if your most brilliant teacher could upload their brain to the cloud. Imagine if pilots were truly in sync during your flight. Imagine if we were able to slowly break down language barriers and open up entirely new lines of communication.
The UW researchers pose the question much more eloquently in their study, published in the journal PLOS ONE.
“A great deal of the information that is available to our brain is not introspectively available to our consciousness, and thus cannot be voluntarily put in linguistic form. For instance, knowledge about one’s own fine motor control is completely opaque to the subject , and thus cannot be verbalized. As a consequence, a trained surgeon or a skilled violinist cannot simply “tell” a novice how to exactly position and move the fingers during the execution of critical hand movements. But even knowledge that is introspectively available can be difficult to verbalize. Brilliant teachers may struggle to express abstract scientific concepts in language , and everyone is familiar with the difficulty of putting one’s own feelings into words. Even when knowledge can be expressed in words, one might face the hurdle of translating between the many existing spoken human languages. Can information that is available in the brain be transferred directly in the form of the neural code, bypassing language altogether?”
While all of this is fascinating, there’s the cynical part of me that wonders if scientific “breakthroughs” like this are just another reason to bust out the tinfoil hats to keep the government out of my brain. What if a brain-data black market popped up and slowly disintegrated the already fragile fabric of our educational system? What if it’s only a matter of time before you can hack someone’s iCloud and turn them into Carrie? Is this one step closer to the true information superhighway, or simply an excuse to use academia as a cover for mind control experiments?