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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)


[User Picture]
Date:December 11th, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC)
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.
[User Picture]
Date:December 12th, 2008 12:48 am (UTC)
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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