The Computer and The Brain… they like to Sing a Song
Do not touch the machine
Anton Des Roubles: I am dead – my body is dead – but I still live.
I am this machine.
These racks of apparatus are my brain, which is thinking even as yours is..
John Campbell “The Infinite Brain” 1930
Cho and John are talking about the following article:
Brain Computer Interfaces: The reciprocal role of science fiction and reality
In this post the dialogue is realised by an interaction of virtual characters, for more information please check the page “Virtual characters“
Hi Cho, can I ask you some questions about brain implants?
Hi John, sure, ask away 😉
I’m collaborating with a journalist, Manuel, on a piece about the connections between science and Sci-Fi
Interesting, there’s a lot of hype an misinformation out there, this sounds useful. 🙂
Indeed! Specifically, I’d like to go over one example of an implant from a book
OK, I’ve read a lot of sci-fi as a student, I hope I know it … 😄
Good! So they co-wrote this book about a brain implant that can help heal brain damage
Cool, I don’t know the book, but I wish we had such a thing. How would this device work?
Basically they implant a tiny supercomputer in the damaged area, which would reconnect severed neurons
That does sound like sci-fi indeed: the question is how?. 😏
They use something called “PNEP film chips—programmable neural electron pathway devices”
these are “coated with living embryonic human nerve cells”, first attached to an external computer, later to the implant
This actually starts to sound realistic, Minsky knew what he was doing.
So this checks out? We can do something like this nowadays?
Yes and no. Forget about the scale of the problem, we can’t deal with millions of neurons yet
and even a supercomputer can’t keep up with the brain, let alone an implantable one!
OK the problems of scale, but in principle? Repairing the brain?
and we can implant a chip in the brain to receive and send impulses, “read and write” if you like.
The trick would be to link those: guiding regrowth with AI.
In principle, that should be possible.
Great! Thank you so much!
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Sam our Computer Scientist and AI Expert
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