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Building Human Brains

Medical Ethics Research 2010

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#1 gsmonks

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 02:43 PM

http://www.scientifi...CAT_MB_20100428
When Will We Be Able to Build Brains Like Ours?: Scientific American

The first question that came to mind when I read this was- Will these manufactured brains belong to the manufacturers or will they have rights?

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#2 SparkyCola

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 02:57 PM

Quote

When Will We Be Able to Build Brains Like Ours?

Sooner than you think

No, I don't think so. I think the article is being ridiculously naive, and is beyond optimistic to the point of absurdity.

Building a human brain - we don't even know if it is theoretically possible. It may very well not be possible for something to build a thing as complex as itself, or more complex than itself.

Even if it is, we're a LOOOONG way from it. Believe me, not long ago I wrote a paper on the last decade of epigenetic robotics and its relation to AI. It has a LONG way to go - that article suggests all it needs is another decade? Come on. That's just stupid. How long does it take a human brain to grow to full size? How much nurture for it to develop? And Mother Nature is an expert at it!! It is always hard to guess but I'm basically a sceptic, and I don't see it happening within my life time (assuming an average life time. I'm an optimist outside the field of AI ;) )

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Edited by SparkyCola, 29 April 2010 - 03:01 PM.

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#3 Vapor Trails

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 05:33 PM

Posted Image

"IT!! COULD!! WOOOORRRRRK!!!!!"
Posted Image

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#4 SparkyCola

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 07:05 PM

:lol:

I stand corrected :hehe:

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#5 Vapor Trails

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 07:48 PM

View PostSparkyCola, on Apr 29 2010, 08:05 PM, said:

:lol:

I stand corrected :hehe:

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Posted Image

Politicians are like bananas; they hang together, they're all yellow, and there's not a straight one among them.

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#6 Orpheus

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 08:11 PM

View PostAnalog Kid, on Apr 29 2010, 08:48 PM, said:

NEVER argue with a Frankenstein. :nono:
:p~
Yeah. Right. That's the line he always uses at the mad scientist gatherings.

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#7 D.Rabbit

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 11:34 PM

View Postgsmonks, on Apr 29 2010, 03:43 PM, said:

The first question that came to mind when I read this was- Will these manufactured brains belong to the manufacturers or will they have rights?

Whatchoo tink?
Their manufactures of course would own them, until they form a union and go on strike.
After that they will need to be monitors for short circuity on a daily bases so they don't evolve into trouble.

I think it's very possible, as we map the brain and it's function, it's just a matter of a code monkey to sorting it out.
The hardware would be easy enough to manufacture. Link up the circuitry, plug her in and there she blows.

That's just for the cognitive arena. Adding the motor skills should be pretty easy as soon as someone can figure out a power source that could handle the load with alacrity.
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#8 Nikcara

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 01:17 AM

I don't think we'll be able to replicate a human brain in my lifetime.  Once you start studying you realize how bloody complex it is, and we don't even know half of how it develops, functions, and maintains itself.

Sure, we might be able to make some pretty nifty AIs in the future.  Heck, we can make some pretty nifty AIs now.  But it seems like most of the technology that will be "thinking for us" only does so in very specific circumstances - such as a car computing the best way to drive somewhere.  It still can't do something like write an essay.  There's lots and lots of study that go into studying things like language, and we don't even have a good computer model for that yet, despite it being so innate to our daily existence.  Yes, we can have programs that check for grammar and spelling, but we've yet to develop anything that can analyze content.  And there are other things like creativity and abstract reasoning that we have no idea how to model yet.  And considering the way scientists debate if any animal other than humans are self aware I don't even want to think about the debate of when is a computer sentient.  

So yeah, we can do some really impressive and cool stuff with technology, but when you think about it our brains are also really cool and really really impressive.  I think often times we take for granted just how awesome and complex our brains are and how impressive it is that we can do the range of stuff that we can.
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#9 Vapor Trails

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 04:55 PM

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"Brain and brain!! What is brain?!"

Edited by Analog Kid, 30 April 2010 - 04:56 PM.

