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06/01/2008 04:06 PM ID: 71120 Permalink   

Prediction: Downloading Information Directly Into the Brain Possible Within Three Decades


Chris Parry, formerly a Rear Admiral with a senior strategic role at the Ministry of Defence and now chief executive of the Independent Schools Council, claims that we will be able to download knowledge straight into our brains within three decades.

Parry predicts that current learning systems will be rendered obsolete by learning technology not dissimilar to that shown in the science fiction movie 'The Matrix'.

"It's a very short route from wireless technology to actually getting the electrical connections in your brain to absorb that knowledge. Within 30 years, sitting down and learning something will be a thing of the past," he said.

    WebReporter: ixuzus Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
  Isn't his exactly what they say  
that crack does to you? Or maybe he should have left the bong in the closet.
  by: dll2hell   06/01/2008 05:17 PM     
This is great news.
  by: captainJane     06/01/2008 05:44 PM     
Yeah, it's gonna be awesome for people like me who're lazy but want to learn stuff. :)
  by: silentrage   06/01/2008 05:57 PM     
Wouldn't anybody be afraid of the potential to brainwash people with technology like this? Something along the lines of a Trigonometry II download with just a dash of subliminal "Drink Coca-Cola" or "Vote for the ____ Party."
  by: l´anglais     06/01/2008 06:09 PM     
  Is it really so hard to believe?  
The brain is a very complicated device, but at the end of the day its not very different from computers. Think how far we've come in the last 30 years. Honestly I think this sort of technology may be developed a bit sooner. History has shown that people don't necessarily need to fully understand a mechanism to utilize it.

Still, my guess would be that such technology would, for a very long time, only be available to the the government, the elite, and the super-rich. Even if it were available to the general public it would probably have ultra-strict regulations regarding its application. Does anyone really think it would be a good idea to have a world full of nothing but geniuses walking around?


It would make sense for people to be afraid of the brainwashing potential here. People are so easily dazzled and distracted, I don't think this would become an issue until long after the technology was widespread if ever. Besides, people voluntarily subject themselves to the same brainwashing on a daily basis every time they turn on the TV. There difference today is that nobody is being FORCED to brainwash themselves, but most seem more than happy to do it anyway. What happens to the few that reject the brainwashing? The vast majority of the population has been conveniently conditioned to regard these people as "psychotic". Come of with too good of an idea, and people will just call you a crack head. The government doesn't even need to get their hands dirty. There are no more than half a dozen people on this site whom understand this as well as you, I think.

Let's get on with that brain uploading.
  by: maverick7h     06/01/2008 07:38 PM     
  Excuse my typos.  
"the the government"

"there difference" should be "the difference"

"Come of" should be "Come up".

Anyway I'm going to take a shower.
  by: maverick7h     06/01/2008 07:42 PM     
Such technology I find disturbing. A good way to turn us all into Automatons. I do not enjoy studying for my classes at college, however I will continue to do so because what is the use of knowledge if someone is unable to analyze the research themselves?
  by: ToofDogger     06/01/2008 07:51 PM     
Why not have nothing but geniuses walking around?
Why not have nothing but people with impecable health and infallable intelligence if we could make it happen?

Since it's pretty obvious that humans have stopped evolving biologically, I think the next logical step is to evolve technologically.

I would rather live in a world filled with superhumans, some smarter, some dumber, than to live in a world of dumb people, some dumber, some dumberer.

Just my 2cents.
  by: silentrage   06/01/2008 07:56 PM     
Again, I would argue that by giving everyone access to existing knowledge, people who want to study further would be able to do so with massive amounts of information already collected and correlated.
They'd be able to approach new knowledge with much better understanding.
This would propell human intelligence forward.

Those who're happy with what's already there will simply sit idly by as everyone else progressed, probably not even bothering with downloading anything at all.

It will be just like today, except human race as a whole would have a much higher level of understaind of the universe than without this technology.

