The brain weighs, on average, about 3.3 pounds (1.5 kilograms). It requires about 20 percent of energy to run. When the brain is dead, there is no longer any neurological activity. With the help of machines, it can be kept alive for a short time, but the body will not function within a week. Scientists can transplant a brain, but doing it will be a problem.
Believe it or not, even though tens of thousands of papers have been written about consciousness in the literature, nobody has a suitable definition for “consciousness.” Some people in AI believe that one day we will be immortal. The atoms that make up the body give consciousness, which gives rise to personality, fears, and desires.
Memories are processed at the brain’s center, and they’ve been able to duplicate the functions with a chip. So again, this does not mean it encodes memories with a chip. But it does mean that it takes the brain’s information storage and has a silicon chip that duplicates those functions.
Alchemists dedicated their lives to discovering the secrets of immortality. The suggestion is that the human mind could be uploaded into digital form. It is the hope of transhumanists. People believe science will provide a way to transcend physical limitations and access cyber immortality.
Can you upload your brain to a computer?
The idea of the brain uploading to a computer includes all thoughts, feelings, and memories. It is called whole brain emulation. Surprisingly enough, it’s not a particularly new concept. Similar ideas have been the fodder of science fiction writers for almost 100 years, with legendary author Arthur Clarke describing a city one billion years in the future. We’re having this conversation today because of the rapid advances in nanotechnology, biotech, and artificial intelligence over the last few decades.
Uploading a brain to a computer wouldn’t make people immortal as many think. The uploaded mind on the computer would have an identical memory and personality as anyone but would be a copy of anyone. Similarly, if people were to clone themself, they would still maintain their existence and eventually die from natural causes.
The science behind mind uploading or the process of uploading consciousness into a computer to engage in a virtual reality simulation is possible. Kurzweil is an American inventor and futurist. He’s a genuine visionary and credible inventor. He’s also been making predictions for some time, with well-known examples being nanotechnology, ebooks, face recognition software, and a computer beating the human at chess by 2000. The development Kurzweil is most passionate about is the singularity.
By 2045, humans can record their memories on the computer 2045. Avatar research world best computer engineer and brain neuroscientists are working on the project. – Dimitry Itskov, Russian Business Man
I think the brain is like a program in the mind. Which is like a computer, so it’s theoretically possible to copy the brain onto a computer. – Stephen Hawking
Humans may live for more than 1000 years! We believe it will be possible within 2045. – Elon Musk
The computational power needed to simulate a human brain will become available later in the 21st century, and you’ll be able to upload your brain to a computer by the year 2045. – Ray Kurzweil
The technological singularity is a theoretical point when technology will develop superintelligence. It allows it to upgrade itself at an exponential rate. Kurzweil says humans will merge intelligence with machine intelligence and become super beings. All of this will happen by the year 2045! Humans will have transcended the need for physical bodies and learned to upload brains to computers along with personalities, skills, and personal histories.
These brains could then be dropped into robots or projected as living holograms. Maybe you could be uploaded into the cloud where you could live out eternal life in a 3D simulation of bliss and bottomless digital Pina Coladas. The first can scan the entire human brain to create the connectome.
A 3D map of the brain shows every neuron and molecule within. There are big questions about whether this would ever be possible. The brain is an insanely complex piece of machinery. So far, scientists have only been able to map the connectome of one creature, a one-millimeter roundworm with a total of 302 neurons in its entire nervous system. By comparison, a fruit fly or ant has about 250000 neurons.
A mouse has about 71 million, and the human brain has 86 billion neurons. Today, brain mapping relies on technology like MRIS, MEGS, and EEGS, giving a partial but incomplete picture by a mile. Other potential scanning methods include electrodes that could be placed directly on the brain, with each electrode capable of mapping thousands of neurons. But as this technique requires cutting open the skull!
For decades, computer scientists from giant companies, major universities, and world governments have mapped and translated the brain network into a computer network. But, thoughts don’t live on a single neuron, nor are they processed in a single place, but rather as a patterned network of brain cells picking up the information and processing it.
The human brain isn’t a finite storage system like a hard drive. There could be a lot of space in there. Estimates vary from 2.5 petabytes, about a million gigabytes, down to a few measly gigabytes. If you wanted to copy 2.5 petabytes over a USB 3.0 connection, it would have to run continuously for more than 80 DAYS. The biggest issue in consciousness transfer is mapping the brain accurately.
Simultaneously, that number may seem achievable that estimate does not consider the complexities of a fully functioning brain with decision-making abilities. The actual data storage needs for a functioning brain would be immense. Nobody knows how much storage space you would need.
The human brain mapping exercise would require computing power to process vast amounts of data, zettabytes. How big is a zettabyte? If every person in 2000 had a 180-gigabyte hard drive filled with data, all those drives would occupy one zettabyte. It’s the same amount of data as 200 trillion mp3s!
Neurons don’t simply store one bit of information like in a computer. Each neuron can create 1,000 connections with those around them and, unlike machines, aren’t only on or off. They have other states too. Luckily, humans are pretty obsessed with mind-reading.
