Michio Kaku
Professor of Theoretical Physics, CUNY

Could We Learn Skills "Matrix"-Style?

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In the 1999 film "The Matrix," characters could simply learn a new set of skills by uploading a program into their brains. When (if ever) will we be able to that in real life?

Michio Kaku

Michio Kaku is a futurist, popularizer of science, and theoretical physicist, as well as a bestselling author and the host of two radio programs. He is the co-founder of string field theory (a branch of string theory), and continues Einstein’s search to unite the four fundamental forces of nature into one unified theory. He holds the Henry Semat Chair and Professorship in theoretical physics and a joint appointment at City College of New York and the Graduate Center of C.U.N.Y. He is also a visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Kaku launched his Big Think blog, "Dr. Kaku's Universe," in March 2010.


Michio Kaku: We all saw the movie "The Matrix" where you simply jack in a program into our brain and bingo, we are karate masters. Bingo, we know how to drive a helicopter. Can we do that now or maybe in the near future? And the answer is probably not because the brain is not really a computer. It doesn’t process digital information. Our brain is a learning machine. It learns by itself to correct its previous mistakes.While your laptop today is just as stupid today as it was yesterday—your laptop doesn’t learn.

Our brain has no Windows. It has no software. It has no programming, but it simply learns tasks as it goes along. Therefore, the interface between digital information and memory is quite complicated. These are in some sense two operating systems, so eventually we may master that ability, but we have to reverse engineer the brain and that’s going to take many decades, so don’t expect to become a karate master anytime soon by simply pushing a button.

Directed / Produced by
Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd

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