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Ghost in the Shell Theories

July 18, 2009

Cybernetic bodies are fine and all, but from watching GiTS it appears that the cyberbrains are easy enough to duplicate, and to hack into… So basically the brain itself becomes no different from a computer hard drive, information in the brain becomes obsolete; personality can be changed just using the skills of a hacker. And when the mind can be copied and edited to make a new ‘personality’, what use will there be for ‘original’ human minds? Doesn’t that mean (theoretically) with technology’s progression we are making ourselves more and more unnecessary?

Brilliant article on the WSJ the other day (today is Saturday, July 18th, so look back the past week for it) about a bunch of scientists being able to replicate/ model some mouse neurons. Apparently they have a cluster of live mouse brain cells kept alive in some test tube and hooked up to a bunch of monitoring devices. And then they have a massive supercomputer doing the modelling, which apparently is rather accurate. There is a reference to a neural equivalent to a Mexican wave, whatever that’s supposed to mean.

That’s awesome.

Soon we will be able to doubt, with better efficiency than before, what is real and what is not; whether what we see is what others see; if what you know today was really what happened yesterday; if what you think (s)he thinks is what (s)he thinks he thinks… et cetera, so on, and whatnot.

Moving a little bit too far from the topic, however. Will attempt to stray back.

So, how long before a full human brain is modeled by computer? Will consciousness arise? Interestingly the article does touch on the issue, but I don’t remember a conclusive stance. Them scientists don’t know either. Is consciousness merely an aspect of the physiological brain (cells and all), or something deeper? That’s what they ask, and what I would certainly be interested in knowing. What kind of limitations would a digital brain possess? How about its memory capabilities? Will they let it sync with the Internet? Will they call it CADIE? Will it become the Puppetmaster? Will it destroy the world, or destroy itself?

Excellent building blocks for a SF novel, if you ask me.

Edit 23 July 09 – – 10 years only! Let’s keep tabs on this one, eh.


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