The last time scientists decided to build an artificial brain, of course, they ended up with big boxes with flashing lights, whirring reels of tape… and enough processing power to count up to about 7.
Not that I’m complaining of course. The ‘electronic brains’ of 1960s turned into the almost-useful computers of today. And how would I waste time at work without computers?
This time, however, the high-foreheaded boffins, in thick glasses and lab coats really, really mean it. Chaps at IBM are actually attempting to build a simulation of a human brain, from the molecular level up:
They say that they will be able to feed it visual stimulus and observe its reaction… which sounds a little callous when one is talking about a simulated human.
I mean, basically they’re talking about creating a live brain in a virtual jar. It’s very cool, but kinda creepy.
Estimated time to project completion: 10 years. Given that the next version of the Sony playstation already has a dedicated ‘volleyball’ processor to simulate the dynamics of women’s breasts, I figure that the video game industry is already working on simulated people, albeit from another direction, and as they’re better funded than IBM; they stand a good chance of beating them to the punch.
Now where did I put the lightning conductor and amniotic fluid?