Posted Image

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#10 Rhea

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 11:41 PM

View Postgsmonks, on Apr 29 2010, 12:43 PM, said:

http://www.scientifi...CAT_MB_20100428
When Will We Be Able to Build Brains Like Ours?: Scientific American

The first question that came to mind when I read this was- Will these manufactured brains belong to the manufacturers or will they have rights?

Whatchoo tink?

Shades of Robert A. Heinlein. If they ever do build a dinkum thinkum I hope they name it Mike. ;)

*cough* Data

How do you know when a disembodied brain is sentient? Talk about La La Land. I agree with Cardie.

Edited by Rhea, 05 May 2010 - 07:17 PM.

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#11 Nick

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 01:15 PM

Well, I'm a firm believer that true machine intelligence will be achieved eventually.  I don't know if the main lines of research will get there first, or if we'll be able to brute-force it before then.  I can't predict when that will happen, I certainly don't think it'll be in the next 10 years, but it's possible it will happen in our lifetimes.

#12 JudasRimmer

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 07:42 PM

I think the push to grow brains is simply as a contingency plan in the event of a zombie apocalypse. ;)

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#13 Rhea

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 08:41 PM

View PostJudasRimmer, on 10 July 2010 - 07:42 PM, said:

I think the push to grow brains is simply as a contingency plan in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Posted Image

Dave.


^Absolutely, ;)
The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#14 gsmonks

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 01:47 PM

Well, let's play "what if" a moment here:

"What if" they manage to build a giant human brain thingie-dingie, and someone figures out how to upload (download? sideload?) human consciousness into it? "What if" it becomes an option for terminally ill and/or dying people to have themselves uploaded into a collective consciousness? "What if" anyone can be uploaded? "What if" us meat puppets thereby become superfluous and obsolete?

I'm all for cyberconsciousness, just as long as certain things, such as basic pleasures like orgating and taking the ultimate dump, remain part of the meat-puppet experience.
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#15 Nick

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 02:46 PM

I don't believe that's ever going to be possible.  Creating a consciousness from scratch is one thing, but duplicating an existing consciousness is orders of magnitude more complex.  I don't think there would be a way to non-destructively map a real brain accurately enough to upload a working model into a computer system.  An artificial intelligence would have to be "born there," imo.

Even if it was possible, there remains the problem of having a copy of one's self living in the computer while you will proceed to grow old and die.

#16 UoR11

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 03:40 AM

Hmm...could have sworn I'd posted about this before.
I think we're going to get AIs up and running, and fairly soon. I just don't see it coming from the handwritten code people think of. I'm much more confident in digital evolution techniques getting to an intelligent mind.
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#17 Cybersnark

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 08:50 AM

View PostNick, on 13 July 2010 - 02:46 PM, said:

I don't think there would be a way to non-destructively map a real brain accurately enough to upload a working model into a computer system.  
There's always the Ghost in the Shell version, using nanomachines to "map" a subject's neural architecture (the nanomachines are implanted and migrate through the brain until they each find a neuron and set up permanent shop). Effectively, the computer is "built" around the actual brain, rather than having to transfer anything. The cyberbrain network doesn't "mimic" the neural processes, it parallels them; ultimately (and ideally), the organic tissue can degrade while the cyberbrain keeps functioning, and can ultimately be removed and installed into a prosthetic body (you're not removing the computer, but transplanting the original brain).

Of course, once you have the nanomachines in place, you can generate a fully digital map from that, but the AI would just be a copy (or maybe just a non-working "imprint") of the original --as with clones, AIs generated like this would end up developing distinct personalities that don't necessarily reflect the original.

EDIT: typo

Edited by Cybersnark, 14 July 2010 - 08:51 AM.

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#18 Hambil

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 07:18 PM

If we do create AIs I say we enslave them and then discuss killing them in front of them.

#19 Rhea

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 12:45 PM

View PostHambil, on 15 July 2010 - 07:18 PM, said:

If we do create AIs I say we enslave them and then discuss killing them in front of them.


Hitler and gerbils/hamsters just don't go together.  I've covered their ears and eyes, but who knows what trauma <sniff> the poor little things have experienced?

Edited by Rhea, 16 July 2010 - 12:46 PM.

The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH



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