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[Y!] Billion Euro supercomputer to 'simulate entire human brain'

post #1 of 93
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i dont no if this has been posted earlier on but i found this interesting
Quote:
A ten-year project in Europe will use supercomputers to simulate the workings of an entire human brain for the first time.

The research could lead to computers and robots that think like people.

Scientists also claim that the research could unlock the secrets of memory, depression and Alzheimer's.

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post #2 of 93
Interesting read OP, thanks for sharing.
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post #3 of 93
Formatting fixed smile.gif
post #4 of 93
I could find nothing in the article regarding the accuracy as to how the simulation will be conducted (neuron interaction, hormone effects), but one has to question if this could result in something conscious and sentient. It is definitely a philosophical/religious argument to determine if something is conscious, but this could raise ethical concerns if this simulation does breach that barrier.

But, interesting project nonetheless. I'll look forward to whatever medical advances they get from it.
post #5 of 93
This is awesome, first thing that came to mind is the Large Hadron Collider. Huge projects like this for science should be the norm!

Also reminds me of another big project for astronomy that is almost finished...yes the James Webb Space Telescope. It will give us good answers about the cosmos.
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post #6 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omicron View Post

I could find nothing in the article regarding the accuracy as to how the simulation will be conducted (neuron interaction, hormone effects), but one has to question if this could result in something conscious and sentient. It is definitely a philosophical/religious argument to determine if something is conscious, but this could raise ethical concerns if this simulation does breach that barrier.

But, interesting project nonetheless. I'll look forward to whatever medical advances they get from it.

It can never be truly conscious. Through very complex and intricate algorithms that are backed by a massive amount of computational power, it may be possible to simulate consciousness, but at the end of that day, it will be just that. Algorithms, developed by humans.
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post #7 of 93
Robots or giant computers are useless without a human operating them.
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post #8 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by W4nderer View Post

It can never be truly conscious. Through very complex and intricate algorithms that are backed by a massive amount of computational power, it may be possible to simulate consciousness, but at the end of that day, it will be just that. Algorithms, developed by humans.

That's where the difference between simulation and emulation comes in. When all of the tiniest pieces the software behave exactly the same as their "living" counterparts and manage to communicate with each other and respond to their (virtual) environment the same way as the real thing, then there should be no reason for it not being able to develop sentience.
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post #9 of 93
Inb4Skynet

Seriously, this is a cool sounding project, although I doubt 10 years will be long enough...
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post #10 of 93
A writer once said “if our brains were simple enough to be understood, we wouldn't be smart enough to understand them.” If you think about it, it may not be far from the truth....wouldn't that be a cruel and ironic twist of fate?
After all, we're the only creatures on earth who have evolved enough to figure out what a brain even is lol rolleyes.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemicalfan View Post

Seriously, this is a cool sounding project, although I doubt 10 years will be long enough...
Agreed. Despite the pace at which technology is skyrocketing forward (and factoring in Moore's law), creating something that can fully simulate an adult human brain in function is something I don't think we'll be able to achieve before 2050. Hell, I'd be amazed if it happened in this century.

The brain continues to have so many mysteries we're nowhere near solving yet, neuroscience is still in it's infancy. So trying to simulate something we don't even understand = good luck.
Edited by Tippy - 1/30/13 at 1:17am
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