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IBM to build first computer model of brain

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  • derhexer@aol.com
    URL to an article in MSNBC http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8119714/ First few paragraphs LONDON - International Business Machines Corp is linking with a team of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 6, 2005
      URL to an article in MSNBC
      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8119714/

      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

      Suggested reading
      Why the future doesn't need us
      http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.04/joy.html

      Vernor Vinge's classic article on artificial intelligence
      http://www.student.nada.kth.se/~nv89-nun/offloading/vinge

      Chris












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