#1
Imagine you can insert a memory card in your brain and go all Keanu Wow, I know Jiu-Jitsu! Reeves. It's actually not that far away: Scientists have created a chip that allows rats to instantly know things. It's amazing.
After studying the chemical interactions that allow short-term learning and memorization in rats, a group of scientists lead by Dr. Theodore Berger—from the University of South California's Viterbi School of Engineering—have built a prosthetic chip that uses electrodes to enhance and expand their memory abilities. The chip is capable of storing neural signals, basically functioning as an electronic memory, allowing rats to learn more and keep it in the devices.

Dr. Berger's description is almost frightening:

"Flip the switch on, and the rats remember. Flip it off, and the rats forget [...] These integrated experimental modeling studies show for the first time that with sufficient information about the neural coding of memories, a neural prosthesis capable of real-time identification and manipulation of the encoding process can restore and even enhance cognitive mnemonic processes.

The team's experiments—which have been in a paper called "A Cortical Neural Prosthesis for Restoring and Enhancing Memory"—could lead to the development of devices that may help people affected by Alzheimer's disease, stroke or other brain injuries. In fact, they are already working on the next step: Reproduce the same result in monkeys.

As someone who has had family affected by Alzheimer and other diseases, I really hope they succeed. As someone who would like to have the entire IMDB in his brain, I really hope they succeed too.


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Holy shit, that is absolutely incredible. Imagine having all of Wikipedia stored in your head! How far away can they be from giving it Wifi access? Imagine a mental Facebook.
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#3
*Insert chip*

*Learn Jiu-Jitsu*

*Rule the world*

I think it would be quite boring
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#4
Quote by fearofthemark
Holy shit, that is absolutely incredible. Imagine having all of Wikipedia stored in your head! How far away can they be from giving it Wifi access? Imagine a mental Facebook.


I hope not. People update their status with useless shit as it is, imagine if that was done automatically, and constantly.

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Pooping is well good though, to be fair.


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I'm losing my grip, 'cos I'm losing my fingers.
#5
Sounds really awesome, but i imagine these memory sticks to be quite expensive.
And what about information overload, are our brains really designed to handle that much information at once?
Looking back at history, they who had more power than they could handle are the ones who went insane. Is it similar with these chips?

Not saying i'm against this, at all. Just saying that these are the problems that can occur, but on the other hand they might not
To set the record straight i hope i'm wrong on every point i just mentioned. This is an amazing step forward.

Awesome find!
#6
Quote by WantsLesPaul
I don't want FBI reading my brain.


Let's see what this guy is thinking!

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I would love to have an encyclopedic knowledge of everything. That would be awesome, I would win the pub quiz every week.
#7
Quote by JackalUK
Let's see what this guy is thinking!

*....boobs...pizza.....more boobs..............boobs.....guitar solo....boobs....*


I would love to have an encyclopedic knowledge of everything. That would be awesome, I would win the pub quiz every week.


All the knowledge in the world, and you choose the Pub Quiz over any of the many gameshows on TV with substatial cash prizes?
Quote by GLP_Arclite
Pooping is well good though, to be fair.


I've got a handle on the fiction.

I'm losing my grip, 'cos I'm losing my fingers.
#8
Yet they still can't explain how magnets work. ****ing lying scientists..
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#9
Ooh I've been looking forward to this being developed. It's gonna be awesome.
#10
Won't see it for atleast the next 50 years i bet, if at all.

This stuff always promises more than it actually delivers. Always.

It would also ruin society to an extent, everyone sharing the same knowledge would invariably make test and so on pointless. On the other hand, i suppose it's down to interpretation and understanding. Can have all the information in the world, doesn't stand for jack if you don't understand it.
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#11
Quote by metacarpi
All the knowledge in the world, and you choose the Pub Quiz over any of the many gameshows on TV with substatial cash prizes?


TV show will be more likely to look for my magic cheating device!
#12
Quote by JackalUK
TV show will be more likely to look for my magic cheating device!




You make a good point!
Quote by GLP_Arclite
Pooping is well good though, to be fair.


I've got a handle on the fiction.

I'm losing my grip, 'cos I'm losing my fingers.
#14
This is like straight out of Space Odyssey:3001

Does this mean i gets to be smert?
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#15
Quote by SlackerBabbath
Just so long as Terry Pratchett survives long enough to have one fitted, that would be good.


I'm with you on that one.

Maybe rather than donating to Alzheimers research, we could get a fund going to cryogenically freeze him until the time comes around that these things are commercially available?
Quote by GLP_Arclite
Pooping is well good though, to be fair.


I've got a handle on the fiction.

I'm losing my grip, 'cos I'm losing my fingers.
#16
Awesome, I was seriously thinking of starting some sort of martial arts. Now it seems like a waste of time.
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#17
Quote by fearofthemark
Imagine a mental Facebook.


It sounds like the Futurama eyePhone
#19
Surprised nobody has compared this to Chuck yet.

As awesome as it could be, I think this would cause quite a few problems if implemented :/
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#20
Quote by metacarpi
I'm with you on that one.

Maybe rather than donating to Alzheimers research, we could get a fund going to cryogenically freeze him until the time comes around that these things are commercially available?


Did you see him on telly the other night, doing a documentry about assisted dying?
He went and visited a place in Sweden (I think) and actualy watched someone end their own life there.
You can tell he's thinking about it, but the probem is, you have to make the decision and drink the poison yourself, and with something like Alzheimers, that eventualy takes the mind, you have to make the decision before the illness progresses too far for you to be considered as capable of making the decision.

He may decide to go sooner rather than later.
#21
enhanced memory still needs creativity and intellect to be useful.
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#22
*reported, try the search function next time.
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#23
I sometimes wonder about our own consciousness when scientists invent artificial parts for our bodies.
#24
Quote by SlackerBabbath
Did you see him on telly the other night, doing a documentry about assisted dying?
He went and visited a place in Sweden (I think) and actualy watched someone end their own life there.
You can tell he's thinking about it, but the probem is, you have to make the decision and drink the poison yourself, and with something like Alzheimers, that eventualy takes the mind, you have to make the decision before the illness progresses too far for you to be considered as capable of making the decision.
He may decide to go sooner rather than later.


Yeah, I did see that. I found it incredibly powerful viewing, especially the part where the guy from the UK took the poison. It seemed incredibly surreal to actually be watching somebody die. He seemed so incredibly calm throughout the whole thing.

Yeah, that's what I came away with from the programme in regards to Terry himself. I cna't imagine how you would begin to define the point at which you decide that you're still capable, and aren't ready to take the final step, and when you decide that it has to be now.
Quote by GLP_Arclite
Pooping is well good though, to be fair.


I've got a handle on the fiction.

I'm losing my grip, 'cos I'm losing my fingers.