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The Blue Brain Project

J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
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10/2/2010 9:42:35 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
"The Blue Brain Project is an attempt to create a synthetic brain by reverse-engineering the mammalian brain down to the molecular level.

"The aim of the project, founded in May 2005 by the Brain and Mind Institute of the École Polytechnique in Lausanne, Switzerland, is to study the brain's architectural and functional principles. The project is headed by the Institute's director, Henry Markram. Using a Blue Gene supercomputer running Michael Hines's NEURON software, the simulation does not consist simply of an artificial neural network, but involves a biologically realistic model of neurons. It is hoped that it will eventually shed light on the nature of consciousness." http://en.wikipedia.org...

Markram gave an interesting lecture on the project at TED. It's about 25 minutes long and DEFINITELY worth seeing. http://www.ted.com...

Thoughts? Reactions?
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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10/2/2010 10:15:29 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/2/2010 9:42:35 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
"The Blue Brain Project is an attempt to create a synthetic brain by reverse-engineering the mammalian brain down to the molecular level.

not quite there yet....

give it another.... oh, 500 years or so...

8)

though I REALLY have my doubts we could ever Fully analyze it enough to engineer it, I think a more promising route would be to get computers to scan it and copy it.... Fully Understanding just how Physical connections, and reactions, --> Thoughts might simply be Too involved for us to actually understand...
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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10/2/2010 10:18:22 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/2/2010 10:15:29 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 10/2/2010 9:42:35 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
"The Blue Brain Project is an attempt to create a synthetic brain by reverse-engineering the mammalian brain down to the molecular level.

not quite there yet....

give it another.... oh, 500 years or so...

8)

though I REALLY have my doubts we could ever Fully analyze it enough to engineer it, I think a more promising route would be to get computers to scan it and copy it.... Fully Understanding just how Physical connections, and reactions, --> Thoughts might simply be Too involved for us to actually understand...

we understand how the eyes/visual system works... we understand how the Mechanical systems operate... Have a Functional understanding of Audio...

but when it comes to understanding Thoughts we know no more than general areas such things occur..
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
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10/2/2010 10:18:46 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/2/2010 10:15:29 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 10/2/2010 9:42:35 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
"The Blue Brain Project is an attempt to create a synthetic brain by reverse-engineering the mammalian brain down to the molecular level.

not quite there yet....

give it another.... oh, 500 years or so...

Markram claims it will be finished in 10.
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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10/2/2010 10:27:58 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
WHOLE-LEE-SHEET

I don't doubt that they shall complete this, whether through this project or another. It's just a question of when. Incredibly interesting. At first it probably won't be alive--just a dead brain. But eventually--just imagine!--we may have our first artificial human. I bet many people are scared of this but I think it's fantastic.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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10/2/2010 10:33:03 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
thoughts are just TOO involved... TOO MANY connections...

There's like Billions of Neurons... each with several connections... and connecting through others to others to others in MULTITUDES upon Multitudes of ways... ALL of which are important... and no Neuron contains a "thought"... and no set of neurons would contain a thought... but rather the "thought" would be That set IN RELATION to the Billions of others in Their Multitudes of Important relations...

I don't doubt we could copy and re-create it with computers.... in the distant future...

But I DO doubt ANYONE can understand much of it.... or "engineer" it in any sense.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
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10/2/2010 10:34:37 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/2/2010 10:33:03 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
thoughts are just TOO involved... TOO MANY connections...

There's like Billions of Neurons... each with several connections... and connecting through others to others to others in MULTITUDES upon Multitudes of ways... ALL of which are important... and no Neuron contains a "thought"... and no set of neurons would contain a thought... but rather the "thought" would be That set IN RELATION to the Billions of others in Their Multitudes of Important relations...

I don't doubt we could copy and re-create it with computers.... in the distant future...

But I DO doubt ANYONE can understand much of it.... or "engineer" it in any sense.

Argument from personal incredulity. :P
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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10/2/2010 11:38:51 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/2/2010 10:34:37 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 10/2/2010 10:33:03 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
thoughts are just TOO involved... TOO MANY connections...

There's like Billions of Neurons... each with several connections... and connecting through others to others to others in MULTITUDES upon Multitudes of ways... ALL of which are important... and no Neuron contains a "thought"... and no set of neurons would contain a thought... but rather the "thought" would be That set IN RELATION to the Billions of others in Their Multitudes of Important relations...

I don't doubt we could copy and re-create it with computers.... in the distant future...

But I DO doubt ANYONE can understand much of it.... or "engineer" it in any sense.

Argument from personal incredulity. :P

how's this:

Imagine 64 neurons (a rather TEENY number) labeled A-Z

each neuron connects with the next in the sequence... BUT also connects with a few others...

so A connects with B, and B with C...

but A also connects with I and Q... B with T and H... and C with K and S

now when A Fires B changes in a significant way due to it's connection with A (not necessarilly firing Just because A fires)... But it also might change b/c A connects with H which connects with B.... so now A's firing affects B in two different ways...

But A also connects with C through B...
and C connects with S which connects with T...
And T connects with B too!

so... Through that pathway A's firing can affect B too.

