On Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 3:15 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> OK, so you put in the brain implant, switch it in and out of circuit
>> without telling the subject which is which, and ask them how they
>> feel. They can't tell any difference and you can't tell any difference
>> in behaviour. To make the experiment better there would be two
>> researchers, one doing the switching and another analysing the
>> subject's behaviour. With this double blind procedure the implant is
>> pronounced successful. Is that good enough?
> No, I think that you have to have each hemisphere of the brain offloaded
> completely to the device one at a time, then both, and then back, and have
> the subject live that way at each stage for several months before finally
> being restored back to their original brain. This would be repeated several
> times with double blind placebo offloadings. The subject would then decide
> for themselves if it was safe for them to say yes to the doctor.

One would hope the scientists try it with a more limited part of the
brain before moving to an entire hemisphere.

> I entertain this only theoretically though, as I think in reality it would
> fail completely, with every case resulting right away in unconsciousness,
> amnesia, coma, death, trauma, and psychosis and the whole project ultimately
> being abandoned for good.

I don't doubt that initial experiments would not yield ideal results.
Neural prostheses would initially be used for people with
disabilities. Cochlear implants are better than being deaf, but not as
good as normal hearing. But technology keeps getting better while the
human body stays more or less static, so at some point technology will
match and then exceed it. At the very least, there is no theoretical
reason why it should not.

Stathis Papaioannou

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