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Old 04-27-2010, 11:29 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Personally I'm excited for the development of this paradigm of human-computer interaction though I'm wondering how far it will progress in my lifetime. Brain-computer interfaces have been around for a while but as far as I know, there is no uninvasive solution which works well. And I believe that most research efforts have been directed towards helping out those who are impaired or disabled in some way rather than towards transhumanist endeavours (fair enough).

Perhaps in the future we'll be able to perform a brain dump in the true sense of the expression? Imagine being able to effortlessly record your thoughts over a period of time, store them digitally and return to them later. Imagine being able to backup your brain.

The inherent problem with human communication is that even under ideal circumstances where the speaker is exceptionally eloquent and comprehensible and the listener is appropriately receptive, there can still be a gulf in understanding between them caused by tacit assumptions and misconceptions that are never cleared up or clarified due to their seemingly trivial nature (or time constraints). Also, when trying to understand a problem, people settle for different levels of understanding and we sometimes think we fully comprehend a concept until something leads us to reassess our scope of it and we realise there's a gap in our understanding. All this aside, oral communication can be a pretty slow way to transfer ideas/information.

Technology which allows thoughts (or lower level brain activity) to be digitally recorded and either replayed directly in another person's brain (not terribly feasible atm) or represented in a human-digestible form (maybe a series of images?) could aid immensely with communication between people since it facilitates an objective, more comprehensive and hopefully more efficient stream of thought between people and/or machines. And I don't think I need to go into why BCI is preferable to using a mouse/keyboard.

Of course there are all sort of moral, ethical and philosophical implications at play. And going back to the enhanced communication idea, even if it isn't immoral and unethical, it might not feel right as it is so far removed from anything human. It certainly destroys any subtlety.

But anyway, it's 4 am and I've gone off on a massive tangent so I'm gonna cease with the chimerical meanderings.
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Old 04-28-2010, 12:04 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Some of this does sound like a Phillip K Dick nightmare.

What happens when we start arresting people for their thoughts? Like arrest people for having thoughts of killing somebody. Or when people start getting sexual stimulation tests and everyone who is confirmed to be sexually aroused by children get's a penalty?

The law should always be limited to regulating action and behavior, not thoughts and ideas. I'm worried that one day we could be lead into that direction.

On the other hand it would be cool to view other people's dreams, and who wouldn't want to record their own dreams? That would be kickass.
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Old 04-28-2010, 01:28 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I'd love to compose music in my head. We could develop some truly never-before-heard sounds.
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Old 04-28-2010, 01:49 PM   #34 (permalink)
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A lot of times I come up with really awesome melodies in my head when I'm half asleep but I always forget them.
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