Rhetorical devices

Nita Farahany does not use a wide variety of rhetorical devices in her TED talk “When technology can read minds, how will we protect our privacy?”, but those she does use are applied frequently and efficiently.

Rhetorical questions

Nita Farahany makes use of rhetorical questions at several key points in her talk. We can already see this in the very first paragraph, which ends with three rhetorical questions in a row:

But I still wish I could have known what they were thinking or what they were feeling. What if I could have? Or more frighteningly, what if the Iranian government could have? Would they have arrested them based on what their brains revealed? (ll. 8-11)

These initial rhetorical questions help set the stage for her main intention, which is to convince her audience that laws are needed to deal with the potential threat of mind-reading technology.

There are further examples of rhetorical questions in the middle section of the talk, especially when Farahany dives into the potential negatives of mind-reading technology in the f...

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