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back to article Cranial RAM cram plan aims to restore memory

Brain implant chips – beloved of conspiracy theorists and science fiction writers alike for decades – have finally made it onto the US government's research list, courtesy of DARPA. The Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency, home to research into humanoid robots, guided bullets, Spider-Man-style climbing pads, suspended …

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Coat

bleeding edge research ?

Noble goal, given that brain stores memory in a very different manner than machines. At least the money is not going on the next round of death manufacturing. My coats the one with the MRI symbol

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Re: bleeding edge research ?

first step fixing damaged brain. second step instant training for pilots, tank drivers, special forces and ship captains.

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Re: bleeding edge research ?

"instant training for pilots, tank drivers, special forces and ship captains."

Pilots have already been replaced by autonomous machines. Tank drivers can be easily replaced by any of a dozen commercial driverless techs. What do you need with special forces when you have UCAVs and what do you need with ship captains when all the ships do is launch drones?

Robots fight. Humans in military are useful primarily for building and helping places recover from natural disasters. The military doesn't need soldiers anymore...it needs sappers.

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Gimp

Déjà vu?

Hadn't pretty much the same thing been done more than ten years ago? Get on with the scalpel already.

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Joke

Re: Déjà vu?

Maybe they forgot.

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Re: Déjà vu?

Or it's for a different problem? The referenced New Scientist link specifies the 10-year-old research was for ``brain damage due to stroke, epilepsy or Alzheimer's disease''. Are they sufficiently different from Traumatic Brain Injury to require a new approach?

OTOH, I don't remember hearing about any results in the last decade, so maybe it just didn't work out.

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Go

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will catch up to $US2.5 million to create an actual “implantable neural device” – if the inter-disciplinary skunk-works' the universities put together manage to come up with an actual design.

They should go ahead with this part anyway: the brain-to-chip interface is the most important part of the entire thing. If you can get an interface working properly, you can then develop all kinds of different chips to plug into that interface: it doesn't have to be just memory functions, it could be wifi communication, knowledge databases, all manner of stuff.

The mind boggles! (sorry, couldn't resist).

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No.

Just no. Some things are not okay.

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Coat

Will it leave their subjects dimm-witted?

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Anonymous Coward

A lot more potential than just helping those with failing memory

Your typical human brain does not naturally lists particularly well*, nor is it a natural number cruncher. Such technology could potentially be used to augment perfectly normal brains.

* Yes, yes, I know there are some pretty effective associative memory techniques out there, but these are just self-hacking.

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Anonymous Coward

Surprise?

DARPA have experience with getting subjects to talk recovering memories by applying electric currents of some form to the brain ...

Surprise!

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Silver badge

Where do I put my name down to have a micro-SD slot installed in my head?

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Trollface

Re: micro-SD enabled barnet

"All ur brain r belong to us..."

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Re: micro-SD enabled barnet

> "All ur brain r belong to us..."

We Can Remember It for You Wholesale

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Anonymous Coward

Conflicted feelings

As someone whose TBI has left me unable to continue working in tech, such an advance would be a godsend. As someone who believes the gov't already has too many ways to snoop on my state of mind, I damn' well want to see the schematics before they come anywhere near me. If the widget includes anything like WiFi or Bluetooth, we know what it's for.

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Johnny Mnemonic?

I hope they get better storage capacity than Keanu did.

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Joke

Pre-loaded with content from our sponsor...

Doctor: "Yes Mr. Smith, the sponsored memory works exactly like the RAM that you are paying for, except that whenever you eat a McDonut, your actual memory of eating the donut will be replaced within 5 minutes with a happy memory of eating the donut. Many people think this is an advantage."

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Anonymous Coward

Re. TBI

Sorry to hear that, some sort of bionic implant would certainly be an option.

Wasn't there an article about using gallium-indium-selenium as a stable liquid interconnect?

Also relevant, a lot of work is going on to use near infrared to regenerate the retina which is CNS tissue so an extension of this could be used.

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