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.

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6 Responses to Would YOU want a Google-like memory?

  1. Why replace something that is obviously far more superior (our brain) to fakes (computer chip)? Given our current time and place, I won't do it even if "they" paid me. But then again, who really can predict the future. Even now, to stay competitive people are popping brain enhancement pills, Maybe everyone will have hack-able brain in near future.

    ~shiver-at-the-thought-someone-poking-around-my-brain

    • true the human brain has proccessing power and learning abilities that computers will lack for quite some time, but the human memmory is shotty compared to that of a computer. we are hardwired to filter things our brain deems as unimportant, some lucky souls are born without this, but the majority of us are limited to a relitivley small amount of memory. a computerized aspect of human memory would drastically increase human ability in all fields and in my opinion, is the future. by 2030 the human brain will be commonly inegrated with computers.

  2. Why replace something that is obviously far more superior (our brain) to fakes (computer chip)? Given our current time and place, I won’t do it even if “they” paid me. But then again, who really can predict the future. Even now, to stay competitive people are popping brain enhancement pills, Maybe everyone will have hack-able brain in near future.

    ~shiver-at-the-thought-someone-poking-around-my-brain

    • true the human brain has proccessing power and learning abilities that computers will lack for quite some time, but the human memmory is shotty compared to that of a computer. we are hardwired to filter things our brain deems as unimportant, some lucky souls are born without this, but the majority of us are limited to a relitivley small amount of memory. a computerized aspect of human memory would drastically increase human ability in all fields and in my opinion, is the future. by 2030 the human brain will be commonly inegrated with computers.

  3. I don't know why change our brain for a computer chip. But that can be helpful! I don't know if I would like have that implanted (if your asking me, I will probably say yes due to geek attitude :p), but for the persons which have Alzheimer for example, that may be a "good solution".

  4. I don’t know why change our brain for a computer chip. But that can be helpful! I don’t know if I would like have that implanted (if your asking me, I will probably say yes due to geek attitude :p), but for the persons which have Alzheimer for example, that may be a “good solution”.

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