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Notes of the Acceleration: Reading Mental Output - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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December 11th, 2008


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11:05 am - Notes of the Acceleration: Reading Mental Output
Everything from electronic telepathy to devices like those in Until the End of the World or Paprika took a major step forward with this impressive development.

So far, all they've done is show someone a word on a screen and read this output from their brain and put it up on another screen. However, sight recording and then dream recording are now both definitely headed for reality soon. I'm both very impressed and very pleased.

In addition to dream recording, which will be very cool indeed, I'm expecting the sort of life logging Charles Stross describes here will become really popular in a decade or so, and 5-10 years after that, we may well be looking at people recording what they see rather than wearing a webcam. So it goes...
Current Mood: impressedimpressed

(14 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:aekiy
Date:December 11th, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC)
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I saw part of a special on the science channel called The Dream Life of Rats. Apparently they've already been recording rat dreams and playing them back in the brain of the rat while they're awake. At this point, of course, that research has only involved straight data; we have no way of knowing what it is the rats are dreaming; but it's certainly promising research.
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From:hasufin
Date:December 11th, 2008 08:36 pm (UTC)
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Hell with life logging. How long until people are regularly backing themselves up using related technology? Just plug yourself in when you go to bed.
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From:aekiy
Date:December 11th, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC)
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I would love little more, in terms of technological developments, than to acquire a surrogate body and synchronize it with my primary to the point where I could easily operate either as the original, and eventually replace the original with the surrogate. Not so much for wanting to be immortal as wanting an upgrade from this shambling heap, though I won't argue against the potential for longevity.
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From:hasufin
Date:December 11th, 2008 11:48 pm (UTC)
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Here's an even more interesting possibility - if you can copy your mind between bodies, who says you need to limit yourself to one body at a time? Have however many going as you'd like, and just reintegrate them regularly.
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From:aekiy
Date:December 12th, 2008 12:16 am (UTC)
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Oh, certainly. I just don't like to ask for more than I need when it comes to these things. I'm very curious what we'd learn about the mind with something like that. I've been really curious for a while now what would happen if we managed to successfully network two infant brains such that they'd effectively consider each other a part of the same nervous system. Not that any public experiment of that sort is likely to be performed on humans.
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From:heron61
Date:December 11th, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC)
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I suspect that this is going to be more complicated than recording sensory input. OTOH, if the work on the artificial hippocampus goes well As it seems to be, according to this info:
The two groups—led by Theodore W. Berger at U.S.C. and Samuel Deadwyler at Wake Forest—are preparing a technical paper showing that an artificial hippocampus took over from the biological organ the task of consolidating a rat’s memory of pressing a lever to receive a drop of water. Normally the hippocampus emits signals that are relayed to cortical areas responsible for storing the long-term memory of an experience. For the experiment, a chemical temporarily incapacitated the hippocampus. When the rat pressed the correct bar, electrical input from sensory and other areas of the cortex were channeled through a microchip, which, the scientists say, dispatched the same signals the hippocampus would have sent. A demonstration that an artificial device mimicked hippocampal output would mark a step toward deducing the underlying code that could be used to create a memory in the motor cortex—and perhaps one day to unravel ciphers for even higher-level behaviors.
However, we're likely more than 15 years from the first real steps in brain downloads (and longer before it's something anyone would consider doing). Seeing sensory input (or dreams) is likely far closer. I'd be surprised if a few wealthy or ultra-geeky people weren't putting their dreams on-line in a decade, or perhaps less.
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From:hasufin
Date:December 12th, 2008 12:48 am (UTC)
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Oh, it's definitely a much more complex process than recording sensation. Creating an "artificial brain" is not only beyond our engineering abilities, but in fact beyond our current theoretical abilities - that is, not only do we not know how to do it, we don't know how it could be done.
Still, it's a logical step, assuming there's no theoretical boundary. ANd it does invite a large number of questions which are worth exploring.
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From:slothman
Date:December 11th, 2008 10:20 pm (UTC)
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If I can get a heads-up display and continuous video record of my day, I might start wearing glasses again.


At least until I can get the heads-up display on my contact lenses.

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From:heron61
Date:December 11th, 2008 11:20 pm (UTC)
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Given that there's research on display contact lenses going on right now, I think there's a good chance that we'll see display contact lenses within 5 years after we get wearable heads up glasses (which based on what I've seen about the company behind this, will likely be sometime in the next year or two).
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From:writerspleasure
Date:December 11th, 2008 10:23 pm (UTC)
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glad to see until the end - i love that film.
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From:helen99
Date:December 11th, 2008 10:35 pm (UTC)
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One of my favorites...
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From:heron61
Date:December 11th, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
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Indeed, it's an excellent film (as, in its own way is Paprika).
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From:kitten_goddess
Date:December 11th, 2008 10:52 pm (UTC)
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"AAAAAHHHHH!" I literally screamed when I saw this entry. I immediately pictured people getting into other people's dreams and using them to spread their private thoughts all over the place for condemnation by everybody. Or use their private secrets to control them through blackmail or simple emotional manipulation.

Then I realized that this could have wonderful applications in therapeutic work, particularly for people who are nonverbal, including infants and the severely cognitively disabled, stroke victims, etc.

Some sort of tight controls around this thing would be good, such as restricting use or ownership of such a device to civilian board-certified therapists. The military, corporations, and government agents should not be allowed to get their hands on this, since they would only do countless bad things with it.
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From:heron61
Date:December 11th, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
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I don't see all that much potential for abuse - if you need to put on a whole bunch of electrodes, then no one is going to be doing that w/o your knowledge. What you'd likely have instead is people posting their own dreams up on the internet. I expect this to be a bit hit on the 2020 version of youtube.

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