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Rats Connected by Mind Link a la Borg

Started by _Xenu_, March 01, 2013, 08:27:34 PM

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NitzWalsh

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
~ Arthur C. Clarke

Hydra009

Seen the story before, with mixed reactions.  Some dispute the validity of the experiment (7/10 is not exactly a stellar result) and there's lots of sadly predictable knee-jerking about this regarding alleged animal cruelty (/le sigh) and fears of some sort of dystopia coming out of this.

Still, I'm proud of my state for taking part in this sort of research.  Brain interfacing is an important area of research.  Progress here has enormous potential benefits and may turn "meeting of the minds" into a much more literal phrase.   :)

But, as always...run more tests!  MOAR TESTS!

Plu

Looks fascinating. I'm not sure how relevant the 7/10 number is, I guess it'd have to be compared to the normal odds of success. But I'd assume the scientists thought of that and have it in their research ;)

Hydra009

Quote from: "Plu"I'm not sure how relevant the 7/10 number is, I guess it'd have to be compared to the normal odds of success
Normal is 5/10.  Both rats were trained to push one of two levers based on a light signal over the correct lever.  Could be from the decoder receiving an unclear message - the article states that when the decoder picked the wrong one and the encoder didn't get its treat, the encoder was much more clear in its choice the next time around and the encoder was more likely to push the correct lever.

In any case, it got similar results with another experiment, so it's probably not a fluke.

QuoteBut I'd assume the scientists thought of that and have it in their research ;)
One would hope so.  The full report should make for interesting reading.

Hydra009

Quote from: "drunkenshoe"Almost all the experiments made on mice is about animal cruelty regarding brain and nervous system. There is a section in the book I was reading about the brain and it's horrible. But then it's hope for people who has brain damages, alzheimer, strokes...  I feel so bad about hurting little animals, but then and also something very good for human health is done. It's so depressing.
I sympathize with the position somewhat, but please bear in mind that mice are used in these experiments precisely because of complaints of animal cruelty towards more intelligent species, particularly apes, being experimented upon.  Mice were (and still often are) reviled as vermin and not given much moral concern.  That zeitgeist is changing, and ol' Scabbers is given more consideration - making insects an attractive testing alternative - but mice are sadly necessary for some experiments.  And in research of this sort of import, I have no moral objection to using mice as experiment subjects.

PopeyesPappy

Save a life. Adopt a Greyhound.


NitzWalsh

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
~ Arthur C. Clarke

stromboli

I don't think the ideas of Skynet and the Matrix are that far fetched. In my lifetime of reading science fiction, I have seen a lot of prophetic predictions come true, from lasers to a space station, Mars exploration and so on. The fact that we are working in those directions are kind of macabre. There are 7 billion humans. We are, I believe, the most numerous primate species on the planet. Hooking up humans to make batteries makes some scary kind of sense. Considering that we don't mind exploiting humans as slave labor now, what is the difference to sticking them in nutrient tanks and hooking them up to a gigantic storage battery?

Hydra009

Quote from: "stromboli"I don't think the ideas of Skynet and the Matrix are that far fetched.
I do.  First off, people aren't that into black leather.   :P

QuoteIn my lifetime of reading science fiction, I have seen a lot of prophetic predictions come true, from lasers to a space station, Mars exploration and so on.
Yeah, but gains have been a lot more modest than predicted, and went in a lot of directions that weren't widely anticipated.  We can't go to the moon for the weekend, but we can chat in realtime with people on different continents.  And we don't have robot butlers, but a lot of people have personal computers.  We don't have flying cars, but we have the beginnings of self-driving cars.  People anticipated a Space Age.  They got an Information Age instead.

Basically, lots and lots of Zeerust.  Some predictions were right on the money, but most of 'em were waaaay off.

QuoteThe fact that we are working in those directions are kind of macabre.
What's macabre about helping people with neural disorders?

QuoteThere are 7 billion humans. We are, I believe, the most numerous primate species on the planet. Hooking up humans to make batteries makes some scary kind of sense.
No, it doesn't.  That was the most egregious plot hole in the Matrix and I'm more than a little surprised to see it brought up seriously.  I won't bore everyone with the physics, but human beings would be an incredibly bad power source.  (In the movie, the machines combine human body heat with "a form of fusion".  Gah).  The writers simply needed a reason to keep humans around after their defeat and went with one of the dumber options.