By Robert Uhlig
The Electronic Telegraph (England)
(From CNI News)
A computer chip implanted behind the eye that could record a person’s every lifetime thought and sensation is to be developed by British scientists. “This is the end of death,” said Dr. Chris Winter, of British Telecom’s artificial life team. He predicted that within three decades it would be possible to relive other people’s lives by playing back their experiences on a computer. “By combining this information with a record of the person’s genes, we could recreate a person physically, emotionally and spiritually.”
Dr. Winter’s team of eight scientists at BT’s Martlesham Heath Laboratories near Ipswich calls the chip the ‘Soul Catcher.’ It would be possible to imbue a new-born baby with a lifetime’s experiences by giving him or her the Soul Catcher chip of a dead person, Dr. Winter said. The proposal to digitize existence is based on a solid calculation of how much data the brain copes with over a lifetime.
Ian Pearson, BT’s official futurologist, has measured the flow of impulses from the optical nerve and nerves in the skin, tongue, ear, and nose. Over an eighty year life, we process 10 terabytes of data, equivalent to the storage capacity of 7,142,857,142,860,000 floppy disks.
Dr. Pearson said, “If current trends in the miniaturization of computer memory continue at the rate of the past 20 years – a factor of 100 every decade – today’s 8-megabyte memory chip norm will be able to store 10 terabytes in 30 years.”
British Telecom would not divulge how much money it is investing in the project, but Dr. Winter said it was taking ‘Soul Catcher 2025’ very seriously. He admitted that there were profound ethical considerations, but emphasized that BT was embarking on this line of research to enable it to remain at the forefront of communications technology.
“An implanted chip would be like an aircraft’s black box and would enhance communications beyond current concepts,” he said. “For example, police would be able to use it to relive an attack, rape, or murder from the victim’s viewpoint to help catch the criminal.”
Other applications would be less useful but more frightening. “I could even playback the smells, sounds, and sights of my holiday to my friends,” Dr. Winter said.