Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Remote Control My Brain

I’ve been meaning to write about this topic considering that it was deep and quite thoughtful. The other week i watched an interesting video from Horizon on Human 2.0. It talked about Moore’s law and how the law principle can be applied to the advancement of the understanding of the human mind. Moore’s law is a basic understanding of the trend in technological advancement (specifically computing) and how the advancement doubles every two years.

The program was setting a similar trend to the understanding of the human brain. It was said that the trend for our brains doubles every 20 years and in about 20 years from now we will have an almost complete understanding of our brains. With this understanding we would be able to achieve countless possible things some of which were mentioned. We would be able to create a computer that was as powerfull as the human brain, one that can think for itself. I found this almost fascinating but at the same time unnearving. A computer that can think for itself and relate like a human would be a powerful thing. It would be able to do many things a human usually finds impossible or too stressful and therefore be more reliable within a working environment. This sounds like a good idea for a business but what does it do for every day people who are now going to be out of a job. If a computer can think like a human and have emotion, what would that do for creative people who would currently have job security.

A powerful computer that can think for itself would be potentially dangerous since it would be able to form opitions and thoughts about certain things. What would happen if it went rogue, humans are flesh and bone where as machines are scrap metal. Would we be able to cope in a world run by free thinking almost sentient beings. Is the future going to be I-Robot, Matrix or Terminator? The program went into detail about research about effectivly simulating the brain to make it do what you want. They demonstrated the effects using a remote controlled rat that would be able to move in the direction the scientists wanted. The remote controlled rat is just stage one, we could always take it a step too far and start introducing them as the new Christmas Present for this year to even the next advanced fighting soldier. In relation to the title of the program, “Human 2.0” refers to the way in which we will be able to create a better version of ourselves once we know more about the human brain. But with new technology and knowledge comes a big price to pay and we have to be ready to accept it.

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