1/2 a mouse a philosophically…
When I first read about a simulation of a mouse brain running at 10% C, I dismissed it immediately as too far fetched – We Can’t Do That Yet. Reading past the headlines the actual simulation turned out to be significantly less far fetched, but only slightly less portentous. According to the article, standard Moore’s Law improvements will allow hardware of the same cost to run a human mind in real-time in 20 years. Or 1000 human minds in 30 years, 10,000,000 human minds in 50 years.
(more after the jump…)
Sure at the moment this is just a statistical model with no behaviour. The regions of this simulated brain have the neural topology and firing patterns of a real mouse brain, but the software it is running is just noise.
True AI equivalence will require the software too, and this is a non trivial problem. But even if we do it by brute force – start with a population of 1,000 agents each with a human brain’s allocation of processing resources, run them at 1000 times real-time and let various fitness functions optimize the various brain regions – I can’t imagine it taking more than a couple of decades to crack.
I personally think we will have some very clever software ready to run on those simulated brains by the time they arrive on our lab benches. Neuronal implementations of Jeff Hawkins HTM hierarchies, e.g. My MSc thesis, would already look pretty smart utilising all those synapses.