Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Whole Brain Emulation 2

I'd like to share the highlights of the Whole Brain Emulation workshop technical report from Monday in the next few posts.

The introduction of the paper shows the potential benefits from this technology.

  • Brain emulation is the logical endpoint of computational neuroscience’s attempts to accurately model neurons and brain systems. 
  • Brain emulation would help us to understand the brain, both in the lead‐up to successful emulation and afterwards by providing an ideal test bed for neuroscientific experimentation and study. 
  • Neuromorphic engineering based on partial results would be useful in a number of applications such as pattern recognition, AI and brain‐computer interfaces.  
  • As a long‐term research goal it might be a strong vision to stimulate computational neuroscience. 
  • As a case of future studies it represents a case where a radical future possibility can be examined in the light of current knowledge. 
  • The economic impact of copyable brains could be immense, and could have profound societal consequences (Hanson, 1994, 2008b). Even low probability events of such magnitude merit investigation.  
Individually [sic] 
  • If emulation of particular brains is possible and affordable, and if concerns about individual identity can be met, such emulation would enable back‐up copies and “digital immortality”. 
  • Brain emulation would itself be a test of many ideas in the philosophy of mind and philosophy of identity, or provide a novel context for thinking about such ideas. 
  • It may represent a radical new form of human enhancement.

Whole Brain Emulation: A Roadmap

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