Documenting the Coming Singularity

Thursday, July 23, 2009

10-year countdown on a working artificial brain

Editor's Note: A leading researcher has proposed that a working artificial brain can be developed and built within the next 10 years. This is not the wild speculation of some know-nothing prognosticator, but rather an estimate based on some solid work already being done in the lab. Read on.

BBC - July 22, 2009, by Jonathan Fildes

Professor Markram said he would send a hologram to talk at TED in 10 years

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.

He told the TED Global conference in Oxford that a synthetic human brain would be of particular use finding treatments for mental illnesses.

Around two billion people are thought to suffer some kind of brain impairment, he said.

"It is not impossible to build a human brain and we can do it in 10 years," he said.

For example, they can show the brain a picture - say, of a flower - and follow the electrical activity in the machine.

"You excite the system and it actually creates its own representation," he said.

Ultimately, the aim would be to extract that representation and project it so that researchers could see directly how a brain perceives the world.

"And if we do succeed, we will send a hologram to TED to talk."

Read entire story>>

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