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A Brain Implant For Synthetic Memory

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 months ago | from the paging-dr-soong dept.

Science 87

the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes "People who have experienced traumatic brain injuries sometimes lose the ability to form new memories or recall old ones. Since many veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan suffered TBIs, the U.S. military is funding research on an implantable device that could do the job of damaged brain cells." Lofty goals: "To start, DARPA will support the development of multi-scale computational models with high spatial and temporal resolution that describe how neurons code declarative memories — those well-defined parcels of knowledge that can be consciously recalled and described in words, such as events, times, and places. Researchers will also explore new methods for analysis and decoding of neural signals to understand how targeted stimulation might be applied to help the brain reestablish an ability to encode new memories following brain injury. ... Building on this foundational work, researchers will attempt to integrate the computational models ... into new, implantable, closed-loop systems able to deliver targeted neural stimulation that may ultimately help restore memory function."

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Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47416839)

This is awesome. no more need to learn, just get upgrades!

Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 3 months ago | (#47416949)

This is awesome. no more need to learn, just get upgrades!

That is decades away. This research is just the first baby steps of trying to understand how memories are stored in neural patterns. It will be a while before any useful treatments come out of this. It is possible that we will eventually be able to implant knowledge modules instead of reading books and taking classes, but a lot of basic research needs to be done first.

Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (2)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | about 3 months ago | (#47417569)

"a lot of basic research needs to be done first" == "is unlikely to happen in your lifetime"

Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (5, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 3 months ago | (#47417825)

"a lot of basic research needs to be done first" == "is unlikely to happen in your lifetime"

In high school I took a science fiction class, and we read the Foundation Trilogy [wikipedia.org] , which contains a description of the Encyclopedia Galactica [wikipedia.org] which was an instantly available compendium of human knowledge. When a student mentioned that it would be cool if we actually had something like that, most people agreed that "it won't happen in our lifetime".

When I first used the Internet in 1982, it seemed almost magical how I could communicate with people and instantly download files from dozens of computers. I mentioned that it would be really slick if everyone had access to something like that. The lab director laughed and said "not in our lifetime".

Most "not in our lifetime" forecasts underestimate the exponential nature of progress. Once a certain critical mass of knowledge has accumulated, additional progress can be astonishingly fast.

Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (2)

GameMaster (148118) | about 3 months ago | (#47419103)

I think you're comparing apples to oranges. For every example like the ones you gave, there seem to be just as many like jetpacks and the flying car that have just never happened long, long after everyone assumed they should.

The way I see it, the difference is all about how clearly dangerous experimentation in a certain field happens to be to human lives and how much infrastructure needs to be built out to make a given iteration of the tech useful. Computer and telecommunications tend to evolve extremely quickly because they are widely assumed to be harmless to humans and because they don't usually need lots of infrastructure build-out. You'll note that in the few places where infrastructure build-out IS required (broadband and wide-area wireless communications) the time between iterations seems almost glacial in comparison to the rest of the industry.

While the kind of implant tech described in the article doesn't require lots of physical infrastructure build-out, it does involve lots and lots of human medical testing. To make matters even worse, the kind of medical testing (surgical experimentation on the brain) is the most complex and risky in the entire field of medicine. In such a field, by it's very nature, moving a single iteration of tech from prototype to commercial product can take a decade or more at it's best.

Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (2)

Wycliffe (116160) | about 3 months ago | (#47419281)

Jetpacks and flying cars are already completely possible. It's only cost and practicality that keeps them at bay.
Implantable memory even if VERY expensive would be very useful. Why go to college when you can pay $40k
and have a college degree without also having to give up 4 years of earning potential to get it.

Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (1)

shaitand (626655) | about 3 months ago | (#47419709)

"Implantable memory even if VERY expensive would be very useful. Why go to college when you can pay $40k
and have a college degree without also having to give up 4 years of earning potential to get it."

I think you seriously underestimate what "VERY expensive" means. That is what such a technology might cost when at the dirt cheap and commonplace level. Anytime in the first 20 years I doubt you'd see a BLANK implant that wasn't priced in the millions.

Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (1)

ArmoredDragon (3450605) | about 3 months ago | (#47422239)

That's assuming you disregard economies of scale.