Not gonna argue against its potential dangers though.
  by: silentrage   06/01/2008 08:02 PM     
  This made me want  
to go and watch "Johnny Mnemonic" again!
  by: Korzen   06/01/2008 10:41 PM     
"Since it's pretty obvious that humans have stopped evolving biologically,"

What? Humans continue to evolve to better fit in their surroundings, just like every other species. Evolution doesn't just "stop."
  by: datsuncaptain1     06/02/2008 01:24 AM     
This reminds me of an old Star Trek episode where the inhabitants of a planet had evolved to being only brains in jars with wires attached. Is that where we are headed?
  by: JonSmith     06/02/2008 01:41 AM     
  bad tech  
Might be ok for simple skills, but deep understanding comes from questioning the information presented.

This would lead to a class of squishy replaceable robots.
  by: jendres     06/02/2008 03:41 AM     
  this scares the f$%^ out of me  

MicroWavable PHD anyone?
  by: voxerly   06/02/2008 05:09 AM     
My mistake.
I shouldn't say evolution will stop, I'm saying with technologies like this humans might be evolving by changing themselves, instead of waiting for natural selection.

And the magnitude of the change would make our natural selection process non-existent in comparison. Think about how fast technology can evolve and how slow mother nature is.

Another factor would be that we used to be forced to adapt to our environment to survive, but lately it's been the other way around, we're bending mother-nature to our will more and more.

If you also factor in how we're losing genetic diversity and are becoming very susceptible to deadly bacteria/virus, we will depend even more on technology.

Just one of many possibilities, but I like this one best. :)
  by: silentrage   06/02/2008 05:30 AM     
  So people are gonna  
be walking around with 90% of their head full of pr0n, stains on their pants, whilst getting the skull sued off their bodies by the RIAA and running into lamp poles and getting into wrecks because of optical popup ads??? When is this whole grid supposed to become self-aware again? Just kill us all now Skynet before it gets reeeeally embarassing.
  by: jimmyp   06/02/2008 08:04 AM     
  i beilive the technoligy will be around  
but its unrealistic to believe that it will be in common use in any of our lives.
  by: shoezacks   06/02/2008 08:21 AM     
  @Common Use  
Yes, the shadow government will use it to control thier puppets in power in Washington.

There are other aspects of this technology that endangers our society and the human race and that is lack of interaction when the technology is widely used. We are conditioned to interacting with other humans from three years old. (Preschool, through Highschool) If knowledge is just downloaded to our brains and everything else is just downloaded to our brains then how do we learn to interact with others? Wait we can download that too...
  by: ohioankev   06/02/2008 04:16 PM     
Now they'll FINALLY have a case for intellectual property
  by: syoware   06/02/2008 04:29 PM     
I doubt it.
Some people alive today I heard have a double degree in comp sci and elec engineering, or other double degrees and training, ie. Astronauts, physicists, biochem engineers, etc etc.
They have a mountain of knowledge compared to some people who may have only gone to highschool, but they sure as hell interact with people.
There's nothing to stop you from interacting with people even if you knew a whole lot more than everyone else you know. Besides if in 50, or 100 years this technology becomes common enough, then you probably won't know any more than average.

I don't know why people assume all this stuff because they saw it in movies, like super intelligent computers will wipe out the human race.
I'm much smarter and stronger than my dog, but I don't just wake up and think:"Hey, I should kill him cuz I can."
  by: silentrage   06/02/2008 04:55 PM     
I just love reading your comments. Their simplicity and endearing qualities never fail to warm my heart. Keep it up!
  by: Kuhl   06/02/2008 09:04 PM     
  by: silentrage   06/02/2008 09:18 PM     
i dont think its unrealistic to expect it soon look at the internet, only took a decade for it to go from secret military only to everyday consumer/commerical infrastructure. silcon circut boards were only invented in the 1950s ( )
and now they have become so common they are evened used in disposable goods and packaging.
  by: veya_victaous     06/02/2008 10:40 PM     
yeah but your dog hasn't caused mass extinctions on par with a large metorite. if you weren't human(theoreticly with out regarding your own circumstance) look at the world and can you honestly say that our presence doesn't seem like an infestation.
  by: veya_victaous     06/02/2008 10:45 PM     
RIAA and MPAA will charge you every time you think of their content via this interface.
  by: luxfestinus     06/03/2008 12:56 AM     
  Not 30 years, try 130 to 300 years  
This is a load of garbage, "It's a very short route from wireless technology to actually getting the electrical connections in your brain to absorb that knowledge."
No it's not, it's a very very long route. What the heck does that mean anyway? How does wireless technology fit with wired technology in the brain?

