Anyone who has labored over learning another language as an adult knows it doesn’t come easy. There’s the grammar, the vocabulary, infinite reading exercises and the painful process of pronunciation.
But what if all of that, all the hours of memorizing where to accent a word or how to conjugate a verb, could be learned by simply ingesting one little pill?
This may sound like Alice In Wonderland eating cookies to grow or shrink, but according to a recent TedTalk from MIT Media Lab founder Nicolas Negroponte, it could become our reality in the next 30 years.
"We have been doing a lot of consuming of information through our eyes. That may be a very inefficient channel. My prediction is that we are going to ingest information," he said in the video. "You're going to swallow a pill and know English. You're going to swallow a pill and know Shakespeare."
Negroponte said he has already begun discussing this knowledge drug with Edward Boyden, a neuroscientist at MIT and Hugh Herr, the head of the biomechatronics (science of mixing electronics with biology) research group at MIT.
The pill, according to Negroponte, would enter the bloodstream and go to the brain where it would drop off the necessary information, and boom. You now speak Mandarin.