The Learning Zone
An Artificial Brain
NEWS, 22 July, 2009
Artificial brain '10 years away'
A detailed, functional artificial human brain can be built within the next 10 years, a leading scientist has claimed.
Henry Markram, director of the Blue Brain Project, has already simulated elements of a rat brain.
With special thanks to the Wall Street Journal, watch an interview with Dr. Henry Markram about the Blue Brain Project.
What does all this mean for the concept of the "self?"
Dr. Peter Fenwick weighs in on the subject
The neuroscience community has been waiting some time for a realistic brain to be designed and made. The importance of this brain project is that it uses software modules to mimic each brain cell. They also note that the software is extremely complex as: for each cell a laptop is required to do the processing, and hence the need for a supercomputer with the power of 10,000 laptops.
An Artificial Brain – Science Fact or Science Fiction?
That is an incredible proposition!
Is the dawn of science fiction becoming science fact? If these claims are true, this could mean the end of misery for so many sufferers of devastating neurological diseases like MS, stroke and dementia. As he said during the TED Global conference held in Oxford last week a synthetic human brain would be of particular use in finding treatments for mental illnesses. Yes, of course this could help medical science whether it be to help those suffering with mental illnesses, neurological disorders, or both. But this “science fiction” turning to “science fact” really made me think of something else – What will this all really mean for people who may benefit from it?
Human, Mammal, Frankenstein?
The Blue Brain project states that it could advance neuroscience and philosophy; I see how it would challenge humankind as to what would we do with a brain created from "scratch?" I mean, where are we going to put this thing? I cannot but think of this endeavor as a new version of Frankenstein! But wait, what happens if they put a human brain into a mammal? Will the mammal suddenly have moral instincts and the ability to rationalize?