The things I'm thinking of are for example relationships between people, military communications, and other technologies deriving from this one... Would that be very different from what we know now with phones and internet?

Just assume it's like a super efficient internet (no range limit, voluntary, directed towards specific recipients or possibly broadcasts). Its efficiency relies on the transfer being instant and directly to the brain, the thing transferred being knowledge (and not mere information).

  • $\begingroup$ What's the difference between knowledge and information in this case? $\endgroup$ – DonyorM Sep 17 '14 at 8:48
  • $\begingroup$ For example, information is the picture of a clock with the hands being in a specific position (or with drawing that actually are numbers), knowledge is what comes after processing that image: you know the time. Nowadays, we only transfer information. $\endgroup$ – Sheraff Sep 17 '14 at 8:50
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    $\begingroup$ Florian, This type of Q&A generally focuses on specific problems rather casting out a broad premise designed to start a larger discussion or debate. While most questions on this site seem to revolve around interesting thought exercises, it's hard to envision anyone "answering" this question without simply generating boundless story lines following that premise. Perhaps if you focused on a specific problem "brain transmission" might entail, folks would be able to answer, but starting from such a broad premise seems to be better suited to a chat room or a broader discussion forum. $\endgroup$ – Robert Cartaino Sep 17 '14 at 17:37
  • $\begingroup$ What the question conjectures is already a reality in experiment stage. A technology for brain to brain communication (or telepathy) was recently demonstrated. Please refer this article: sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140903105646.htm. The technology is there in a nascent stage. This premise would certainly entail a long list of questions. $\endgroup$ – Sri Sep 21 '14 at 19:10
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    $\begingroup$ I'd think that direct transfer of "knowledge" as opposed to information would result in a fundamental change in the way we relate to other humans, which currently is based entirely on exchange of information. You could posit that with direct transfer of knowledge, empathy could become orders of magnitude easier and more effective, changing morality or even notions of self. For a particular example: "knowledge" is truly believed, does this suggest that lying by this mechanism is impossible? But I'm not sure the question is specific enough to say any of this is a necessary consequence. $\endgroup$ – Steve Jessop Oct 23 '14 at 22:17

This technology would make telling secrets very easy. One could easily tell someone something across the world without anyone else knowing. Some repercussions of this would include political spying becoming much harder to do, but easier to keep secret. Socially embarrassing things would also become easier to plan. And surprises would also be easier to organize without being overheard. Though occasionally people would probably "slip" and accidentally transfer knowledge. Direct knowledge transmission would make communication errors almost non-existent, as people don't transfer easily misunderstood information.

That being said, likely technology would be developed to "overhear" brain transmissions, or even thoughts (by hacking the technology used to transmit those thoughts). Technology to store "knowledge" from brains, that was always accessible would likely be developed (similar to our internet). Possibly even there would be the ability to secure these networks.

Overall, I think the amount of data available to the general public would not change a whole lot, because extra steps would be taken to protect sensitive data, and not everyone could just read someone else's thoughts from anywhere in the world. And like anything else, it depends on the exact capabilities of the technology.

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  • $\begingroup$ I agree there are 2 possibilities with voluntary/involuntary... Let's assume it is voluntary, just like a super efficient internet $\endgroup$ – Sheraff Sep 17 '14 at 8:39
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, cool. What about the limited range thing? $\endgroup$ – DonyorM Sep 17 '14 at 8:43
  • $\begingroup$ Well I guess the same thing applies, no range limit, as there is none for today's internet. $\endgroup$ – Sheraff Sep 17 '14 at 8:45
  • $\begingroup$ question edited according to these comments ;) $\endgroup$ – Sheraff Sep 17 '14 at 8:47

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