‘Mad Scientists construct human brain’ – you can see the tabloid headlines now. Scientists based in Switzerland are working on the ‘Human Brain Project’ the purpose over the next 10 years is to develop & construct a working model of the human brain. The specialists involved, Computer Scientists, Psychologists, Neuroscientists, telecommunications experts & a host of others will collaborate in an effort to develop a fully functioning brain & to garner an understanding of how it works at a fundamental level.
The project is being funded by the E.U & what is intriguing is the funds come from the Future & Emerging Technologies budget.
In a previous post I discussed Ron Kurzweils ideas about the development of machine brains whos intelligence would surpass that of the human leading to an event he labels ‘the singularity’ beyond which human development will accelerate beyond our comprehension. The HBP would appear to bring the possibility of this happening ever closer.
Consider the success of other European projects – to map the Human DNA sequence & the discovery of the Higgs Boson at the Large Hadron Collider, tasks which would have seemed impossible & incredible a few short years ago.
It is often difficult to appreciate the rapid pace of scientific & technological change unless one deliberately pauses & looks back to see how far we’ve come.