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Thread: Neurological implants

  1. #1 Neurological implants 
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    There has probably been a hundred sci fi movies or books featuring computerized implants in the nervous system. The problem is that in sci fi the chips take over the human body and kill everyone for dramatic effect. The reality is that a chip can't take over your brain unless it's artificially intelligent, and no one would be dumb enough to stick an AI in their neck. Am I saying there wouldn't be dangers? No! There's still the problem of hackers or totalitarian governments, but for now let's just daydream about the applications, not the ethics. Like every advancement, where there is a high potential for loss, there is a high potential for gain. Think of how much cooler your iPhones would be plugged into your brain! The same old technology (maybe some improvements) with the ultimate interface. Neither touchscreen, buttons, or even seri have anything on this; you can type with your mind and see google maps through your own eyes. If you have a cold your implant can tell your sinuses to stop making mucus. Fatal allergy? I have an app to fix that. And the apex of this technology: all the knowledge the internet or downloadable sources have to offer permanently edged into your short term memory. Speaking of memory, I would like an identical one please. Oh cool, there's a 30 day trial for free on iTunes.

    Share some applications you see in this, or elaborate on mine.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope MagiMaster's Avatar
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    Such things are in the works, to one degree or another. The big set back here (besides ethics again) is that we still don't know much about how the brain works. If you're going to put a chip in your brain, you need to make sure the chip is designed to speak the brain's language and we simply don't know how to do that yet.


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    I'm beginning to think you're stalking me. Or maybe you should join a debate club
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21st Centurion View Post
    I'm beginning to think you're stalking me. Or maybe you should join a debate club
    WTF? That's a strange response to a reply.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope MagiMaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21st Centurion View Post
    I'm beginning to think you're stalking me. Or maybe you should join a debate club
    It's a public forum. I can see any post by any one. I don't reply to most because I don't have anything useful to say. It's only coincidence that I have had something to say in reply to your posts and have been the first to do so.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Professor Daecon's Avatar
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    I think the most promising area for neural implants would be in the field of prosthetic limbs.

    Of course, I suspect military applications would be the focus for certain people, similar to the concept of the movie "Surrogates". Of course, that's pretty much sci-fi at our current level of technology. Give it another 100 years or so.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope MagiMaster's Avatar
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    Prosthetics are definitely where most such research is coming from. Most of the related military applications seem to be in the area of exoskeletons. (After all, you don't really want to have to perform invasive surgery on every soldier.)

    Growing out of that research are various possibilities for enhancing otherwise health individuals though, but that's still quite a ways off. (I know I'm just about ready to pay for a memory boosting implant.)
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  9. #8  
    not ADM!N grmpysmrf's Avatar
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    the military making Limbs (I'm sure we've all seen the star wars hand for that older guy on the news at this point?) Makes me think it's for this purpose...

    "Here, put this robotic hand on and get back out there and shoot the enemy."

    Reminds me of an Episode of MASH where some colonel couldn't wait to get his men out of recovery to go take back a Hill of some sort, and Hawkeye has to come put the smack down on his bloodlust. great episode.
    "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."
    President Dwight Eisenhower
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  10. #9  
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    Just out of curiosity, why is this in Pseudo Science?

    5 years ago youd get sent to pseudo science for talking about nerve-controlled robotic prosthetics, which are being made today. Why is neuro-implants that much less likely?

    Maybe I misunderstand something here. I though pseudo-science was about topics that border over to science fiction?
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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  11. #10  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope MagiMaster's Avatar
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    The OP created the thread here, so you'd have to ask them.

    Edit: Pseudoscience isn't the same as sci-fi though. In sci-fi you openly acknowledge that you're assuming something unrealistic (to one degree or another) and then explore the implications. In pseudoscience, you throw out the scientific method and still try and apply your results to reality.
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  12. #11  
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    The technology to send and receive impulses is surprisingly simple, and rather old now. But part of how the brain works is that it learns to use itself, and learns to use what it's connected to. We won't get plug-ins that work just out-of-the-box, and we shouldn't.

    I reckon our successful application of neural implants will begin with handicapped children, or better yet babies. I think they'll begin with an unsophisticated reward feedback, such as playing a tune when the child fires a certain cluster of neurons. Later, when the child has mastered it, the faux-motor control may be reassigned to, say, operate a mechanical limb. Impulses could go the other way too (senses) but again it can't work well out-of-the-box or in isolation.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  13. #12  
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    It seems a lot like when i post topics like this (sort of out there), the discussion gradually tries to bring it down to earth. The point isn't to say what people could do with the current technology, the point is to address the problems with a concept and periodically come up with solutions for them. Sure, you could use this technology to play music when babies think, but that's not the type of radical, and yes i mean radical, application that i would come up with. I'll try to move this thread to the sci-fi section if you all think it's taking a turn in that direction, but I don't see a reason not to continue discussions here.
    "only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity; and i'm not sure about the universe." -Albert Einstein
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  14. #13  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope MagiMaster's Avatar
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    This is a science forum. We generally try to discuss known science in most sections. It does sound like Sci-Fi is more along the lines of what you want. (Sci-fi authors do often try and tackle the problems and solutions created by technology.)
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