The only reason prosthetics cost a crapload (sometimes upwards of $100,000) is because each one has to be manufactured specifically to match its intended recipient. Kind of like those concept cars that cost millions even though they aren't that much better than something you can already own. 3d printing is dramatically reducing the manufacturing costs and making mass customization available to more things though, so the price of prosthesis is just now beginning to decline, but 3d printing wasn't designed for prosthesis.

If the masses had a sudden demand for such an implant, which isn't the case for prosthetics (most people don't need prosthetic limbs, but most people do need college degrees) then I wouldn't expect your 20 year figure to hold true.

Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (1)

shaitand (626655) | about 3 months ago | (#47424627)

"The only reason prosthetics cost a crapload (sometimes upwards of $100,000) is because each one has to be manufactured specifically to match its intended recipient."

That is a factor but not the biggest one. It's about demand. In the US we have a so called medical "free market" so the cost is as much as the market will allow. So, if you are missing a leg, how much is a prosthetic worth to you? You'll find that unlike with say, a stick of gum, the answer will vary dramatically with the key differentiators being how much the person has and whether they have loved ones they must care for who they value more than themselves. Now, abstract that cost from real people and put it on collectives with billions of dollars to spend (insurance companies) and why wouldn't you charge six figures for a prosthetic?

For $100,000 there are thousands of people who could engineer a prosthetic that can be customized with just a few hours labor. So the $100,000 cost is spread among all of them and the customization part amounts to a few bucks in plastic and under $1000 labor and that is at doctor labor prices and not lab tech prices.

But these products require FDA approval. So that is going to cost another $250k. Which is great for you if you have that money. It means that you get legal immunity at the end. It means little to no competition. It means you won't have to worry about actually improving your device anytime soon. It means you can charge ridiculous prices which are easy to justify, you can point to the need for FDA approval, you can point to the importance of making the device safe for medical use, etc. People will pay anything they can afford and since the bill goes to the insurance company, people will sign off on literally any figure. So it's really just a question of charging as much as the insurance company can afford.

The prosthetics end up costing the manufacturer maybe $2000 customized in the end with everything included and that figure goes down over time but they keep on charging $100,000 a pop because they can.

Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (1)

ArmoredDragon (3450605) | about 3 months ago | (#47439381)

Even if that was the case (which nothing I've ever seen indicates that it is; again, see my concept car example) I think it's vastly preferable to none being available at all.

Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (1)

shaitand (626655) | about 3 months ago | (#47441063)

Agreed it is better than nothing being available at all. But a concept car is dramatically different because it's outside the FDA regulated medical market.

The healthcare market in the United States is an especially horrible expensive nightmare. The tax dollars spent (inclusive of tax breaks) providing no healthcare are more per capita than most nations with nationalized healthcare spend providing total coverage per capita. While the care provided generally isn't sub-par and excels in some areas it really is only comparable overall and not superior to the healthcare they are providing.

The FDA has become a mass pharma/medical commercial sector protection racket that keeps a small number of near monopolies from competition and legal consequence. It's actually even worse than the FCC with the protecting telco/cable racket profits from consumers.

Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47420123)

Greetings, Citizen,

It has come to our attention that between the hours of 2AM and 4:30AM (GMT -6) your implant was turned off and no labor output was recorded to your account. Please remain seated at your workstation. The Attention And Production Management Team has been automatically notified and an appointment scheduled for your termination. Accordingly, please locate your severance package under your seat and continue calmly working until they arrive. Three minutes have been allotted to your work schedule for bereavement and the notification of concerned parties.

Thank you, and good bye!

http://www.marshallbrain.com/manna1.htm

Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | about 3 months ago | (#47421933)

Jetpacks are possible, but probably will never be practical.
The issue is the energy density of the fuel. If the energy density is low it takes a lot of fuel, which reduces flight time. If the energy density is high, it's a bomb strapped to someone's back, which means adding safety features, which add weight, which reduces flight time.
Jetpacks have been made, and they do work, but only for short times. You'll never fly around in one like a helicopter, the chemistry simply doesn't support it.
Sadly, Robbie Rocketpants shall forever be a part of the diseased imaginations of utter smegheads.

Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47420467)

Pessimism = intelligence on slashdot!

Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (1)

shaitand (626655) | about 3 months ago | (#47419679)

It will happen that way first. They'll do implantable blank memory, then they'll have ridiculously overpriced modules that are able to communicate wirelessly so that you can copy and record. Then...

Why don't we just skip the bullshit and put something with both mesh and infrastructure wireless technology in so that it automatically links both to other modules and to a tunneled network in the internet automatically integrating everyones brains into a massive network of shared memory and artificial memory. We can have datacenters where massive external forms of this are connected to the network as well.

Or hey, why not let go of the conscious reigns, put the implantable chip that interacts with brain electrical and chemical signals both capable of generating detectable responses and receiving them. Still put the mesh and infrastructure wireless technology in, still build the tunneled network, but just put enough designed elements in place to facilitate the massively parallel communication high way and let the brains figure out their own higher level protocols.

Worried about security? Don't be that worried. You are neurally linked to everyone you see with an optical connection already. This just steps it up to having a slower link to lots of people all the time.

Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 3 months ago | (#47422603)

It's the wrong approach if you just want a prosthetic memory to help people remember stuff.

To have a prosthetic memory what you need is a computer that can remember stuff - video, audio, photos, text etc. Preferably wearable. Then what you need is to attach a device to appropriate parts of your brain that reads thought patterns that are distinctive depending on what you are thinking (elephants, purple etc). The device does NOT have to decipher or understand what you are thinking. All it needs to do is associate the stuff to be stored/recalled or even _commands_ with the thought pattern(s) you choose for it. I call these thought macros. See also: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3478821&cid=42956909

So you capture a video/audio/picture then you assign it a thought, or "current state" of mind. If you even have difficulty rethinking[1] a thought pattern, you could search by context and time (what I stored some time ago while at home).

There may need to be training phases like in speech recognition, and it's likely to work better with some people than others.

[1] The approach the military is taking would still have problems if people can't even remember that they are supposed to remember something- so whichever approach you'd need the ability to set up "prompts" based on time and context (and brain patterns).

I believe our technology is very very far from the state where you can drop in a memory device with memories already preloaded in, and which people can use to "remember that they are to remember something" (and even if we did, it would be scary and I won't want to have it).

Because there's evidence that memories are stored differently on different people's brains - some people have a halle berry neuron: http://www.caltech.edu/content/single-cell-recognition-halle-berry-brain-cell
http://phys.org/news4703.html
Seems to me to be a bit like a Bingo hall where a neuron yells bingo when it recognizes what the "announcer reads out". And the thing is those neurons aren't in the same place for everyone, they might not even be present for everyone, and one neuron might yell bingo for slightly different things (in one person they might have a neuron that goes bingo for Jennifer Aniston when it sees Jennifer Aniston + Brad Pitt, in another person it might not go bingo for the couple).

Which is also why I think that it's delusional for people to believe we'd soon be able to transfer our minds to other machines. You can transfer something, but it'll be far from everything.

Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47417443)

Yes, transhumanism is always awesome, and frightening.

No need to wonder whether or not your prisoners are lying to you, just pull the knowledge right from their brains.

No need for elaborate and expensive brainwashing techniques, just wipe the old identity and install a new one.

Hell, may as well require all citizens to endure routine memory maintenance sessions, of which everyone will approve since they remember thinking this was a good idea since they were born.

Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (2)

Minwee (522556) | about 3 months ago | (#47417525)

But on the other hand, it's a new and convenient place to keep pr0n.

Hit me! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47416841)

All that's missing is Ice-T, Henry Rollins and a Dolphin with an Oculus rift headset.

Re: Hit me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47416921)

Snatch back your brain, zombie! Snatch it back and hold it!

Re: Hit me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47417457)

Don't for get Isaac Hayes in the fmv game

Where can I apply (1)

X10 (186866) | about 3 months ago | (#47416863)

to get one?

Re:Where can I apply (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 3 months ago | (#47417035)

Iraq.

Re:Where can I apply (1)

Graydyn Young (2835695) | about 3 months ago | (#47417095)

Yes, please, you go first.

