Substrate Independent Minds
Realistic Routes to Substrate-Independent Minds
Randal Koene is a brilliant multidisciplinary scientist with focus on Neuroscience. He is also a great networker and has a great talent for bringing great minds together to think about the long term plans. http://2012.singularitysummit.com.au/…
Abstract: Every aspect of modern science relies upon creating representations of things. And when we do, we pick the signals that interest us and the behavior that interests us. From that, we determine how to interpret the way input is converted into output in a system. Our description of that process is our understanding of the system. The same is true for mental processes and reverse engineering their implementation in neural circuitry.
The feasible approach to this is called (whole) brain emulation and relies on determining precisely which signals we care about and then breaking the problem down into a collection of smaller system identification problems. To tackle those, we have a roadmap that includes structural scanning (connectomics) as well as new tools for functional recording — some of which are now in development in collaboration with laboratories at MIT and Harvard. We examine the scale of the endeavor, considering such specific approaches to system identification in neural circuitry.
Randal’s research is centered on how to decode and simulate brain processes on computers and to find out, if and how could we possibly transfer mind to a non-biological substrate that is needed in patient-specific neuroprostheses. He is also working on the feasibility and roadmap to whole brain emulation.