Thursday, November 05, 2009

"iThink" Tech & The Evolution of the Mind

"I hate this place. This zoo. This prison.
This Reality- whatever you want to call it,
I can't stand it any longer.
It's the smell, if there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it.
I can taste your stink and every time I do,
I fear that I've somehow been infected by it. "
-Agent Smith "The Matrix"

I have been collecting links for awhile about emerging technologies that will inevitably enhance the phenomenon that we call "human consciousness." I think that all of the advancements I'll be listing are leading to the possibility of our minds being augmented by a future technology like my conceptual "Apple iThink."

A couple things led me to finally post what I've found so far. Recently blogger Mac Tonnies passed away unexpectedly, & he was only a few years older than me at 34. His blog Posthuman Blues was a regular read of mine that I enjoyed because of the unorthodox, mind-bending content. It was a great mix of futurism, Fortean speculations, & general weirdness.

The other factor has been my current forced week-long stint at home due to illness. Nothing makes you dream of transcending the mortal confines of the flesh than being seriously sick. I started sympathizing with Agent Smith in the scene above, except he was imagining a trip in the opposite direction- from the digital realm of light into the physical world of the human body.

The mortality & existence of man has been a source of concern since the dawn of time. The Egyptians believed we were spirits of light encased in these bodies. The Gnostics imagined Reality as a type of virtual prison that confines our luminous true selves. The Taoists believe everything is just emanations of the ever-fluctuating, infinite Tao.

Of course, our experience is limited by the sensory nature of our interaction with the world. The universe of information bombarding each of us at each moment is distilled by our physical receptors & organs including the brain. What if we could transcend these limitations? Physics teaches that as a human traveling in a spaceship speeds up and approaches the speed of light, the relative experience of time slows down. However, nothing with mass can actually reach the velocity of electromagnetic energy.

I've always wondered what would happen if the functioning of the human mind were no longer constrained by the chemical & biological processes of the neural connections in the brain. If our thoughts could somehow actually travel uninhibited at the speed of light, how would it affect our perception, & would there even be any perception left as we know it? Perhaps like an inverse, large scale Bose-Einstein condensate, our mind would expand into... everything!

So with these thoughts off my mind, I'll share some fascinating discoveries that have caught my eye- myriad doors all leading to a future in which the human experience may be much different than the limited, localized reality-tunnel that each of us currently knows.

"Mind Uploading and Mind Children"

"MIT team develops hi-fi quantum memory"

Artificial brain '10 years away'

The Future of Human Enhancement

Will We Eventually Upload Our Minds?

Brain-to-brain communication over the Internet

Multi-contact brain probe can be injected through a needle

The Psychedelic Transhumanists

Raytheon's combat simulator offers virtual action in real world

Scientists hail a thoughtful future with ‘brain-to-brain communication’

An Input/Output Device for the Brain - Made of Light, Algae, and Bacteria

Here's the Apple iThink concept I came up with:

Apple "iThink" - Upgraded

Apple "iThink" Technical Specifications

• Size:
1.5 x 1.5 x .5 inches

• Symbiosis™ Neural Interface:
Direct brain-computer link means your mind and computer are one!

• Intel Fusion™ Quantum Processing:
Uses the power of the atom to instantly compute at the speed of thought.

• Holographic Data Storage:
The iThink’s tiny internal holochip has a staggering individual capacity of over 666 Yottabytes (1000^8), for seemingly infinite augmented memory

• Intra-neural Communication:
Mentally allow or block any kind of signal you want to send or recieve instantly over the wireless iThink global network

• Perceptual Immersion:
Images, sound, & other data are projected virtually into your sensory fields by directly connecting into your brain’s activity

• Integrated GPS and Google Earth:
Receive directions and location information anywhere on the planet, and the ability to be located in case of an emergency


Philippe Nicolaï-Dashwood said...

You can add several capabilities (some even available for current computers) such as:
- TeCHlepathy (technologically enabled telepathy as proposed by Kevin Warwick) through integrated Apple Airport Extreme / Apple iPhone
- iHive cluster computing ("power thinking") by a mindgroup of iThink users
- iDaimon: Healthy Multiplicity & thoughts multi-tasking / multi-threading / multi-processing and social masks (with daimons as features in Walter Jon Williams' novel "Aristoi")
- iClone, remotely controlled semi-autonomous surrogate
- iValet, virtual personal assistant managing iButlers, virtual estate (vehicles, houses, clothes...) managers as featured in Peter F. Hamilton's novels "Pandora's Box" and "Judas Unchained"

Sean said...

Haha, very cool. I appreciate the little easter egg with the "666 yottabytes". Just like the Bible prophecy where at one point in the future all the damned ones will be marked with "666".