Building The World Wide Mind

World Wide Mind, a new book by science writer Michael Chorost, explores some science-fictional ideas in the light of new research.


(World Wide Mind by Michael Chorost)

Imagine being able to sense friends' and colleagues' thoughts and feelings almost as they experience them. A world where everyone has technologies built into their brain that capture their sensations and stream them to other people around the world.

As far-fetched and remote as the technology sounds, Chorost says modern science is at the threshold of discoveries that could one day make his vision a reality. Technologies that will combine genetic engineering and computer chips based on neural networks to capture neural activity in the brain, and wirelessly stream the resulting terabytes of data to the wider world.

"The technologies I envision could be one path driving humanity to a level of sophistication that we can't imagine," Chorost said.

"I don't see it as acceleration. It's not about doing more stuff faster. It's about doing stuff that is as different from what chimpanzees do to what we do."

SF writers have of course been over this material before. In his 2005 novel Old Man's War, John Scalzi uses the idea of a BrainPal, a sophisticated neural implant.

Readers may also recall the Communications Implant from Niven and Pournelle's 1981 novel Oath of Fealty.

Read more about Chorost's book at Silicon.com. Thanks to Adi for submitting a tip on this item.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/14/2011)

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