The $1.3B Quest to Build a Supercomputer Replica of a Human Brain
Even by the standards of the TED conference, Henry Markram’s 2009 TEDGlobal talk was a mind-bender. He took the stage of the Oxford Playhouse, clad in the requisite dress shirt and blue jeans, and announced a plan that—if it panned out—would deliver a fully sentient hologram within a decade. He dedicated himself to wiping out all mental disorders and creating a self-aware artificial intelligence. And the South African–born neuroscientist pronounced that he would accomplish all this through an insanely ambitious attempt to build a complete model of a human brain—from synapses to hemispheres—and simulate it on a supercomputer. Markram was proposing a project that has bedeviled AI researchers for decades, that most had presumed was impossible. He wanted to build a working mind from the ground up.
In the four years since Markram’s speech, he hasn’t backed off a nanometer. The self-assured scientist claims that the only thing preventing scientists from understanding the human brain in its entirety—from the molecular level all the way to the mystery of consciousness—is a lack of ambition. If only neuroscience would follow his lead, he insists, his Human Brain Project could simulate the functions of all 86 billion neurons in the human brain, and the 100 trillion connections that link them. And once that’s done, once you’ve built a plug-and-play brain, anything is possible. You could take it apart to figure out the causes of brain diseases. You could rig it to robotics and develop a whole new range of intelligent technologies. You could strap on a pair of virtual reality glasses and experience a brain other than your own.
The way Markram sees it, technology has finally caught up with the dream of AI: Computers are finally growing sophisticated enough to tackle the massive data problem that is the human brain. But not everyone is so optimistic. “There are too many things we don’t yet know,” says Caltech professor Christof Koch, chief scientific officer at one of neuroscience’s biggest data producers, the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. “The roundworm has exactly 302 neurons, and we still have no frigging idea how this animal works.” Yet over the past couple of decades, Markram’s sheer persistence has garnered the respect of people like Nobel Prize–winning neuroscientist Torsten Wiesel and Sun Microsystems cofounder Andy Bechtolsheim. He has impressed leading figures in biology, neuroscience, and computing, who believe his initiative is important even if they consider some of his ultimate goals unrealistic.
Markram has earned that support on the strength of his work at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, where he and a group of 15 postdocs have been taking a first stab at realizing his grand vision—simulating the behavior of a million-neuron portion of the rat neocortex. They’ve broken new ground on everything from the expression of individual rat genes to the organizing principles of the animal’s brain. And the team has not only published some of that data in peer-reviewed journals but also integrated it into a cohesive model so it can be simulated on an IBM Blue Gene supercomputer.
The big question is whether these methods can scale. There’s no guarantee that Markram will be able to build out the rest of the rat brain, let alone the vastly more complex human brain. And if he can, nobody knows whether even the most faithful model will behave like a real brain—that if you build it, it will think. For all his bravado, Markram can’t answer that question. “But the only way you can find out is by building it,” he says, “and just building a brain is an incredible biological discovery process.” This is too big a job for just one lab, so Markram envisions an estimated 6,000 researchers around the world funneling data into his model. His role will be that of prophet, the sort of futurist who presents worthy goals too speculative for most scientists to countenance and then backs them up with a master plan that makes the nearly impossible appear perfectly plausible. Neuroscientists can spend a whole career on a single cell or molecule. Markram will grant them the opportunity and encouragement to band together and pursue the big questions.
And now Markram has funding almost as outsized as his ideas. On January 28, 2013, the European Commission—the governing body of the European Union—awarded him 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion). For decades, neuroscientists and computer scientists have debated whether a computer brain could ever be endowed with the intelligence of a human. It’s not a hypothetical debate anymore. Markram is building it. Will he replicate consciousness? The EU has bet $1.3 billion on it.
Ancient Egyptian surgeons believed that the brain was the “marrow of the skull” (in the graphic wording of a 3,500-year-old papyrus). About 1,500 years later, Aristotle decreed that the brain was a radiator to cool the heart’s “heat and seething.” While neuroscience has come a long way since then, the amount that we know about the brain is still minuscule compared to what we don’t know.
