Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Beginnings of the Mass Transference Device

AKA Metabots, Mindborgs, and Organic Computing


This now makes three-people babies the second scariest thing I've ever heard.

Wiring Monkey Brains Together Has a Point, Say Scientists
WIRED, July 2015

"Today, researchers at Duke University announced they have done nearly that, wiring animal brains together so they could collaborate on simple tasks. Network monkeys displayed motor skills, and networked rats performed computations.

"That’s right. They made a botnet out of brains."

"To build the monkey network, Nicolelis’ team first implanted electrodes in rhesus macaque brains, positioned to pick up signals from a few hundred neurons. Then they connected two or three of the macaques to a computer with a display showing a CG monkey arm. The monkeys were supposed to control the arm, directing it toward a target like a boat crew rows forward. When the monkeys got the arm to hit the target, the researchers rewarded them with juice. (“Each monkey had different juice preference,” says Nicolelis. “We had to do a preference test beforehand.”) To be clear, the monkeys don’t think “move my arm” and the arm moves—they learn what kind of thinking makes the arm move and keep doing that—because monkeys love juice.

"The rat study was even weirder. For this one, the neuroscientists directly wired four rats’ brains together—using the implants to both collect and transmit information about neural activity—so one rat that responded to touch, for example, could pass on their knowledge of that stimulus to another rat. Then the researchers set the rats to a bunch of different abstract tasks—guessing whether it might rain from temperature and air pressure data, for example, or telling the difference between different kinds of touch-stimuli. The brain collectives always did at least as well on those tests as an individual rat would have, and sometimes even better. And in a successful effort to squidge people out, the researchers called these rat-borg collectives “organic computers” or, even worse, “brainets.”"

Animal brains connected up to make mind-melded computer
New Scientist, July 2015

Building an organic computing device with multiple interconnected brains

Computing Arm Movements with a Monkey Brainet

No comments:

Post a Comment