fredag 10 augusti 2012

Hitler would have loved The Singularity: Mind-blowing benefits of merging human brains and computers

No longer need strokes and neurodegenerative diseases rob people of speech because we can turn their brainwaves directly into words.
But this is only the beginning. Neuroscientists are going to make the mind meld look like child’s play. Mankind is merging with its machines.
The process began centuries ago with simple devices such as eyeglasses and ear trumpets that could dramatically improve human lives.
Then came better machines, such as hearing aids; and then machines that could save lives, including pacemakers and dialysis machines.
By the second decade of the 21st Century, we have become used to organs grown in laboratories, genetic surgery and designer babies.

In 2002, medical researchers used enzymes and DNA to build the first molecular computers, and in 2004 improved versions were being injected into people’s veins to fight cancer.
By 2020 we may be able to put even cleverer nanocomputers into our brains to speed up synaptic links, give ourselves perfect memory and perhaps cure dementia.
But inserting technology into human brains is not the only thing going on. Some scientists also want to insert human brains into technology.
Since the Sixties, computer chips have been doubling their speed and halving their cost every 18 months or so.
If the trend continues, the inventor and predictor Ray Kurzweil has pointed out that by 2029 we will have computers powerful enough to run programs reproducing the 10,000 trillion electrical signals that flash around your skull every second.
They will also have enough memory to store the ten trillion recollections that make you who you are.

And they will also be powerful enough to scan, neuron by neuron, every contour and wrinkle of your brain.
What this means is that if the trends of the past 50 years continue, in 17 years’ time we will be able to upload an electronic replica of your mind on to a machine.
There will be two of you – one a flesh-and-blood animal, the other inside a computer’s circuits.
And if the trends hold fast beyond that, Kurzweil adds, by 2045 we will have a computer that is powerful enough to host every one of the eight billion minds on Earth.

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