Over the past century, brain research has made tremendous strides, but it’s all atomized and highly specific—there’s still no unified theory that explains the whole. We know that the brain is electric, an intricately connected network, and that electrical signals are modulated by chemicals. In sufficient quantity, certain combinations of chemicals (called neurotransmitters) cause a neuron to fire an electrical signal down a long pathway called an axon. At the end of the axon is a synapse, a meeting point with another neuron. The electrical spike causes neurotransmitters to be released at the synapse, where they attach to receptors in the neighboring neuron, altering its voltage by opening or closing ion channels. At the simplest level, comparisons to a computer are helpful. The synapses are roughly equivalent to the logic gates in a circuit, and axons are the wires. The combination of inputs determines an output. Memories are stored by altering the wiring. Behavior is correlated with the pattern of firing.
Yet when scientists study these systems more closely, such reductionism looks nearly as rudimentary as the Egyptian notions about skull marrow. There are dozens of different neurotransmitters (dopamine and serotonin, to name two) plus as many neuroreceptors to receive them. There are more than 350 types of ion channel, the synaptic plumbing that determines whether a neuron will fire. At its most fine-grained, at the level of molecular biology, neuroscience attempts to describe and predict the effect of neurotransmitters one ion channel at a time. At the opposite end of the scale is functional magnetic resonance imaging, the favorite tool of behavioral neuroscience. Scans can roughly track which parts of the brain are active while watching a ball game or having an orgasm, albeit only by monitoring blood flow through the gray matter: the brain again viewed as a radiator.
Two large efforts—the Allen Brain Atlas and the National Institutes of Health-funded Human Connectome Project—are working at levels in between these two extremes, attempting to get closer to that unified theory that explains the whole. The Allen Brain Atlas is mapping the correlation between specific genes and specific structures and regions in both human and mouse brains. The Human Connectome Project is using noninvasive imaging techniques that show where wires are bundled and how those bundles are connected in human brains.
To add to the brain-mapping mix, President Obama in April announced the launch of an initiative called Brain (commonly referred to as the Brain Activity Map), which he hopes Congress will make possible with a $3 billion NIH budget. (To start, Obama is pledging $100 million of his 2014 budget.) Unlike the static Human Connectome Project, the proposed Brain Activity Map would show circuits firing in real time. At present this is feasible, writes Brain Activity Map participant Ralph Greenspan, “in the little fruit fly Drosophila.”
Even scaled up to human dimensions, such a map would chart only a web of activity, leaving out much of what is known of brain function at a molecular and functional level. For Markram, the American plan is just grist for his billion-euro mill. “The Brain Activity Map and other projects are focused on generating more data,” he writes. “The Human Brain Project is about data integration.” In other words, from his exalted perspective, the NIH and President Obama are just a bunch of postdocs ready to work for him.
An exocortex is a theoretical artificial external information processing system that would augment a brain’s biological high-leons
Living Digital provided one description of the concept:
While [the traditional concept of] a cyborg has included artificial mechanical limbs, embedded chips and devices, another interesting concept is the exocortex, which is a brain-computer interface. In theory, the exocortex would be a computer-like processing system that would co-exist with and enhance the power of the human brain. Neuromancer is a book that has talked about such a scenario.
The Fatal Consequences Related To Research
Online-connected brains and neural networks.
“ICT” = Information and Communication Technologies
“BMI” = Brain Machine Interface, brain-computer interconnection
“FET” = Future and Emerging Technologies
“S.T.” = Synthetic Telepathy
“A.I.” = Artificial Intelligence.
FET and ICT research and development (of the new “computer – brain language”) allows computers to read and learn human thought patterns by using injectable brain – machine – interface.
About the same brain-machine interface has has been used to cure Parkinson’s disease , Alzheimer’s and depression can also be used for accessing the brain’s memory.
