If there was a device that allowed the user to copy the memories of another person to their own mind, what would be the largest implications of this? How could this be used? Keep in mind that this device is fairly expensive, around $80000 USD. It can be purchased anywhere in the world, and the person who is having their memories copied does not need to give consent.

I would imagine government officials would use this to interrogate criminals, but how else could this be used?

Restrictions: You cannot download parts of someone's memory; if you want one part, you have to download it all.

Due to storage restrictions, you can only store one other person's memories. As for transfer speeds, let's just assume it's the future and we have some technology that gives us the ability to transfer memories within 7 or 8 hours. The person being "read" would be strapped into a chair for the duration of the transfer. It is long term memory that this device could transfer

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    $\begingroup$ Could you add some constraints to this? From my calculations it could take over a year and a half to transfer all of the brain's information at some USB speeds. There's also the problem with what it does to the recipient's brain. $\endgroup$ – The Anathema Jan 22 '16 at 21:05
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    $\begingroup$ This is more than a little broad, as @TheAnathema pointed out. How long would it take to extract the memories? Would it be short-term or long-term memory that you would be reading? How would it impact the person being "read"? Would they have to be physically detained, strapped into a device, etc, or could it be done without their knowledge? How would it affect the person downloading the memories into their mind? Would they have an identity crisis? Would they develop multiple personalities, or some other personality disorder? Also, most of our memories are not like stored video-clips. $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Jan 22 '16 at 21:16
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    $\begingroup$ I prefer to leave the question open. It's Worldlbuilding, after all :) $\endgroup$ – Uriel Jan 22 '16 at 21:19

First, $80 000 for a Memplicator™ may be somewhat expensive for an individual, but it is cheap for most organizations. Furthermore, there is no claim of any limitation regarding how many times you can use it, so you have a big return on interest here.

One consideration : how many memories one human can manage is limited, but let's consider you have enough space to ingest some extra stuff.

Scientists would welcome this. You could ingest the knowledge of other experts, and some would be happy to share it, especially those reaching their end of life: you have nothing to hide when you're about to die. So young people with lots of cognitive capacity would also benefit from experience and memories from other. You can expect some boost in most science areas. No labs would miss such opportunity.

Investigators may find it useful to know what their suspects have in mind, but they will have to deal with lawyers and civil rights defenders: your memories are quite a private thing. The right to keep silent exists, so the right to hide your memory is likely to be enforced.

If you can copy memory, you can probably also store it and separate it into specific knowledge. So you could basically purchase any information and store it in your mind. You could instantly learn Chinese, math, coding, etc. Depending how memory works, this could extend to practice as well. If not, the value of manual practice and skill will become more important : your tailor will earn more than a financial expert.

You could also use it to build memories of travels, leisure, etc. By only remembering the positive moments of something, people would find it more interesting that the discomfort of airplanes, logistic issues, etc. Only remember the best part of great experience. It would maybe replace drug usage, or even become a drug itself, with people addict to intense memories.

If it goes mass market, people may also get used to ingest other people's unusual/weird memories : fantasies would become commonly remembered by more and more people, and people could end up less guilty about them. This could lead to more open sexuality.

You should not need lots of marketing to sell the Memplicator™ :)

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  • $\begingroup$ Answered before limits where added by OP. That said, memories could still be "sliced" and allowing interesting things... $\endgroup$ – Uriel Jan 22 '16 at 21:18
  • $\begingroup$ very true and great answer! $\endgroup$ – fi12 Jan 22 '16 at 21:21
  • $\begingroup$ @fi12 I read it correctly but wrote it with my location (France) style, sorry for making it unclear. As part of a company, I know that eighty thousand USD is not something huge. It is in the order of magnitude of most entries in budgets, and quite affordable. Look at the prices in IT, for example an Oracle database here : oracle.com/us/corporate/pricing/… and you are definitely on the same scale. $\endgroup$ – Uriel Jan 23 '16 at 12:28

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