Would YOU want a Google-like memory?

By Mark O’Neill

Some of us (including me) have shocking short-term memories. Mine is so bad that I constantly consider buying shares in the Post-It Notes company since I rely on them full time to run my life.

But if you could have a computer chip implanted in your brain that would turn your memory into a Google-like search engine, would you do it? How much would you be willing to pay for something like this? And what would be the possible side-effects of such a medical procedure? Would it impair your ability to be a normal human – to love, to feel or to think?

These are the questions posed by Gary Marcus, a professor of psychology at New York University, who is the author of “Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind“. It’s a very provocative question and one definitely worth thinking about.

The NYT article I have linked to above briefly examines how the human memory works compared to computer memory and then discusses how a human brain has problems recalling some things where a computer doesn’t. It’s a fascinating article and one worth reading. I am definitely going to buy Professor Marcus’s book also.