Literally mind blowing stuff. This could have a huge effect on society, but we have to be very careful indeed that it is used properly.
This idea has come up a few times in sci-fi, but I think a great example of one of the potential problems is in Asimov's Profession
. It is a good short story and well worth a read if you have an hour.
Basically the education system as we know it is replaced by a "learning day" when all the knowledge and skills you need for a profession are implanted in your brain. Sounds great at first, but it leads to stagnation in development. If everyone knows the same thing, who is going to question common knowledge and push forward? Also, in this story, once you are implanted you only know how to do one task, if something changes you need to buy the memory upgrade or become obsolete. We as a species forget how to learn. OK, so this is just one view of the possible problems, but it is something we need to treat with care. Incidentally the story was meant as a warning about how western education is failing, but it fits this purpose too.
It is also open to massive abuse, imagine someone creating a chip that makes people know
that a certain person is the most important person in the world, and it is an honour to serve them and give them all your worldly possessions. Oh wait, hasn't Jobs already done this?Edited by GingerJohn - 6/21/11 at 11:39am