The fastest supercomputer in the world is Fugaku. But this obscene technology doesn’t even come close to the processing power. We would need to create an accurate virtual copy of the brain. It may be that quantum computers can step up to the plate for us on this one.
If computing technology continues to follow trends such as Moore’s law, supercomputers may simulate the human mind within the next few years.
- Moore’s law states that computing power doubles approximately every two years.
We could pop our digital doppelgangers into robots or create mechanical versions of ourselves. But that relies on robots evolving fast enough over the coming years for it to be worthwhile. The most advanced robots around at the moment can climb stairs, mix cocktails and do gymnastics. But they’re nowhere near as agile and adaptable as the average ape. The more likely and probably more affordable scenario for an average person would be creating a digital version of you.
It could be loaded into a simulated virtual reality. This digital world would require the sensory complexity to replicate all the ingredients. It makes up the human experience of sights, smells, tastes, textures, emotions, and thinking. We’re going to have to build the matrix. But unlike pre-red pill neo, the inhabitants of this world would know complete. It would almost certainly require artificial intelligence, and creating a continuous, high-quality believable experience would require giant technological strides forward.
For example, the computer game industry has fueled incredible advances in graphics in recent decades. It might be possible to make a digital universe look pretty great soon. But for obvious reasons, no real work has been done to satisfy the other human senses like smell, touch, and taste in a digital setting. Even assuming we could meet the technological demands to build a satisfying and realistic digital afterlife for our uploaded minds.
Experiment with brain uploading
Researchers at the University of California Berkeley scanned the brains of people while they watched videos and used only brain scans. A computer was able to determine what the brains were processing. Using an fMRI scan to follow blood through the brain, using three-dimensional representations of the scanned areas called voxels, the researchers trained the computer to piece together what the brain was looking at.
Using tech like this, scientists have scanned the brains of Counterstrike players. Also, they see when they want to turn left or right, but emotional response overwhelms the scan if their character is killed. Emotions are far too complex to read yet.
There are trillions of synaptic connections in each person’s head. A study in Nature explored how this process works using mice with cells that had been genetically modified to activate when laser light hits. This is called optogenetics. Researchers demonstrated how memories are written, erased, and reactivated with this method. Then they can “implant” a false memory into another genetically modified mouse!
Some researchers believe that an artificial brain could be constructed as early as ten years. To test this technology, researchers uploaded the mind of a worm onto the computer and during a virtual recreation of the worm’s mind. The simulated worm reacted the same way as a real worm, not because anybody programmed it. But because this behavior was hardwired in its neural network. That’s a worm with only 300 neurons.
In one study, scientists successfully simulated a rat’s neocortical column elements, a complex layer of brain tissue in all mammals. We must build a functional human brain model, a series of cortical simulations. These simulations have utilized the best computer technology, such as IBM’s Blue Gene supercomputer, and have successfully matched the processing power.
How would that system operate? It would require huge data centers running 24/7 across massive networks. In the same way, the cloud does now. But people have to pay a subscription for cloud storage each month. Uploads could be erased by computer viruses or malware without the need to destroy their hardware. It could mean that the assassination of uploads could be easier than the assassination of their biological human counterparts.
If a virus erased an upload, would that be prosecuted as murder? Would that upload have committed a crime punishable by a lengthy prison sentence or even the death penalty if one upload erased another? The questions are endless. These are all potentially huge social issues that civilization will have to confront later in this century.
Project – Neural Link
Elon Musk is preparing to start another revolution in a different area this time. This is Elon Musk created the project Neural Link. Startup developers believe that the brain and the computer can be connected. They need to implant polymer threads with electrodes into the human brain. They’ll read the activity of neurons and stimulate them.
Electrodes are divided into 96 flexible threads thinner than a human hair. In total, they contain three thousand and seventy-two electrodes. The company has also developed a unique robot for implanting the threads. It will sew them into the nerve tissue on the same principle as a sewing machine. Stitch by stitch. It takes only 16 minutes to integrate the human brain’s interface fully.
It is incredibly fast for such technically complex operations. A special chip will be attached to read data from the threads behind the ear. It will transmit data to a computer. In the future, the developer plans to create a system that would work over a wireless network implanting the device as promised by the scientist.
People who have lost their sight will be able to see those who are left without hearing and finally hear their relatives’ voices again. Paralyzed people can control their smartphones, computers, and advanced prosthetics, restore memory, eliminate brain damage after a stroke, and restore limbs’ functionality. The neural link will be able to do it all in the future. This invention may become as necessary for the ordinary person as a smartphone.
Artificial intelligence will develop more to avoid falling behind in evolution, and humanity will have to make friends with it. In a couple of decades, our brain will have no chance of surpassing this rival. They’ll have to become allies that will also help the neural link. So in the future, will people become cyborgs in general? Elon Musk believes that we’ve already become them.
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Shulman, Robert. “Neuroscience: A Multidisciplinary, Multilevel Field.” Brain Imaging: What it Can (and Cannot) Tell Us About Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
Ogawa, Hiroto; Oka, Kotaro. Methods in Neuroethological Research. Springer.
Tanner, Kimberly. “Issues in Neuroscience Education: Making Connections.”
Kandel, Eric. Principles of Neural Science, Fifth Edition.