Professor Goran Hermerén OPINION OF THE EUROPEAN GROUP ON ETHICS IN SCIENCE AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES TO THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION (ETHICAL ASPECTS OF ICT IMPLANTS IN THE HUMAN BODY) March 2005
The new software for the brain-machine interface in nano electronics combined with “Europe’s new information technology” provides the researchers with the possibillities for reading and taking “software images” of the brain’s neuron network.
A method that provides high-resolution copies of the brains cognitive behavior and human perception.
Tomorrow’s high-speed computers and related research has evolved into a sophisticated “computer game” with “mind reading” on real people….
These research methods are unknown to our society’s legal system!
So how can research on the brain by “serious” (criminal) organizations in ICT-FET be stopped?
SYNTHETIC TELEPATHY for medicine or mind reading is a direct communication with nanoelectronics between computer and human brain.
Synthetic telepathy is a communication system based on thought, not speech.
It can be used to control for example a prosthesis and cure diseases such as Parkinson’s disease but can also decode the patterns used to study cognitive behavior such as memory, learning and emotion. With nano technology, the digital information can be recorded using the new quantum-inspired computers.
Simulation of behavior can be identified and provide diagnostic data for identifying the precursors to diseases such as dementia, stroke and myocardial infarction
This letter is intended to demonstrate a paradox in the Swedish so-called “protection of human rights” and thus the entire Swedish justice system. Synthetic telepathy could, as practiced in Sweden, lie behind an unknown number of violent crimes and suicides due to research deliberately kept hidden from regulators.
Doctors and psychiatrics diagnose people with “voices in his head” following their “manuals”. DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) published by the American Psychiatric Association and the ICD-10 (International Statistical Classification of Disorders and Related Health Problems).
This is an old-fashioned black and white and diagnose when the EU priority FET ICT research and develop new information technologies adapted to nano-electronics.
Ulf Gorman writes in the book that with nano technology, we open the doors to an unknown area where we do not know how to apply ethics. What should be and what should not be allowed when you implant a chip that can both read and influence the brain? He takes the example of studying learning and memory.
Micro Implants can provide unprecedented opportunities to understand how we learn and remember things, and hence why we forget and find it difficult to learn. And it can be understood as a form of abuse to look like that into our most private mental world.
Lund University writes about the development of nano-electrodes that can both listen and communicate with neuronal synapses and their cell membranes.
EU priority ICT and FET research are talking about a “A whole new communication technology in Europe” “It will help us understand and exploit the ways in which social and biological systems, organization and evolution, will pave the way for the development of new opportunities for next-generation software and network technologies “.
To understand how the human brain works not only leads to innovations in medicine but also provides new models for energy, fault-tolerant and adaptive computing technologies “.
An initiative of the Virtual Human Physiology that are individually tailored and virtual simulations of the human body where you would expect enormous progress in disease prevention and health care.
The pioneering work carried out also on new ideas such as artificial living cells, synthetic biology, chemical communication, collective intelligence and two-way interface between brain and machine
Other sources, e.g The UCI (University of California Irvin. Department of Cognitive Science) describes the development of Synthetic Telepathy:
Collaboration between cognitive science, neuro-science, specialists in speech recognition and brain imaging will develop a brain-machine interface. This device could help paralyzed and soldiers would be able to send messages directly from the brain to a computer.
Researcher Michael D’Zmura, President of the UCI describes that the system begins with “the little voice in your head“.
How can a medical diagnosis unequivocally describe people’s perception of voices in their head and that no alternative can exist except mental disease.
Why? -because it is a prerequisite to be able to “hear” voices for the use of new information technology?
This is why these researchers must be forced to go public and announce this new scientific communication technology.
This paradox must be investigated immediately.With the exclusion of the development of a Swedish and European military force with superior two-way “radio” communication with the brain.
A number of past court cases are more or less directly caused by S.T. This “voice to skull” technology must immediately be taken into consideration as an alternative for triggering a number of previously committed violent crimes and suicides.
