Friday, December 07, 2012

Computerized Brain By 2020?

   It appears that science and the military are well on their way to creating a “ computerized brain “ by the year 2020. Of course, the medical field would also benefit from the technology in combating disease, according to USSpinWatcher  at DailyKos:

Three ongoing research projects have convinced me that it's inevitable that humanity will create a computerized mind.  For example, the IBM funded Blue Brain Project which is scheduled for completion in 2020 requires no new inventions to complete.  The Blue Brain Project uses existing technology to reverse engineer the human down to the molecular level by scanning information obtained from brain tissue into a highly specialized computer..  All this project requires is time and money and it's well funded. The project has already demonstrated that it can do this with neurocortical columns of a rat brain and that it can apply that knowledge to other species.

Since 2020 is a long way away, the Europeans are applying for a billion dollars to increase the level of funding of the project.  It won't be known till next year if the project will be funded but experts say the chances are good.

The military has taken a big interest in such projects.  For example, Britain has commissioned robotic intelligent honey bees for among other things search and rescue missions.  Tiny bees with brains are expected to be able to fly extremely well as they can automatically adjust to wind and obstacles without operator instructions. They are also expected to develop a hive swarm mind. 

So how much additional effort could it take to create killer bees for search and destroy missions?

The U.S. military research agency (DARPA) has also shown a great deal of interest in developing computer brains.  They are helping to fund another IBM project that will greatly increase computer power for computerized minds.  The project is setting new speed records ever day and can process more neurons than are contained in a human brain.  However, the computerized neurons are much less power efficient and 400 times slower than human brains at present.

The direction of the research suggests that these computer minds will initially be copies of existing minds.  The physicality of the brains is being developed by the Canadians.

Thus far, I haven't heard any scientist or politician yell stop!  Apparently, none of these project scientists have ever read Frankenstein, watched an episode of Battlestar Gallactica or are concerned that these projects have a high potential for being controlled by the military industrial complex. 

However, it's not the potential for creating intelligent destructive machines that is my only worry. 

When the projects are completed then humanity will have created intelligent life but the scientists on the project clearly have no qualm about using their new brains for experimentation.  The scientists on the project are discussing using the first initial brains as essentially lab rats to test drugs and other medical treatments for human brains.

Originally posted to USSpinWatcher on Tue Dec 04, 2012