyday workers into super-humans. Emotiv just wants to keep workers happy.
“The dystopian potential of this technology is not lost on us,” Tan Le, Emotiv’s CEO and co-founder, told Spectrum. “So we are very cognizant of choosing partners that want to introduce this technology in a responsible way — they have to have a genuine desire to help and empower employees.”
Emotiv’s Le told Spectrum that the data from its EEGs belongs to the worker, who has to “explicitly allow a copy of it to be shared anonymously” with higher-ups.
It is still being debated if the workforce will allow employers to use this data. However, given the circumstances, employees might have very little say in this and will have to give consent at some point.
“I think there is significant interest from employers,” Karen Rommelfanger, who founded the Institute of Neuroethics, told Spectrum. “I don’t know if there’s significant interest from employees.”