TVNewser FishbowlDC AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote PRNewser SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Digitizing the Human Mind Seemed Like Such a Good Idea…Until Robot Bill Kristol Came Along

In this month’s issue, h+ Magazine profiles former U.S.C. grad student Ken Hayworth, whose ATLUM2 machine may eventually allow scientists to digitize the human mind. Right now, Hayworth’s device plasticizes mouse brains and slices them into two million pieces.

Using a special slicing device which Ken is also designing, the plasticized brain would be cut into approximately 400 sub-blocks. Each sub-block would then be loaded into Ken’s ATLUM2 and it would be cut into 5,000 incredibly thin slices. Each slice would be picked up on a long carbon-coated tape for later staining and imaging in a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Because the process is fully automated, volumes as large as tens of cubic millimeters (large enough to span entire multi-region neuronal circuits) can be quickly and reliably reduced to a tape of ultrathin sections.

Why would anyone do this?

At first, these devices will be used to section areas of the brain that are of particular interest to the individual researchers. The circuitry could be used to emulate those brain functions, run experiments emulating a brain section, and possibly even test pharmaceuticals or therapies. In the future, we might understand brain circuitry so well that such devices could be used to scan and “upload” an individual’s mind to any type of substrate (a new body, robot, or artificial environment). This Matrix-like immortality would be the ultimate backup of ourselves.

Dear god, do you realize what this might mean? A thousand year reign of America’s worst pundit Bill Kristol and his intellectually vacuous columns.

Terrifying.

Then again, give robot Bill Kristol infinity and he actually has a chance of getting something right.

H/T Exiledonline

Mediabistro Course

Get a Literary Agent

Get a Literary AgentStarting August 6, learn how to find the right agent for your book and write a query that will get the deal done! Taught by Barbara Clark, a book agent and publishing consultant, you will learn the best methods for finding a literary agent, the proper protocol and etiquette for seeking literary representation, how to send queries and more. Register now!