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On the Fast Track to the Singularity - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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March 10th, 2007

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11:01 pm - On the Fast Track to the Singularity
I received my latest issue of Popular Science magazine today (it's not up on their website yet, I'll post a link when it arrives), and in it was another article about Ted Berger and his work at USC at creating an artificial hippocampus. In 2003, this work was in the early stages. Now, it is actually starting to pay off.

Work on various one-way interfaces, like the one I talk about here continue, with everything from implanted artificial retinas to brain controlled robot arms continues well, but these are all both fairly crude and all of them are solely one-way – data goes in or out of the brain, but there is no two-way communication between brain and chip. Berger's chip has now made two-way connections with a slice of living rat brain in a petri dish and - sending and receiving signals to and from the neural tissue. The first tests with implanting these chips in the brains of living rats occurs later this year – they'll be able to test if this chip can actually act like a real hippocampus and process memory. If so, the era of brain implants is here and everything from downloading memories to backing up memories cease being SF and become engineering problems. I'm absolutely amazed that this work is going so well. Some back of the envelope calculations based on Moore's law makes chips that can duplicate all of the neurons in a brain in 25-30 years, and while that figure is nothing more than guesswork, it's also not guesswork I'd care to bet against. Wow!!!
Current Mood: impressedimpressed

(3 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:March 11th, 2007 05:11 pm (UTC)
We're all just going to wake up posthuman one day and realize, "Hey, wait a second...the Singularity came and went while we were all asleep! SHIT!"

BTW: Keep an eye on my LJ later on today or tomorrow--I'm developing (get this) a post-Singular Lovecraft story involving Other Gods, a planet that just miraculously appears out of nowhere, and lots of cybernetic tentacles. Ohyeah, and talking cats. LOTS of talking cats. Talking cats with really bad attitudes.
[User Picture]
Date:March 12th, 2007 03:07 am (UTC)
I read that as "creating an artificial HIPPOPOTAMUS."

I am disappointed... :(
[User Picture]
Date:April 6th, 2007 11:55 pm (UTC)
Artificial neural tissue will be a wonderful advance. There was a girl back home who got in a snow machine accident which, due to brain damage, reduced her to the mental capacity of an eight year old. I look forward to the day when we can repair such damaged cells, or perhaps end mental retardation. (Though given the attitude back home towards medical care, I'm sure there will still be people who think God made them mentally disabled for a reason. *sigh*)

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