[FoRK] Brain mapping and the connectome

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca
Sat Nov 7 09:48:11 PST 2009

I guess I just still don't buy that copying a (potentially incomplete) wiring diagram and flipping a switch is going to result in the reproduction of human intelligence. That assumes all the intelligence is inherent in the hardware. Worse, it seems to assume that you'll get human intelligence from that mechanical hardware.

Please keep in mind that I'm viewing this in the context of Option 3: using technology to propogate your wavefront of *human* intelligence out into the universe. And doing it in advance of the human species destroying Generation Ship Earth.

If I view it in the context of climbing Everest (simply because it's there), the challenge of constructing "machine" intelligence holds only academic interest. Hey, I'm a techy so anything related to technology holds some interest for me. But I'm more passionate about my continued quest to improve my golf swing.

Just for the record, so you won't misunderstand the first paragraph above, I'm not religious. I'm not an atheist; I'm an anti-theist.


--- On Sat, 11/7/09, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:

> From: Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org>
> Subject: [FoRK] Brain mapping and the connectome
> To: "Friends of Rohit Khare" <fork at xent.com>
> Received: Saturday, November 7, 2009, 10:29 AM
> Mostly for Ken's edification:  you really should track
> the 'wetware' developments a bit more closely. ;-)
> (Tangential, but relevant:  even Eugen has probably
> been relatively surprised by the extent to which
> non-invasive techniques have accelerated along the cost /
> functionality curve in the last decade, cf. comments from
> early 2000s vs. present, low-function but low-cost consumer
> products (e.g. EEG game controllers, etc.) --- just the tip
> of the iceberg, of course.)
>   http://www.foresight.org/nanodot/?p=3475
>   Brain mapping and the connectome
> By J. Storrs Hall, on November 6th, 2009
> I’m at the AAAI Fall Symposium session on Biologically
> Inspired Cognitive Architectures, and there was a really
> interesting talk by Walter Schneider of Pitt about progress
> in mapping the nerve bundles that are the “information
> superhighways” between the various parts of the
> brain.  You’ll find his slides from last year’s
> talk on his home page, and there has apparently been
> progress amounting to a breakthrough in the interim.
> This and fMRI together are giving us an understanding of
> what’s going on in the brain that’s advancing faster
> than anybody (with the possible exception of Ray Kurzweil)
> thought it would.
> Schneider claims that the techniques now being worked on
> could be pushed to a resolution of 20 microns, with
> appropriate resources, by 2014 or thereabouts. That’s
> essentially good enough to have a complete wiring diagram of
> the brain.
> jb
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