Monday, September 28, 2009

SF saw it first?

A long time ago I read a SF story in which it was possible to take a snapshot of the last visual and emotional moments of someone who had died. In the story, if I remember it properly, this was used to find murderers (and, I think, subject them to the punishment of feeling and seeing their victim's last moments, over and over again.) I could have misremembered - if anyone recognises the story, do tell me.

Anyway, to get to my point. Just now I read this article.
And wow, guess what, a brain scan of your (living) brain can now tell a researcher what you have been looking at.

That's right. Look at a weed or a house or a flying squid...and there's a difference in the patterns of your neural activity - which can be picked up in a brain scan. Now all they have to do is refine the machinery and their analysis of it and we have a mind reader.

And then...what next?

Hmmm...

Imagine something, convert those thoughts into something a machine can read and reproduce - and bingo, photoshop your visual memories anyone? Oh, wow.

3 comments:

Jo said...

In his own lifetime, Isaac Asimov saw things he had written about come to fruition many years later. I have always believed writers think of it first and then scientists work out how to do it.

Did you ever read Asimov's stories about Multivac? If they were not the Internet by another name, what was?

Satima Flavell said...

"Photoshop your memories" - what a great idea!

I reckon I've read that story too, Glenda, but it was at least 30 years ago and I remember even less about it than you do:-(

Tropical Dragon said...

I mentioned this story to hubby because it seemed so familiar to me, and he came up with Minority Report, but on further investigation we found it was not the right one, however it *is* a Phillip K Dick story, so maybe the one you are thinking of was written by him??? Or this is the story and they changed it for the movie so crimes were stopped before they were committed?