Re: Where can I apply (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47417521)

Welcome to crazy bob's cyber space good stuff emporium where a spot in the matrix will win you one of these awards

apply this technology where it counts. (4, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | about 3 months ago | (#47416911)

If this truly life enriching technology comes to fruition I expect America to do that which is most needful and apply it to politicians first. Imagine having an elected represenative with the cognitive ability to make ethical decisions and prudent judgement during legislative sessions that may involve a declaration of war in which american soldiers will often likely return from battle with signifigant brain trauma. This next-generation of politician could one day come to understand the moral and sociopolitical repercussions of things like intentionally shutting down the government. With this helpful medical implant, one could marvel at a world in which the average congressman understands and acknowledges once baron concepts such as the impact of climate change, or even homosexual marriage.

Re:apply this technology where it counts. (3, Insightful)

Punko (784684) | about 3 months ago | (#47417123)

Except that politicians will apply any new cognitive abilities to suit their prime consideration: reelection. What our politicians are interested in is how to make the "country" better. This is not the same as making the country better for its citizens. The metric for how they make the country better is how can they make the country better for themselves. Does this mean I'm lumping all the politicians together, and painting politicians that really are looking out for the greatest good of their citizens with the same brush? Sadly, yes. But I look forward to the 1% proving me wrong.

Re:apply this technology where it counts. (1)

Sarius64 (880298) | about 3 months ago | (#47418799)

Amen. "Public utilities" run by retired politicians and immune to prosecution; cable companies with "natural monopolies" that sprang up from normal business activity and have nothing to do with financing political campaigns; unions spending 8-figure loans on political campaigns while they call it collective bargaining; etc.

Re:apply this technology where it counts. (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 3 months ago | (#47418993)

Pigs have neither morality nor ethics although they will espouse both during an election.

Re:apply this technology where it counts. (1)

shaitand (626655) | about 3 months ago | (#47419781)

You make the fatal flaw of assuming that ethics and prudence are the result of higher cognitive ability. Have you considered the possibility that they understand exactly what they are doing and just don't care?

" This next-generation of politician could one day come to understand the moral and sociopolitical repercussions of things like intentionally shutting down the government."

You mean like having successfully pandered to your constitutes so that you'll be re-elected and can continue to profit from selling out to corporate interests, enjoy the social status of being a congressman, and blowjobs from interns?

Hell most of the the strongest opponents of issues like climate change and homosexual marriage ARE homosexuals. When THEY get busted getting a blowjob it's generally from a male intern or other staffer.

Re:apply this technology where it counts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47481211)

The Problem is that the pandering works. If pandering got a politician fired and ethical behavior got him/her/it reelected that would be different, I mean Really Different (TM).

stop going to war (3, Insightful)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about 3 months ago | (#47416931)

Maybe we should stop sending troops to places where warfare is a national pastime, and start funneling this money into things like income equality and reducing poverty. You know, things that can actually help people improve their own lives.

Re:stop going to war (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47417359)

If you want to eliminate military conflict, you have to address the root causes. Simply refusing to participate doesn't make it stop happening.

Re:stop going to war (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 3 months ago | (#47417409)

War kills/maims a lot of people, yes... but as a species, it seems the majority of our technical innovation has been driven by conflict.

Re:stop going to war (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47417509)

Yes that will work: history shows that withdrawing from a fight makes people who consider you to be an enemy just go away instead of attacking you.

(rolls eyes)

Re:stop going to war (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47418069)

instead of attacking you

Who the hell invaded who in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Let me be clear about this, the travesty that the USA caused in Iraq will encourage people to become terrorists. Rather than "fighting the war over there so they don't come over here", the military invasion and occupation of Iraq and the sectarian violence that followed is going to blow back in our face.

Re:stop going to war (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 months ago | (#47418911)

They're back to fighting each other. Which is the natural state of things.

At this point, all we need to do is ship a few weapons to whoever is losing at the moment.

you must've slept through history class son... (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 3 months ago | (#47419025)

Who the hell invaded who in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Iran and the USSR ?

This book must be out of date: I don't see "Prussia", "Siam", or "autogyro".

