In every human brain, there are as many neurons as there are galaxies in the known universe — about 100 billion, drawn from 10,000 different cell types and woven into a three-dimensional tapestry, with threads of neural interconnections that number in the trillions.That a mass of cells bound in chemical union can produce the myriad world of forms, perpetually shifting all about us, is surely a mystery set to endure well beyond the era of mankind.
Each one is tinder for the spark-of-life experience.
Memories are made of this gray matter. So are inspiration and imagination.
Electrochemical currents of intellect and emotion race though living labyrinths of neurons at 200 mph. When they are blocked, diverted or damaged, abilities atrophy. Personality disintegrates.
By exploring the life and death of these cells, researchers hope to learn how biochemistry becomes thought. - link
To syphon off our concentrated knowledge of this wonder of evolution and filter it into the simulated minds of our machine offspring has been the dream of science-fiction, and science fact, for as long as scientifically inspired imagination has existed. The question of 'if' machines will grow to out-compete our mental capacities is a non-sensical one. We are now in the process of imagining the machines of our future, the forms they will take, the tasks they will carry out and the breadth of their simulacra to us.
Where will the lines be drawn? What aspects of the human will never find their way into the silicon neural networks now being drafted in tech-labs across the globe?
"The brain is a three-pound mass you can hold in your hand that can conceive of a universe a hundred-billion light-years across". - Marian DiamondThat hundred billion light-years is about to be crammed into digital systems capable of capacities of thought far exceeding evolution's greatest accomplishments. If the proponents of Moore's Law are to be believed the time of this technological accomplishment is a mere decade or so away. Are you prepared for sentient simulacra?
UPDATE: Seems the kids ain't got no qualms about our new robot friends