Daniel H. Wilson on “If you could enhance yourself by some robotic accessory or implant, what would it be?”
The potential of robotic implants is limitless, but I am not interested in super-human powers. Instead, I’d be happy with human powers, and in particular the ability to remember. Growing up, I would read a used book and then sell it back to the store with the mistaken notion that I had copied the book into “the vault” of my mind. That was true while I was hot out of the gate, but after awhile, well, I don’t remember forgetting half of what I read and learned.
And that’s why I would consider adopting a type of neural implant called a “memory prosthetic.” Future versions of these implants could improve short-term memory retention and also help with the transfer of short-term memory to long-term. Implanted, my experiences could be finally be locked away safely in my brain, instead of being allowed to dribble slowly out of my ears over the decades. In thirty years I don’t want to have hard drives teeming with photos of forgotten trips, or scrap books stuffed with my kids’ childhoods, or your name hovering on the tip of my tongue. All I want, you see, is what’s mine.