Is a electronic brain?

February 19, 2013 20:41

Miguel Nicolelis, one of today's leading neuroscientists, does not believe in the possibility of electronic reproduction of the human brain. (Photo fronteirasweb.)

Among futurists and scientists joined them very popular hypothesis technological singularity. Without going into details, the most important thing that we promise to her henchmen (and Raymond Kurzweil is one of the first), — it is rather a re-creation of the human brain "in hardware", the emergence of self-replicating machines, and, as a consequence, an extraordinary acceleration of scientific and technological progress. Earlier historical-sociological view of man will die away, and the person is more likely to turn into a cyborg with an electronic brain.

The idea of well-known and has many incarnations, from the "Terminator" to the brilliant "Formula Limfatera" Lem (and this is only one of his works, where such a possibility worth considering.) However, it should be noted that the most active followers of technological singularity (ie, the same Mr. Kurzweil) are more optimistic in their forecasts than Stanislaw Lem and the authors of "The Terminator." However, the theory itself, it seems to be more popular among those who are engaged in cars, rather than the "mozgovedov." Thus, on taking place in Boston, the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Miguel Nicolelis of Duke University (USA) has expressed serious doubts that the electronic device will be in the near future to simulate the brain. Respected scholar minced no words, alluding to the idea of a high return on the electronic brain. (Recall that, according to forecasts singulyarschikov, kompyuteromozg will be created in the next year.)

Simply dismiss the objections are unlikely to succeed: Miguel Nicolelis — one of the leading specialists in the field of networking between electronic devices and the brain. In other words, all kinds of artificial hands that obey neural impulses, their existence to the results of the laboratory Mr. Nicolelis. One of the last of his group of articles published in Nature Communications, is devoted to the device by which the rat was able to see infrared. By itself, the rat eye in this range does not see (as, indeed, the human eye), but the scientists were able to establish the transmission of signals to the brain from the infrared sensor. As a result, the animal responds to the IR signals received and the put the award.

The researchers do not exclude that in the future people will learn to see x-rays. This is not to mention the virtual worlds that you can explore with your own avatar (hello "Avatar" by James Cameron). And, incidentally, these experiments have been carried out: in the same laboratory Nicolelis monkey learned to manage their own virtual twin, and a mediator again made electrodes implanted in the brain. However, according to neuroscientists, the barrier between the electronic device and the nerve complex in the near future can not be overcome. We will be able to send signals directly to the brain, we can expand the brain's ability to perceive, we can improve the electron-neural interfaces, but reproduce in electronic neural unlikely.

The reason for undue optimism electronics, according to Miguel Nicolelis, is that they think of the complexity of the brain just as the combination of billions of cells and trillions of connections: Well, yes, a bit much, but you can understand. Meanwhile, neuroscientists (apparently, not only Mr. Nicolelis) believe that it is only the external, visible part of the difficulty. In their view, the consciousness (and, if anything, the soul) is due to unpredictable, nonlinear interactions between neurons, which can hardly be put into silicon. Researchers emphasize, are on quite materialist position, consciousness for them lies in the cells and their combinations, but these combinations are still not fully understood, and even if they are understood, it is unpredictable. Scientists compare it with quotes on the stock exchange: of course you can just about predict they will fall or rise, but we are in any case only the probability, and certainly not about specific numbers.

Of course, predicting the future, especially in terms of technological progress, a thankless task. Suffice it to recall the phrase of Bill Gates that spam will be finished by 2006. However, thinking about how the predictions did not come true enemies phones, computers, touch screens, etc., should also not forget about the scientific, technical and social projections of another variety, often shamefully ignored — about all the colonies on Mars about disinfected cancer (of communism in 1980.) Forecasts supporters technological singularity relate only plausible futures, and we must consider that there are opposing views no less respected experts. In general, if next year electronic chelovekomozg still does not appear, do not say I did not warn you.

Like this post? Please share to your friends: