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Better than the Borg: The Neurotech Era

Ramez Naam
By Ramez Naam

Posted: Jan 10, 2013

What if you could read my mind? What if I could beam what I’m seeing, hearing, and thinking, straight to you, and vice versa? What if an implant could store your memories, augment them, and make you smarter?

Long the stuff of science fiction, technology that can directly tap into, augment, and connect human brains is becoming science fact.  And that means big changes for all of us.

Consider what we’ve already done – getting data in and out of the human brain:

-          Hearing – At least 200,000 people alive today use a cochlear implant.  A cochlear implant looks like a hearing aid, but it works quite differently.  It takes sound waves in the environment and transforms them into nerve impulses to the auditory nerve.  In creating it, we’ve tapped into and partially decoded the way the nervous system represents sound.

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Ramez Naam, a Fellow of the IEET, is a computer scientist and the author of four books, including the sci-fi thriller Nexus and the nonfiction More than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement and The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet.  He writes at

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This piece accurately describes future advances in neuroscience. Everything was covered: Hearing, Sight, fMRI scans, Motion, Memory, and Intelligence.

As Arthur C. Clarke once said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” This surely includes tomorrow’s neuroscience world where a “magical future” appears to be rising.

Great article!

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