I kept saying the same thing about laser eye surgery…Then I got presbyopia and the utility of it went way down because I’d need to carry around reading glasses ANYWAY…
The trouble with that comparison is that unlike laser eye surgery, which was about mathing out just how bright that laser needed to be to adjust the cornea without damaging the retina, this has obvious problems that the researchers are not acknowledging; that of rust, and w/e the fudge they call it when implanted shit drifts due to tissue wear and tear/movement.
Beyond those issues, what of the displacement of fluids/brain tissues?
And of course, how the fuck did they decode the hippocampus’ code when we’re struggling to understand what the much simpler motor neurons are saying to each other?
I smell snake oil and dangerous, magical thinking. It smells like brain damage and ruined lives.
I see they’ve hired you to put together a logo?
If they’re paying (upfront), I’ll design it: sure!
I had already forgotten about this.
The Story of Johnny Head-in-Air concerns a boy who habitually fails to watch where he’s walking. One day he walks into a river; he is soon rescued, but his writing-book drifts away.
(Wikipedia’s take on one of the Struwwelpeter stories)
I look forward to the Netflix documentary about what went wrong.
Fascinating—it sounds like an 1800s version of Goofus & Gallant. I like “Hans Guck-in-die-Luft” much better than “Johnny Head-in-Air” though!
They’ve already tested it in rats and monkeys, and they’ve been working on it at a major university for twenty years. These sound like problems they should have already worked out.
I think that if it was snake oil, the results would have come much more quickly, that the earlier steps would be fudged or skipped, and that it wouldn’t be coming from a place like USC.
Not that I have evidence that things weren’t fudged; it just seems like a hell of a long way to go out of the way for a long con.
Get my broker! Stop all my investments on cold fusion, air cars and inviso-cloaks! The future is brain implants!
I don’t think it’s infeasible on the technical side. I just don’t know if it’s economically viable. The demand may be there, but it’s unlikely to be affordable to the masses without some mandate for third-party payer. Meanwhile the costs of moving it through approval and safety regulatory apparatuses are not insignificant. I may have this all wrong, but color me skeptical.
I am sure there is real science involved. However, once the VCs bring in marketing folks, the cautious skepticism of good science tends to yield to other, more immediate considerations.
Baby Einstein was based on science, too, and ending up being a fraud.
This seems like the first step to something akin to Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
I remember the original eye surgery was done by a Russian guy who based his technique on a patient who had got punched in the face so hard that it tore the ligaments that suspended his eye lens, which reduced the pull on the lens and hence reduced the focus. Given that medical science has moved on a bit, I would say we were pretty much in the state with brain surgery that we were thirty or so years back, when we were trying to match the therapeutic effects of a punch from a random Russian passer-by.
There is all sorts of strange stuff in the brain. The hippocampus is particularly strange: it ought to be the place where the left and the right half of the brain talk, but it is strangely quiet, electrically speaking. However, if we are trying to understand the brain, thirty years of people paying to have their own brains zapped might get us to the place where I might put my own brain up for treatment. By then, as with my eyes, I will probably be fixed-focus, and treatment is no-longer practical.
But, hey, when did medicine ever learn anything from a healthy person?
Paging Lieutenant Simon Illyan, Paging Lieutenant Simon Illyan, Captain Negri has an assignment for you.
Assuming this thing works, it gives you the really interesting ability to choose to turn OFF long term memory formation. You can start by watching a film or playing a video game over and over without getting bored, but it quickly gets weird and creepy as you explore further from ‘normal’. Interesting. What would you choose to do but not remember?
Yeah, but they could really mess with their customers by greeting each new person who walked in the clinic with “Welcome back! How has the memory implant been working?”
This seems to be coming out of an ongoing DARPA initiative.
A classic case of blue-sky research funded by the public going private as soon as there are commercial possibilities.