Now what B does.... Well that depends on the nature of B and it's connections with A, T, and H..... and the natures of A, T, and H... Though this is starting to get complicated I'm sure people could figure out what B is gonna do...

now What C does... and D does... and E does... and F does... those all get Even More complicated... For what B did when A fired will most certainly affect what C does... and what B did will affect D too... Every letter in the bunch will end up affecting every other letter in the bunch in both the straight-forward linear manner as well as many round-about pathways through multiple other letters, With each result dependent on the nature of Each letter involved, and the strenght of the connections...

and the connections will sometimes change.

with just 64 neurons the number and nature of the Pathways connecting them will very quickly get insanely boggling...

My Cognitive/Physiological Psych professor said that Given the Billions of Neurons and their Many connections... that doing the math conservatively the amount of Pathways between various neurons in a given brain would Rival the number of Atoms which exist in the Universe...

Each additional neuron a brain has Increases the number of existent pathways exponentially...

"Thoughts", if it must be said at all, are seemingly best said to exist as collections of those pathways... and are Reliant upon their relation to other such collections... and they connect with them in Multitudes of ways...

just as A connects to B in various ways... the set A-Z connects to other sets in various ways.. and other sets might be made up of partials of those First sets....

it's one big Complicated 3 dimensional, ever-changing, non-linear, mess of Trillions of Paths of connections... with each individual connection being of various strengths...

we might begin to see patterns in paths get arranged... and how they interact... BUT to understand a given Pattern Fully would require understanding all of it's components (and their various connections) AND... how it affects all the other patterns (which requires knowing All their components, and how they connect with each other, and how they feed back to to the initial one in many many different ways.

way Too much to keep track of...

Knowing the Physical structure of any particular"thought" basically would basically require understanding the connections between all the neurons in the relevant part of the brain.... (knowing the structure/connections of all the other thoughts)
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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10/2/2010 11:40:28 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/2/2010 11:38:51 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
Imagine 64 neurons (a rather TEENY number) labeled A-Z

ok... so there's not quite 64 letters in the alphabet.. LOL 8)

It's two in the morning and I've been thinking in Billions and trillions... so...

BLAH!
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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10/2/2010 11:41:45 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/2/2010 11:40:28 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
It's two in the morning

correction! 2:41
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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10/2/2010 11:48:56 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/2/2010 11:46:28 PM, Puck wrote:
http://scienceblogs.com...

Haha! Pucks on my side! :)

now I've won! 8)
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
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10/2/2010 11:55:26 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/2/2010 11:48:56 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 10/2/2010 11:46:28 PM, Puck wrote:
http://scienceblogs.com...

Haha! Pucks on my side! :)

now I've won! 8)

Well, I guess that about settles it. "Puck is always right" has practically achieved meme status hereabouts.

I agree as well, but we can we just pretend it's currently possible? I wanted to get a discussion going on the ethics involved, what constitutes a mind, are humans biological machines, etc.
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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10/2/2010 11:59:22 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I agree as well, but we can we just pretend it's currently possible? I wanted to get a discussion going on the ethics involved, what constitutes a mind, are humans biological machines, etc.

The issue becomes is the 'brain' analogous with an actual one, i.e. is it adult, infant etc., and would that incur personhood status upon the machine (is it conscious, self aware, capable of self programming and so on). Or is it just a piece of hardware that has a unique computation tool?
jharry
Posts: 4,984
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10/3/2010 7:00:28 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/2/2010 9:42:35 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
"The Blue Brain Project is an attempt to create a synthetic brain by reverse-engineering the mammalian brain down to the molecular level.

"The aim of the project, founded in May 2005 by the Brain and Mind Institute of the École Polytechnique in Lausanne, Switzerland, is to study the brain's architectural and functional principles. The project is headed by the Institute's director, Henry Markram. Using a Blue Gene supercomputer running Michael Hines's NEURON software, the simulation does not consist simply of an artificial neural network, but involves a biologically realistic model of neurons. It is hoped that it will eventually shed light on the nature of consciousness." http://en.wikipedia.org...

Markram gave an interesting lecture on the project at TED. It's about 25 minutes long and DEFINITELY worth seeing. http://www.ted.com...

Thoughts? Reactions?

Is it too complicated or is it impossible for a human to create another human from a non-human?
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen
Atheism
Posts: 2,033
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10/3/2010 7:54:22 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/3/2010 7:00:28 PM, jharry wrote:
At 10/2/2010 9:42:35 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
"The Blue Brain Project is an attempt to create a synthetic brain by reverse-engineering the mammalian brain down to the molecular level.

"The aim of the project, founded in May 2005 by the Brain and Mind Institute of the École Polytechnique in Lausanne, Switzerland, is to study the brain's architectural and functional principles. The project is headed by the Institute's director, Henry Markram. Using a Blue Gene supercomputer running Michael Hines's NEURON software, the simulation does not consist simply of an artificial neural network, but involves a biologically realistic model of neurons. It is hoped that it will eventually shed light on the nature of consciousness." http://en.wikipedia.org...