This guy is either a crank, who has no idea about neurology and some of the major technological hurdles that there is not even blue sky solutions for.

OR, he's being seriously miss represented by the media and being taken out of context.

The argument that we don't have to understand something to use it, doesn't really apply well to this situation. It is not possible to accurately map/image/record the brain because we can not measure individual signalling events in vivo. Neurons yes, but not them talking in real time in the brain. None of this takes into account individual variability or the fact that memories are plastic and the brain can rewire itself to some degree. Making any imaging event that was successful, only relevant to an individual and only for a point in time.

Sorry to rain on the parade, I'm a fan of Peter Hamilton's sci-fi, and I'd love this to be true, but it's not going to happen in 30 years. The closest we'll get in the next 30 years is modelling the structures of the brain, unfortunately the interfacing technology will keep these ideas as science fiction for a long time yet.
  by: felixilef   06/03/2008 06:56 AM     
  I just hope I'm alive  
... when the first nitwit downloads a computer virus into his own brain. That will be funny. Or maybe, terrifying.
  by: l´anglais     06/03/2008 07:05 AM     
While I doubt this is in any way accurate as people have always predicted things like this way before their time. We were supposed to be driving flying cars by now. But the idea itself is really cool just because there are plenty of lazy people out there who would like to know a lot. However, that might just make things worse as if everyone knows anything they want to instantly, that's going to screw the people who actually went through the years of school to become a doctor or lawyer. Furthermore, nobody will have any incentive to be a doctor or lawyer because they'll be making the same someone flipping burgers is making. Also, to "move up" may require more work since everyone already knows the same things, so it will still separate the lazy from the motivated. Just my take on it. :)


OMFG that's too funny. They'll need to install Firefox to prevent dummies from installing the wrong active-X controls. And everyone will be using Norton BrainWorks with all sorts of tools for them to make things worse when they think it's actually helping.
Average user: "I still can't see out of my left eye and whenever my heart pumps, I fart. I ran Norton and now I get these random errors... something about a runtime error."

IT Helpdesk: "Have you already tried restarting?"
  by: amir8500   06/03/2008 04:52 PM     
Damn! I was going down the list of comments seeing if anyone else noticed how ridiculous that quote was...

So, in essence, I agree.
  by: Svengali   06/04/2008 07:55 PM     
Heh. remember in "Independence Day" when Jeff Goldblum Hooked up his laptop to "ALIEN" technology and loaded a "VIRUS" into alien technology and it immediately worked. That was SO far-fetched I laughed out loud in the movie theater. (Impossible)
  by: JonSmith     06/04/2008 08:02 PM     
  Make sure they upload to me  
all the zin master, meditation, chi focus etc stuff that I don't have the time or patience for so I can execute psychokenetic abilities :p. Really though, how would such downloadable data be structured on disk and computers. What will our computers look like 30 years from now that would be capable of organizing out what all would be on this data disk.

Like I would sure like to know the complete story on what's going in my head, but would such a quantity of data, even something so simple as knowing kung fu, be more gigabytes than we would want to bother reading about? Heck even a megabyte would be a lot of data to read through if it was in some sort of displayable text format. How long has it taken anyone to read 2^10 words?

I think I'll pass.
  by: LykosSN4   07/27/2008 01:04 AM     
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