Lies, they want to make killer robots. (1)

goruka (1721094) | about 3 months ago | (#47416953)

How obvious is it that, in reality, they want to make killer robots? Start with the synthetic memory, then continue with the synthetic consciousness and put it in a highly sophisticated mechanical armature and you have a killer robot.

We are doomed.

Re:Lies, they want to make killer robots. (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 months ago | (#47417037)

They sure do want to make killer robots but this has little to do with it.

If you want to look into the dystopian aspects of this technology however, consider the effective intelligence boost that would come with high-capacity, high-reliability memory and then consider the cost of elective brain surgery. Right now the rich aren't any smarter than the rest of us, what if they were!?

Re:Lies, they want to make killer robots. (1)

konaya (2617279) | about 3 months ago | (#47420795)

Right now the rich aren't any smarter than the rest of us, what if they were!?

If they aren't, how come they're rich?

Re: Lies, they want to make killer robots. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47443929)

1) Inheritance
2) Average to slightly above average intelligence plus a tendency toward action plus good fortune/luck possibly with perseverence.

Download vs indexing (4, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 3 months ago | (#47416965)

It is very quick and easy for someone to load a bunch of crap onto a computer. It takes a lot longer to index all that information so that it can be found multiple ways (i.e. to find the word "peanut butter" in a book you can either read the entire book, looking for that word, of if someone has compiled an index at the back, just look there and find it instantly).

All of the schemes to 'download' information to a human brain ignore indexing. That means if you were to say download a german dictionary to someone's human mind, they could NOT just speak german - nor could they understand it.

Instead, they would have to laboriously spend hours thinking about every single german word, and eventually teach themselves german, from the memories they had installed.

Indexing is the creation of relationships. Furthermore memories are not indexed just one way. The word dollar for example is indexed as a currency, as an example of words that begin with the letter d, as a kind of store, as pronunciation, and as rhyming with the word Holler. etc etc. etc.

Memory is not a simple thing, but a very complex web of connections.

Re:Download vs indexing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47417093)

I'm sorry, you lost me at "peanut butter" [memegenerator.net] .

Re:Download vs indexing (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 3 months ago | (#47417385)

Any effort to emulate or restore declarative memory will obviously include emulating the association and activation networks that drive it. Believe it or not, the people doing this kind of research already realize that.

Nobody is talking about adding a USB port so you can plug a thumb drive into your hippocampus and instantly "know" everything contained on it. That would be great, but there's a lot of other work to do first, as you say.

Re:Download vs indexing (1)

Herder Of Code (2989779) | about 3 months ago | (#47417587)

What they're talking about is a somewhat easier task. They don't want to implant new memories, they want NEW ones to be able to form from the user input.

That's going to be extremely difficult but less so than implanting memories, especially from a source other than you.

Re:Download vs indexing (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 3 months ago | (#47417689)

Instead, they would have to laboriously spend hours thinking about every single german word, and eventually teach themselves german, from the memories they had installed.

This could still result in learning German in a matter of days vs months. Perfect is the enemy of good, even if everything you say is 100% accurate (and I doubt there's any convincing evidence that the brain works like an indexed database) you could still see orders of magnitude improvement in the time it takes to learn new things.

Sounds good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47417025)

Sounds good! 640K should be plenty enough for everybody, right?

I can't wait to google my own brain! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47417041)

although I don't imagine it would return many results..

Prior Art (1)

Hubble-bubble (1032286) | about 3 months ago | (#47417051)

Simon Illyan in the Vorkosigen stories

Re:Prior Art (1)

danaris (525051) | about 3 months ago | (#47417191)

Hope they've reduced the incidence of iatrogenic schizophrenia...

Dan Aris

Manchurian candidate? (2)

digsbo (1292334) | about 3 months ago | (#47417065)

Place false memories in people. Assassins, or just government functionaries who honestly don't believe they did the paperwork to have you audited. No problem.

Davros has to be stopped (1)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 3 months ago | (#47417109)

When the program started, we all thought we working on a way to help the injured be able to learn again. But things have been heading a different direction lately. We have a meeting later, those who agree with us. Don't tell Nyder.

Re:Davros has to be stopped (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#47417447)

Would it be possible to book a rendez-vous with the doctor in advance, just in case the operation goes wrong?

