IBM to build first computer model of brain
- URL to an article in MSNBC
First few paragraphs
"LONDON - International Business Machines Corp is linking with a team of
Swiss scientists to create the world’s first accurate, computer-based model of the
brain, the U.S. company said on Monday
The researchers hope that modeling the brain at the cellular level will give
new insights into the workings of the most complex organ in the body.
The immediate goal is to model the circuitry in the neocortex, which accounts
for about 85 percent of the human brain’s mass and is thought to be
responsible for language, learning, memory and complex thought.
By expanding the work to other areas, scientists hope to eventually generate
a computer-based model of the entire brain.
Henry Markram and colleagues at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne,
Switzerland, will spend the next two years using IBM’s supercomputer Blue Gene to
create a working 3-dimensional model of the neocortex.
The model will need to recreate all the myriad electro-chemical interactions
of the brain’s interior."
This is so science fiction! The book that came to mind when I read this was
Herbert's Destination: Void where interstellar travelers had to create an
artificial intelligence. But, it is also scary in a way.
Hooked up to a powerful enough computer, or hooked to the Internet, what
would be the difference between a model and an artificial human brain? Would an
artificial brain be self-aware?
Will humans become irrelevant?
I was semi-seriously thinking about flying to Switzerland, grabbing Henry
Markram by the collar, and forcing him to watch Donovan's Brain
Why the future doesn't need us
Vernor Vinge's classic article on artificial intelligence
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]