Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 22nd Apr 2009 17:14 UTC, submitted by orfanum
Geek stuff, sci-fi... A detailed simulation of a small region of a brain built molecule by molecule has been constructed and has recreated experimental results from real brains. The "Blue Brain" has been put in a virtual body, and observing it gives the first indications of the molecular and neural basis of thought and memory. Scaling the simulation to the human brain is only a matter of money, says the project's head. The work was presented at the European Future Technologies meeting in Prague.
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I hope they can resist ...
by gustl on Wed 22nd Apr 2009 17:49 UTC
gustl
Member since:
2006-01-19

...scaling it to a human brain.

Would be rather cruel, to tell a simulated human being which has emotions and a personality that it is only simulated. Or how would you feel about it?

By the way, did you read the Otherland Saga? There you might get some idea what simulated humans could become.
For those who did not read the books: They could become YOU.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I hope they can resist ...
by wigginz on Wed 22nd Apr 2009 20:24 in reply to "I hope they can resist ..."
wigginz Member since:
2006-03-03

Hmm, if you can exactly simulate a brain with a computer, would it develop a consciousness? That's the part that gets me... if it did, you'd have to treat it as a human being right?

Reply Parent Score: 1

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

if it did, you'd have to treat it as a human being right?

Why? Large numbers of human beings in this world are not treated like human beings. Unless the computer is powerful enough to defend its own rights, I wouldn't expect it to do any better than real human beings who lack the power to defend their own rights.

Reply Parent Score: 4

t3RRa Member since:
2005-11-22

consciousness?? what we call 'emotion', 'consciousness' and etc are named by people in a way of people think. All those are in a simple term interactions between neurons and stuffs by chemicals. When we say 'consciousness', it refers to a way of behaviour/thought. So it doesn't mean that there is such a thing called 'consciousness' in our brains. So why develop 'consciousness'?

Reply Parent Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Hmm, if you can exactly simulate a brain with a computer, would it develop a consciousness? That's the part that gets me... if it did, you'd have to treat it as a human being right?


** WARNING, SPIRITUALITY AHEAD **

That raises the interesting question of whether ones self lays in the concious or whether there is something that is transcendent and unmeasurable (not saying there is a deity or anything like that).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: I hope they can resist ...
by DHofmann on Wed 22nd Apr 2009 20:30 in reply to "I hope they can resist ..."
DHofmann Member since:
2005-08-19

Would be rather cruel, to tell a simulated human being which has emotions and a personality that it is only simulated.


But those emotions and personality would be real. The only thing that would be simulated are the molecules.

Reply Parent Score: 1

r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Would be rather cruel, to tell a simulated human being which has emotions and a personality that it is only simulated.


But those emotions and personality would be real. The only thing that would be simulated are the molecules.


And that would be the crux of the matter. Humans have a sense of self and of independence. That sense of Independence comes from our physical form. As long as we can get food and water in moderate temperature surroundings, our basic needs for existence are met and aren't dependent on a further outside influence.

A simulated entity doesn't have an independent body. What that being has for a physical representation is an electro-mechanical vessel controlled by whomever created the simulation. The simulation (most likely) has no control over the power supply to, or the location of the device that houses its consciousness.

All our laws are based on the assumption that they govern the interactions of born, biological beings. Since the simulation was created and not born, isn't biological, there are no laws against terminating it at will. If the simulation is self aware and knows there is no legal framework present preventing its random termination, I reckon that simulation would get pretty miserable knowing its existence is dependent on the interest its creators have in keeping it around.

I think it would be pretty cruel to just traumatize a sentient being like that.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: I hope they can resist ...
by Elv13 on Thu 23rd Apr 2009 03:14 in reply to "I hope they can resist ..."
Elv13 Member since:
2006-06-12

Ghost in the Shell (1 and 2) are probably the best example/movie about this situation. It deal with what make humans human in a close future when some kind of cyborg will start to appear (peacemaker actually make peoples cyborg, even contact lenses do, but this movie talk about less natural case), massive spying botnet starting to gain consciousness, hacker ethics, dangers of interconnected brains and other incoming threat like that.

Really good movie for sci-fi, film noir, ethics and philosophy fans.

9/10

(About the tile, it not a ghostbuster remake, ghost = soul and shell = body)

Reply Parent Score: 1

adkilla Member since:
2005-07-07

I would rather recommend the Time of Eve:
http://www.crunchyroll.com/library/Time_of_Eve

Ghost in the Shell rather focuses on the moral complexity of transferring souls (or human minds) into machines and prosthetic bodies.

-Ad

Edited 2009-04-23 07:43 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1