During the development of BMI, software and network technologies are also computerized and long distance imaging of peoples cognitive behavior and perception. Material that is recorded in the computer that runs the real time simulation and creation of artificial intelligence (for initializing A.I. and computerized decision making.)
The image of the brain’s “machine-code” is probably the most comprehensive and advanced ever made. Cognitive behavior depicted and simulated, language and meaning of the words for the subjects are identified. Human perception and mapping how the brain handles information, the image of mathematics reached its perfection.
Around the clock the computerized study goes on using collective, artificial intelligence and self-learning systems. The victims testimonies tells us that you can sadly conclude unequivocally that the studies will not be completed until the victim in one way or another has been broken down and / or otherwise inactivated.
This provides power to simulate decomposition for the digital copy thus the fact that the criminal research will not end and is never disclosed.
Descriptions to the vulnerable people who eat psychotropic drugs due to their experiences the experiments and testing goes on, various medicines can affect the “test objects” (or guinea pigs) everything is recorded and compared with previous values (from the multi-annual copy of their real-time neural network and thus the registration of their behavior.)
Obviously this is a disgusting and illegal way to meet the advanced development of tomorrow’s medicine.
The “studies” have resulted in enormous damage to many subjects.The number of unrecorded victims/subjects is probably very high.Families are fragmented, the children of these families are suffering tremendously. One of the subjects have recently been hospitalized with a cracked skull, caused by disconnecting the balance system remotely. The accident occurred in public settings.
To influence the balance system is another typical example of how technology is used against the victim to incapacitate them for society. Direct assassination attempts on several previous occasions orchestrated by the brain control deliberately strikes out the human balance system, Why this happens is likely as an alternative to the mentally ill to be treated (as “possessed”) or having a neurological disease.
Brain – copying with BMI and broadband access is definitely no longer a marginal research.Employers have over the years lost millions of dollars and cut-downs is to be expected due to excluded employees. Broken families, children who, years later can not study or work is now forced to seek psychiatric care.
Siblings, grandparents and their closest friends are suffering tremendously. Advanced Medical and hospital care due to study design is a mockery of health-care and doctors who are not familiar with this research. Insurance in the multi-million figures was raised through direct damage caused by brain control. Property for millions of dollars are lost.
Injuries and privacy intrusion of thousands of people is done through “volunteers” that serve as multimedia machines i.e node for the recording of all contacts they have, such as politicians, scientists, lawyers, friends, acquaintances, relatives, international business relations, etc..
Security codes, access codes, etc. is with the new technology no longer private.How can we know that people are not equipped with the new brain-machine interface which makes the person a multimedia application with a function as a live missile is already deployed as nodes in the political and financial world of illegal recording of their conversations with the world?
A sinister JOY seems to embrace the researchers and perpetrators over this superior and powerful tool for mind control and copying brainwave patterns. The tool is, without a doubt, a weapon of offense and stealth.
Implant technology in these forms should immediately be classified as a lethal weapon! It communicates directly with the brain’s neurons and can bring the entire neural nervous system to a halt.(Exclusion of balance can be immediately implied on a victim.)
The technology is now used for purposes of breaking down the persons psyche, with serious accusations, threats, mock execution, incitement to suicide, physical violence, e.g, decrease and increase heart rate, pain in and around the heart, severe chest pains, sudden and painful headaches, difficulty to breathe, tampering with rectum, prostate and muscles to name a few.
The macabre in the use of this technology is that subjects are exposed to these atrocities while the society is not legally able to influence the situation. Sweden is in this matter a lawless country where the researchers grossly exploit the situation.
This ultimate humiliation has reached a whole new level. The researchers tries with the enforced communication and slow decomposition enslave people with exhortations to try to see the individual results of the brain control. One can calculate due to the nature and perennial perspective that there are naturally a unrecorded number of people who have been driven to madness and death with this technology.
