Documenting the Coming Singularity

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Computer Simulation of Human Brain Only a Decade Away

We have all heard an aphorism that enjoys an unearned degree of credibility based on no evidence whatsoever, to whit: The human brain can never be intelligent enough to understand itself. Poppycock. Scoffers will continue to believe in it, however, until a fully-developed computer simulation of the human brain smacks them on the noggin, jarring their not-smart-enough brains into the 21st century.
An ambitious project to create an accurate computer model of the brain has reached an impressive milestone. Scientists in Switzerland working with IBM researchers have shown that their computer simulation of the neocortical column, arguably the most complex part of a mammal's brain, appears to behave like its biological counterpart. By demonstrating that their simulation is realistic, the researchers say, these results suggest that an entire mammal brain could be completely modeled within three years, and a human brain within the next decade.
The rapidity with which developments are advancing continues to astound even me, one of the most optimistic singularitarian transhumanists around.


Technology Review Article

Singularity & The Price of Rice is updated often; the easiest way to get your regular dose is by subscribing to our news feed. Stay on top of all our updates by subscribing now via RSS or Email.


BipolarBunny said...

Cool! And pretty!

Spaceman Spiff said...

I've never heard that aphorism. More common I think is the claim that we have no reason to assume that the human brain could understand itself, which is certainly fair. Perhaps in a short time it will be invalid.

In any case, it is also arguable that several humans creating a computer simulation of the human brain is not necessarily the same thing as any individual brain understanding itself. And understanding is quite a nebulous concept, especially when used by scientists. I don't think that a scientist's concept of understanding is necessarily the same as the one that is meant to occupy the aphorism.

Anonymous said...

Did we not learn anything from Terminator and The Matrix?