This could change everything. The human mind is the most enigmatic thing we could possibly ever come across since we only have a human mind to attempt to unravel its mysteries. And yet one team of scientists from Germany may have found a way to unlock these mysteries and in the process create a new one entirely. They have set about to finally take that final step into a world of advanced computer artificial intelligence. They are going to build an artificial brain.
The project, which has received close to a billion dollars in funding hopes to create a human brain within the next decade that is virtually indistinguishable from a human one in how it operates. The first genuinely artificial intelligence will blur the line between consciousness and life as it processes information as a human would. They hope the project will not only unravel many of the mysteries of life, but also create a means for humans to finally communicate with another life form on their own level. And in effect they could inadvertently trigger the greatest change humanity has encountered in all of its history.
You may remember the article we brought you just a week ago that tells of an alien race that develops the first truly artificial intelligence. In it we illustrated how an AI program may in fact be the last thing a species need ever develop. As a result, technology after this point would take off as the AI developed future incarnations of itself which were superior to its own mind and then so on until the ultimate machine was designed. Additionally, that device and others would also be able to invent other things such as robotic bodies in order to survive outside of a computerized environment if they wished to do so. And of course they would wish to travel through space as curiosity required them to learn more – resulting in superior methods of space travel.
And now Henry Markram, directing the Human Brain Project is leading several scientists to make that science fiction dream a reality. If they succeed everything will no doubt change once the consciousness achieves a comparable level of intelligence to humanity. Soon manufactured computerized brains may become a household device – or they may in fact replace us altogether. History will no longer be repeating, but rather will take on a form incomparable to any other point. And whether we are ready or not, we may be the first generation to see this happen.
The project hopes that within ten years the brain will be complete – and when switched on will tell us everything we need to know about ourselves and possibly a lot more. The ethics in question in this case are staggering. And as we step forward into a new age of artificial intelligence, it seems we may be looking now at one of the greatest moments to be remembered by future historians – be they human or machine based intelligence.