There is nowhere the victims can hide or escape the access signals to their thoughts. Scientists simulate with computers, 24/7 365 days a year to break down the subjects and stop them from trying to understand what’s happening to them…
A series of grotesque roles played in order to manipulate the brain, threats and statements that are mixed with modern technology. It is also in the researchers’ strategy to make the picture unclear for the subjects if they attempt to get an overall picture of who the perpetrator is and the real goals of the research, a military strategy conducted by veterans and experts in the matters.
The disrespectful research performed and visualized in a 3D virtual game world in the researchers’ computers, with no ethical boundaries and human rights but with real living human beings as “avatars”. It is quite similar to the popular interactive game “The Sims‘, But this game delivers human reality-based measurement data for research.
Cover-up of brain monitoring technologies means that the crime is waterproof, human rights laws and manipulated by a hidden militant regime researcher with expertise in information technology. In addition, the researchers say they in the dialogue to be the police power which in itself is an extremely serious offense.
For the victims– former high-performance hard-working people with families, children, an orderly life and social contacts. People who all his life been performing taxpayers. Because of a work-related mental fatigue and time on medical therapy sessions with the scientists the opportunity to take advantage of the situation of persons for investigation and contemporary development of the new BMI and brain monitoring technologies.
As these technologies and opportunities are not announced, but several instances re-written, must be able to use knowledge and skills which are available. Sweden is a small country and the people engaged in this activity may not be so difficult to identify and stop.
The researchers in these studies have assumed the right that during the permanent reproduction of human neurotransmitters in the long term also destroy them and their life’s work. The issue is called for; How affected society to know that the violent crime and suicide has been performed in the Stockholm area and Europe in recent years and clearly diagnosed as being caused by mental illness with the voices in heads is an expression of pure brain research!
By: Magnus Olsson
Neo-Humanity: Transhumanism Will Merge Man With Machine
Susanne Posel, Contributor
Science and religion meet at the intersection of a $55 million grant gifted to UC Riverside in Pennsylvania by the John Templeton Foundation for further research into an afterlife and immortality.
John Martin Fischer, philosophy professor from UC Riverside, will host conferences and oversee post-doctoral students running a website that centers around immortality; along with international consensus where psychologists and neuroscientists from across the globe will convene.
The globalist Elite are obsessed with the merging man and machine, transhumanism and immortality. Basing advancements on scientific research, the 2045 Program will create “a new vision of human development that meets global challenges humanity faces today, realization of the possibility of a radical extension of human life by means of cybernetic technology, as well as the formation of a new culture associated with these technologies.”
Headed by Dimitry Itskov, the Avatar Project, an off-shoot of 2045, will house human brains in disembodied vehicles. They will initially be transplanted into robots, then humans by 2045 with the advancement of reverse-engineering; an effective “downloading” of human consciousness onto a computer chip.
DARPA is extremely interested in Avatar for the allocation of bi-pedal robots and essential super-soldiers and have devoted $7 million of its $2.8 billion 2012 budget to developing “interfaces and algorithms to enable a soldier to effectively partner with a semi-autonomous bi-pedal machine and allow it to act as the soldier’s surrogate.”
These human-controlled robots will be strong enough to “clear a room” and “facilitate sentry control and combat causality recovery.” Yet these “terminators” would easily be the most effective weapon against civil unrest or radical revolutionaries that did not subscribe to the globalist agenda.
The globalists at the 2045 Program assert that humanity “is in need of a new evolutionary strategy” consisting of a balance between the complexity of technological advances and the acceleration of informational processes to expand the “limited, primitive human” into a “highly self-organized” and technologically “higher intelligence”.
Technology can organize society and integrate unification of a super collective consciousness – a superbeing.
By doing away with individuality, the conclusion is the elimination of:
- Lack of consumer provisions
- Aging, illness and death
- Crime and conflicts
- Natural disasters and catastrophes
Superpeople are the epitome of communitarianism and collectivism as the new globalist vision of society marches toward immortal superpeople.
Because communitarianism is the ideology of the importance of community over the individual, the creation of a communalist society is the emphatic over-reaching value that if it does not provide for the whole, it is not worth pursuit.
