Neurobollocks with Chinese characteristics: Chinese employers use "brain wave sensors" to tune workforces


Originally published at:


Seems reasonable.


First, I find the the phrase “professor of brain science and cognitive psychology at Ningbo University’s business school” terrifying in ways I can’t put into words.

EEG and ecog can’t read your mind, but they would reliably measure arousal state - whether people are focused or dosing. That can be measured just as well from monitoring, heart rate, breathing, pupil dilation, or any of the other physiological indicators of sympathetic activity. I find it interesting that the unknown specter of magical mind reading actually makes measuring brain activity more attractive to many people than measuring simpler things that easier to understand




All the hats need to do, is record whether or not they’re being worn by a worker. That measures compliance. All the magical nonsense that happens after that, is just a measure of how much the employer values compliance.


That’s basically Bentham’s Panopticon worn as a hat.
Plus some blurb and techno buzzwords.


Marginally related, is that set up in the photo available commercially? Would make it a lot easier to do my paperwork in a high oxygen environment without all those damned “safety warnings.”


They could just play some upbeat music.



Though my question is whether a hat you just slap on your head could reasonably measure that.





It was probably better when Sheng-Ji Yang still elicited a “are you sure your stereotypical communist Chinese isn’t a little too stereotypical?” reaction; rather than seeming inaccurate primarily in the fact that he’s ostensibly ideologically opposed to most of what Morgan Industries gets up to.

ETA on punishment sphere?


Just a reminder: 90% accuracy is uselessly bad.


Yeah. It only takes about $30 worth of off the shelf electronics to be able to record alpha waves which will give a readout of focus. Its a standard demo for eeg, that someone can just space out and defocus and there is an immediate signal change.


Despite all the hocus-pocus nonsense of mind reading (and setting aside the authoritarian control aspects), what those companies are doing (at least the examples described in the article) would amount to the same as having somenone watch people working and when they start to look tired and stare off, give them a break. But, if you tell a company that overworked people in lousy conditions make mistakes so they should treat employees better, no one will listen. If you tell them that AI decoded brain wave sensors will boost efficiency, they’ll hand over a blank check.



Mostly I’m wondering if it works if the hat is something other than one of these:

I.e. does it still work with an ill-fitting, loose-fit cap that’s sliding around on the wearer’s head?


My emotion-monitoring helmet is registering “depression, anxiety and rage”, all at once.


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