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Showing posts from April, 2012

The World's First Billion Dollar Brain

How much might the highest bidder pay for Steve Jobs' intact brain in a jar? I could see a die-hard collector and history fan dropping 10 or 20 million $ for bragging rights. Maybe more.

But what if that buyer could count on extracting information from the brain? As science continues to better our understanding of functions like memory, intelligence and cognition, and improves brain-scanning and simulation, we're rapidly developing the ability to identify where and how information resides in brains. Researchers have already  distinguished between different recalled memories in brains. So how many more years will pass before mankind can read meaningful portions of the well-preserved brain of a deceased person? 5 years? 10? 20? 50? 100?  
The answer may well be 10-20 years, but even if it's 100 - that could seriously affect the price a person or an organization is willing to pay for a brain. The prospect of retro-active brain reading will surely push up the going rate for pres…

The Massively Multiplying Mini Me

The notion of the Quantified Self has been gaining popularity as people figure out more useful things to do with the data captured via their computers, devices and social networks. Many thinkers and companies (like fitbit) imagine this data can and will be used as a tool for revealing personal heath trends in areas like sleep, exercise, happiness, bodily functions and genetic disease. Some folks like mathematician Stephen Wolfram, who already are mining vast stores of personal data from over the years, believe introducing the appropriate search algorithms and systems to personal data will help us with identifying behavioral tendencies and thus help us be more productive. My friend, ASF President John Smart, takes a bigger more forward-looking perspective, sees a world in which this data will be used to create a Digital Twin for each of us that will fully anticipate our preferences and behavior and greatly assist us in all aspects of life.
I think they're all right.

That said, I beli…