Markram gave an interesting lecture on the project at TED. It's about 25 minutes long and DEFINITELY worth seeing. http://www.ted.com...

Thoughts? Reactions?

Is it too complicated or is it impossible for a human to create another human from a non-human?
Not impossible in theory.
It is entirely possible, but it remains to be seen if we can demonstrate that level of intelligence.
I miss the old members.
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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10/3/2010 8:24:13 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/2/2010 9:42:35 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
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Interesting, and theoretically plausible, but I'm unsure of how possible it would actually end up being. There are millions upon millions of connections in our brains that fire off at absolutely wild rates, and rarely at the same time, in the same place, even when thinking or reacting to the same thing. I have doubts that our technology is advanced enough to simulate that sort of thing, is it?
J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
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10/3/2010 8:39:16 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/3/2010 8:24:13 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 10/2/2010 9:42:35 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
Thoughts? Reactions?

Interesting, and theoretically plausible, but I'm unsure of how possible it would actually end up being. There are millions upon millions of connections in our brains that fire off at absolutely wild rates,

That's called a seizure :P

and rarely at the same time, in the same place, even when thinking or reacting to the same thing.

When you concentrate on something, they fire in a specific pattern at (usually) 40-Hz. Crick's (yes, the DNA guy) theory of consciousness speculated that the 40-Hz firing of neurons is thought, which seems to leave a whole lot missing.

I have doubts that our technology is advanced enough to simulate that sort of thing, is it?

Probably not. Not yet, anyway.
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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10/3/2010 8:41:51 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/3/2010 8:39:16 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
That's called a seizure :P

Only if they start misfiring - remember, the human brain is nothing short of the most well orchestrated thing in the world.

When you concentrate on something, they fire in a specific pattern at (usually) 40-Hz. Crick's (yes, the DNA guy) theory of consciousness speculated that the 40-Hz firing of neurons is thought, which seems to leave a whole lot missing.

Interesting, I never knew that.
jharry
Posts: 4,984
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10/3/2010 9:58:07 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/3/2010 7:54:22 PM, Atheism wrote:
At 10/3/2010 7:00:28 PM, jharry wrote:
At 10/2/2010 9:42:35 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
"The Blue Brain Project is an attempt to create a synthetic brain by reverse-engineering the mammalian brain down to the molecular level.

"The aim of the project, founded in May 2005 by the Brain and Mind Institute of the École Polytechnique in Lausanne, Switzerland, is to study the brain's architectural and functional principles. The project is headed by the Institute's director, Henry Markram. Using a Blue Gene supercomputer running Michael Hines's NEURON software, the simulation does not consist simply of an artificial neural network, but involves a biologically realistic model of neurons. It is hoped that it will eventually shed light on the nature of consciousness." http://en.wikipedia.org...

Markram gave an interesting lecture on the project at TED. It's about 25 minutes long and DEFINITELY worth seeing. http://www.ted.com...

Thoughts? Reactions?

Is it too complicated or is it impossible for a human to create another human from a non-human?
Not impossible in theory.
It is entirely possible, but it remains to be seen if we can demonstrate that level of intelligence.

Impossible is theory? Why?
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen
Atheism
Posts: 2,033
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10/3/2010 10:04:36 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/3/2010 9:58:07 PM, jharry wrote:
At 10/3/2010 7:54:22 PM, Atheism wrote:
At 10/3/2010 7:00:28 PM, jharry wrote:
At 10/2/2010 9:42:35 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
"The Blue Brain Project is an attempt to create a synthetic brain by reverse-engineering the mammalian brain down to the molecular level.

"The aim of the project, founded in May 2005 by the Brain and Mind Institute of the École Polytechnique in Lausanne, Switzerland, is to study the brain's architectural and functional principles. The project is headed by the Institute's director, Henry Markram. Using a Blue Gene supercomputer running Michael Hines's NEURON software, the simulation does not consist simply of an artificial neural network, but involves a biologically realistic model of neurons. It is hoped that it will eventually shed light on the nature of consciousness." http://en.wikipedia.org...

Markram gave an interesting lecture on the project at TED. It's about 25 minutes long and DEFINITELY worth seeing. http://www.ted.com...

Thoughts? Reactions?

Is it too complicated or is it impossible for a human to create another human from a non-human?
Not impossible in theory.
It is entirely possible, but it remains to be seen if we can demonstrate that level of intelligence.

Impossible is theory? Why?
Yes, some things can be impossible, even in theory. I assume that's what you were asking.
It is possible because we have already accomplished very much on the study of the brain, in comparison to fifty years ago. It will only take time from this point on, provided we don't hit any massive and unforeseen roadblocks.
But yes, it is entirely possible.
I miss the old members.
Caramel
Posts: 855
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10/3/2010 10:36:31 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Informative presentation, but not convincing. It will be a great experiment, to build a supercomputer brain, but I don't see them crossing any boundaries of conciousness with this any time soon.
no comment
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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10/6/2010 8:28:44 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/2/2010 11:41:45 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 10/2/2010 11:40:28 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
It's two in the morning

correction! 2:41

Were you high?