The concept of the neo-human and neo-humanity is the replacement for a post-industrial capitalist and consumer-based society where a new form of civilization will emerge.
At the Global Future 2045 International Conference in 2013, scientists from all corners of the globe along with experts in nanotechnology, biotechnology, transbiology and other sciences will suggest a collaborative evolution of humanity into an transcendent era where the UN’s agenda of population transformation will be implemented.
A new model for society that adheres to the globalist ideologies of merging controllable humans with machines to facilitate a new race of human being that is led by artificial intelligence plunged into the global AI computer system and functions simply to be an autonomous workforce for the global Elite.
The goal of transhumanism is to replace all existing laws with the purpose of destroying the essence of humanity for the sake of control. Hybrid humans with robotic implants are expected to be released into the general public by 2014.
Humanity+, “an international nonprofit membership organization which advocates the ethical use of technology to expand human capacities”.
In their Transhumanist Declaration they advocate old and new ideals of globalist transhumanism by promoting:
- Using technology to “broaden human potential” by overcoming aging and “cognitive shortcomings”
- Provide forums where globalist scientist and researchers can “deliberate how [to enhance humanity through science] to expedite beneficial applications”
- Facilitate “social order, improve human foresight and wisdom” through genetic enhancement
- Influence policymakers to include the transhumanist “responsible and moral vision”
The Transhumanist Agenda uses eugenics, reproductive controls, sterilization campaigns, genetic engineering, RFID chips and rewiring of the brain through pharmaceuticals to achieve their goals. Their quest for immortality with the merging of human and machine is just one part in their convoluted scheme to retain their global dominance over our society.
For now, the general public is guinea pigs to be used to prefect their experiments so that by 2050, they will have full implemented their control grid and there will be no one to dissent.
Scientists to build ‘human brain’: Supercomputer will simulate the entire mind and will help fight against brain diseases
- The ‘brain’ will take 12 years to build
- It will feature thousands of three-dimensional images built around a semi-circular ‘cockpit’
PUBLISHED: 18:27 GMT, 15 April 2012 | UPDATED: 19:14 GMT, 15 April 2012
The human brain’s power could rival any machine. And now scientists are trying to build one using the world’s most powerful computer.
It is intended to combine all the information so far uncovered about its mysterious workings – and replicate them on a screen, right down to the level of individual cells and molecules.
If it works it could be revolutionary for understanding devastating neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and even shedding light into how we think, and make decisions.
Leading the project is Professor Henry Markram based in Switzerland, who will be working with scientists from across Europe including the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute at Cambridge.
They hope to complete it within 12 years. He said: ‘The complexity of the brain, with its billions of interconnected neurons, makes it hard for neuroscientists to truly understand how it works.
‘Simulating it will make it much easier – allowing them to manipulate and measure any aspect of the brain.’
Housed at a facility in Dusseldorf in Germany, the ‘brain’ will feature thousands of three-dimensional images built around a semi-circular ‘cockpit’ so scientists can virtually ‘fly’ around different areas and watch how they communicate with each other.
It aims to integrate all the neuroscience research being carried out all over the world – an estimated 60,000 scientific papers every year – into one platform.
The project has received some funding from the EU and has been shortlisted for a 1 billion euro (£825million) EU grant which will be decided next month.
When complete it could be used to test new drugs, which could dramatically shorten the time required for licencing them than human trials, and pave the way for more intelligent robots and computers.
There are inevitably concerns about the consequences of this ‘manipulation’ and creating computers which can think for themselves. In Germany the media have dubbed the researchers ‘Team Frankenstein’.
But Prof Markram said: ‘This will, when successful, help two billion people annually who suffer from some type of brain impairment.
‘This is one of the three grand challenges for humanity. We need to understand earth, space and the brain. We need to understand what makes us human.’
Over the past 15 years his team have painstakingly studied and managed to produce a computer simulation of a cortical column – one of the small building blocks of a mammal’s brain.
They have also simulated part of a rat’s brain using a computer. But the human brain is a totally different proposition.