Guns, lots of Guns (1)

stinkydog (191778) | about 3 months ago | (#47417119)

Who says they need to replace existing memories? Booting up 5 years of flight school after one operation seems like an obvious use of this technology. Downloading a full Chinese or Korean vocabulary would be handy as well. Even if training the muscles took time, having the data local would sure expedite the process. Think of all the roles, military and otherwise that require memorization of facts/processes and the applications of this tech become had to imagine.

SD

I can recall it for you wholesale (2)

tekrat (242117) | about 3 months ago | (#47417135)

Jonny Mnemonic is real. Hack the Gibson. I know how you're wired, cowboy. It was hot the night we burnt Chrome.

Better still (1, Redundant)

mfh (56) | about 3 months ago | (#47417139)

Let's apply this towards eventually getting Matrix-styled learning models. Eventually we could implant memories of how to perform any skill. We could enable permanent muscle-memory learning instantaneously. Not only learning karate but being able to apply the lessons with strength and precision. Never having to work out to be in shape. Understanding advanced physics without ever taking a course at a university or even having any partial interest in the subject. That's a step towards singularity.

Re:Better still (1)

neo-mkrey (948389) | about 3 months ago | (#47417369)

Dude! I know kung-fu!

Re:Better still (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#47417419)

"Information is not knowledge." and "Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein.

Re:Better still (2)

Falos (2905315) | about 3 months ago | (#47417603)

I can't tell if you're intentionally describing Dollhouse or not.

Re:Better still (1)

konaya (2617279) | about 3 months ago | (#47420827)

Somehow I imagine remembering doing stuff in a body different to your own will render most practical skills unusable when transferred.

Re:Better still (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | about 3 months ago | (#47422721)

*Warning: Dollhouse spoilers ahead*

Meh, if they can replace all memory then the first step will be better hookers. Why settle for a hooker that knows she only pretends to love you when you can order one who doesn't know it's only pretend?
Next step will be programmable assasins.
Third step will be a programmed president. Why bribe the current one when you can replace him with one you own?
Fourth step will be a bigger problem, but it'll take the a while to figure out how to program people over the phone without active architecture.

Say goodbye to your 5th amendment rights. (1)

Zeek40 (1017978) | about 3 months ago | (#47417203)

If you think DARPA is funding "development of multi-scale computational models with high spatial and temporal resolution that describe how neurons code declarative memories " because they care about veterans and not because they're looking for a more effective way to pull memories from people's minds than water-boarding, you haven't been paying attention to how America treats their military veterans.

Already planned 20 yrs ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47417263)

The Turing Option by Harry Harrison and Marvin Minsky
http://www.amazon.com/Turing-Option-Novel-Harry-Harrison/dp/0446515655/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404929367&sr=1-2&keywords=the+turing

Not a good idea (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#47417393)

Do we really want to depend on computers for our knowledge [wikipedia.org] and our memories [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Not a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47417563)

Meh. We already do. How many of us can remember more than a handful of phone numbers without a cellphone?
And before that, how many.... without a written phone book?

Re:Not a good idea (1)

Minwee (522556) | about 3 months ago | (#47417597)

I don't see why not [adamcadre.ac] .

Military In Charge? (2)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 3 months ago | (#47417545)

The very last group we want doing this research is one under military control. The potential for abuse is obvious. Does anyone trust the military not to use this technology on soldiers who have not been injured? The potential to create a zombie warrior with no concern for his own survival would be too tempting. Or perhaps one wants an assassin. The idea of helping the mentally impaired is wonderful but let someone other than the military maintain control of this technology.

Fund the research by building in targeted ads! (1)

StefanJ (88986) | about 3 months ago | (#47417701)

Google* and others should be willing to pour big bucks into the research. We may as well bow to the inevitable and let them build DRM, mandatory personality profile tracking, and advertising insertion right into artificial memory creation standards.

* New motto: "We'll figure out what 'evil' is and then not do it."

Don't stop there (1)

newsman220 (1928648) | about 3 months ago | (#47418005)

I could use a math coprocessor.

