"I know kung fu." It's one of the most memorable lines from the 1999 film "The Matrix." Keanu Reeves' character, Neo, utters it after the martial art is "uploaded" to his brain in mere seconds via a futuristic computer jacked into his skull.
If only it were that easy. Nowadays mastering a style of kung fu takes thousands of hours of practice. But there are some emerging hints that the pace of learning a skill can be technologically boosted. Perhaps someday, with major advances in several fields, the acquisition of knowledge and skill could happen at broadband-like speeds across surgically implanted and external hardware.
"The concept is not totally implausible," said Bruce McNaughton, a neuroscientist at the University of Lethbridge in Canada. "I suggest that you check back in a couple of hundred years."
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