In the first part of The Matrix, Neo's brain is being "fed" with all the suddenly extremely important information about the Matrix shortly after he is freed from the virtual world. Why wouldn't all the characters in the Matrix just teach themselves all the possible knowledge in the world? This would definitely be useful in extreme situations. What do we generally know about this process, apart from the fact that it's tiring?
We see several instances of computer learning in The Matrix, notably when Neo learns combat procedures. Tank seems astounded that Neo is able to continually receive learning without needing to take breaks. Morpheus also seems pretty surprised that Neo has been able to absorb that much info and still use it intelligently.
Morpheus: How is he?
Tank: Ten hours straight. He's a machine.
Neo: I know Kung Fu.
Morpheus: Show me.... Good. Adaptation, improvisation. But your weakness is not your technique.
I think we can reasonably assume that like all learning (instant or not), if it's not used then it will eventually fade away. Jamming yourself with irrelevant info seems like a disadvantage, not an advantage.
I wouldn't call it "automatic teaching of the brain". It's more of an information download into the brain. Think about it like learning a book over the course of one year versus learning the same book for an exam in less than a week, but at a larger scale.
Yes, it is tiring. Yes, that information is volatile. And yes, the more it is the more helpful it could be.
Now think about the brain and memory. If information is written to the memory and it will never be read again, that information will become lost throughout time. If you do a large amount of information download to the brain in a short period of time, the retention of this data is dependent on the energy consumed by this process, therefore tiring, and the usage of this data.
Let's assume that you'll be doing this process a few times (with the same information) in order to retain (remember) what you've downloaded (learned). The estimated memory capacity of a human brain is 2.5 petabytes. This is calculated based on the average number of neurons in the brain, the possible connections between them, and the type of memory they are used for. This is a considerably large capacity, approximately 300 years of continuously watching movies.
With this large storage capacity, yes, a human could memorize most (if not all) of the necessary knowledge to utilize in most of the situations.
Why wouldn't all the characters in the Matrix just teach themselves all the possible knowledge in the world?
- Each person is different, even when it comes down to this way of assimilating information. Tank's remark shows us that Neo has a better that normal learning capability.
- Maybe time constraints. They're always in some sort of a mission or under attack by the sentinels and the resources to perform this kind of learning are not enough. By resources I mean:
- personnel involved
- system utilization
- energy utilized by the learning person
- and energy consumed by the system.
- Or maybe the Wachowski brothers didn't think or cared about this detail.