Understanding why we, as humans, do the things we do is one of the pieces of the puzzle of our existence. Too bad we may have to wait another 10 years for some definitive answers.
This week at the TED Global conference, Henry Markram, director of the Blue Brain Project, revealed that he and his team in Switzerland are aiming to build a functioning, artificial human brain within the next 10 years.
The team started out a few years ago by attempting to create a fully functioning artificial rat brain using the IBM supercomputer, Blue Gene. The thought was if they could successfully replicate a rat's brain, they would then leverage their knowledge to do the same with a human one.
When they began their experiment, the digital rat brain only fired neurons when prodded by a simulated electrical current. Recently, however, the neurons have begun spontaneously organizing themselves into a more complex pattern.
According to the scientists, this is the beginning of the self-organizing neurological patterns that eventually, in more complex mammal brains, become personality.… Read more