Works great (2)

PPH (736903) | about 3 months ago | (#47418081)

But this damned dog [slashdot.org] keeps following me around, barking.

Implications for copyright? (2)

mark-t (151149) | about 3 months ago | (#47418137)

When the mere act of *remembering* something can amount to creating a diigtal copy of it because of a brain implant, can copyright even continue to exist?

Re:Implications for copyright? (1)

NotInHere (3654617) | about 3 months ago | (#47418913)

No you won't be abled to do thought crime, as you will get DRM into your implant. Everything you know will be uploaded to google, and then the "rights owners" can browse through the thoughts of humanity to find and delete "infringing content".

Better put in an "inhbitor chip"! (1)

Eric Smith (4379) | about 3 months ago | (#47418277)

Maybe even two, in case one gets broken!

Just what we needed... (1)

downright (1625607) | about 3 months ago | (#47418319)

A world where Comcast can slow down access to your Cloud Brain unless your Brain provider pays them for the same file transfer you are already paying them for. Damn you future Comcast! Damn you!

Many uses. (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 3 months ago | (#47418523)

So you can create a chip with a memory of having been waterboarded 176 times plus the usual amount of testicular electrification and use it on other prisoners?
Nice.

Psychological ramifications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47419189)

An amazing concept, that I do hope works. My only concern is the possibility of personality distortion from synthetic memories and/or lost memory access.

And before you know it ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47419207)

You'll remember that you really really like Obama, and that your constitution is in reality just a piece of paper, like the stuff the Fed prints so much of, and ...

Now at crazy bob's (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 months ago | (#47419267)

Welcome to crazy bob's cyberspace good stuff emporium where a spot in the matrix will win you one of these awards

We Are Borg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47419323)

Resistance Is Futile, you will be inseminated.

Applied use (1)

tech.kyle (2800087) | about 3 months ago | (#47419447)

If we can build it, does that mean we can manipulate it? How soon until I can pirate my doctorate?

Total Recall (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47420569)

this is like the film 'total recall' !

Healing or making programmable cyborgs ? (1)

slash0r (3734763) | about 3 months ago | (#47420687)

This would lead to some highly prospective military applications...

To medicine point of view, I think we may prefer getting regenerative medicine first.

If you intellectually understand *how* memories... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 3 months ago | (#47420929)

... are formed, then could you algorithmically synthesize that process with your own mind to help you remember things? Seems like this could present a foolproof way to bypass a lie detector if possible, since you could synthesize the memory of the event that you want to lie about, and form it in your brain as if it were a real memory so that you no longer can appear to be lying about it.

Black Mirror (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47420945)

Black Mirror S01E03.
Implanting false memories will get a LOT simpler. Brrrr...
Police scanning will get a LOT creepier. Brrrr...
And big corporations will be able to sue the parents who made mistakes (ie: all humans) for the lack of confidence of their children leading to damages against earnings !

How many years 'til the first kid brillantly nails an exam and says : "it's all thanks to my <memory_chip_brand> !" ?

Synthetic Memory Aids Judicial Convictions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47421919)

The U.S. DoJ will mandate that all citizens, U.S. persons in their vernacular, will be required to undergo synthetic memory surgery before trial.
The purpose is to implant memories into U.S. Persons in order to gain swift convictions when the U.S. Person is the claimant against the Federal U.S. Government of Obama.

implant signals, and neural interfaces (1)

danielzip53 (1717992) | about 3 months ago | (#47423293)

Is this just a precursor for implanting signals into a brain (totally scifi), but from my understanding encryption and "packet" injection/hijacking is far easier than decryption... so wouldn't it provide "them" the building blocks to push direct data/memories etc into the brain? Just a thought.

The other thought was this tech in combination with reactionary neural sensory tech (currently available off the shelf) would lead to direct neural interfaces for "their" upcoming Mech's - I prefer that term than the DoD's term.
I don't mean by a plug, I mean direct signal connection. So the ability to write a brain API for a Mech...
Being able to have the reactionary neural sensors pick up the correct part of the brain which means turn right, and no other meaning of the word right, along with the the brain and interface "speaking" in the same language, would make for some pretty scary future tech in my opinion.

Quick someone patent the idea of a Brain API !

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