WHAT IT IS?
Imagine that we are in 2035, John Stuart (our hypothetical character) has just had an accident, is in a coma for one year and when he wakes up he does not remember anything at all. The luck is that John had recently given in to doctors’ advice and uploaded his memory, thus being able to restore the damage lost by implanting a chip in his brain.
This story could be a screenplay for a science fiction film, but no. It only foresees a probable future, and the emergence of a new health professional, the memory surgeon.
That’s it. The memory surgeon will be the doctor responsible for uploading a human mind to a Specialized computer chips. This can provide benefits such as improved memory and paralysis treatments. In addition, memory surgeons can remove negative memories to treat depression and other psychological illnesses.
WHY IT’S COOL?
- Much is questioned about what we can consider as human life, what characterizes it. And without a doubt, memory has a relevant factor in this discussion. We are, in a way, the story we write throughout life. Being able to recover our history lost due to an illness or an accident can mean giving back meaning to thousands of people who have seen their ties to the past, their memories erased, that is, the awareness of who they are.
- This technology can also help patients with paralysis, helping neurologists to reverse these conditions. Until now, injuries that cause paralysis have limited tools for faster recovery of these conditions, the advent of this seed may bring hope for those who suffer from these comorbidities.
- In the field of psychiatry there have been considerable advances in the 21st century, although the levels of anxiety and depression have greatly increased with the advance of modernity. Even if questionable, this seed could give doctors the possibility of reversing chronic depression or anxiety symptoms by recognizing and managing past traumas.
- This seed still opens a window to a possibility that still frightens us and implies a series of ethical questions. With the possibility of archiving memory in the cloud, the advances in artificial and robotic intelligence, will we be able to live forever, even if “stored and fed” by the physical structures of a robot?
- Expand our storage capacity, that is, our memory.
WHY IT HAS FUTURE GROWTH POTENTIAL?
Memory is like a work of art based on a photo from the past, ‘says Martin Conway, director of the Center for Memory and Law at City University of London
According to WHO data in 2013, there were 190 million people with some form of severe disability, with an average annual increase of 500,000 cases of paralysis.
Also based on the World Health Organization (WHO), cases of dementia (loss of cognitive function with age) can triple up to 152 million people worldwide until 2050, according to a report published in 2019.
These datas in themselves reveal the growth potential of this seed.
In addition to the benefits that this professional and this technology can give to sick patients, it is also worth remembering that we are increasingly expanding our knowledge, not even some call our time a knowledge society.
As access to information is increasing, it may be necessary to add ‘extra spaces’ in human memory, increasing the capacity of memory by installing ‘devices’ in the human brain. The applications, although they may have morally and ethically questionable functions, also present a wide range of possibilities that may bring substantial gains to human life in the future.
Retrieved from an interview with Martin Conway – Época Negócios Magazine: https://epocanegocios.globo.com/Mundo/noticia/2020/02/por-que-criamos-memorias-do-que-nunca-aconteceu.html
Retrieved from World Health Organization from | International Perspectives on Spinal Cord Injury Report: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/94190/9789241564663_eng.pdf?sequence=1
Retrieved from World Health Organization |World Report on Aging and health – OMS: https://sbgg.org.br/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/OMS-ENVELHECIMENTO-2015-port.pdf
Retrieved from World Health Organization | Wolrd Disability Report : https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/70670/WHO_NMH_VIP_11.01_por.pdf;jsessionid=5E86DC5A62B1AF75CE604BC680AC07EE?sequence=9