Attention Ray Kurzweil: We Can't Even Build an Artificial Worm Brain
There is simply no way that a comprehensive human brain simulation will be feasible in the near future.
In the human brain, 100 billion neurons are connected by 100 trillion synapses. And, really, this staggeringly complex structure is only the beginning. (Consider that there may be roughly one hundred thousand trillion electrical signals traversing the brain in one second.)
C. elegans was the first animal to have its genome sequenced. We can freeze it in liquid nitrogen and revive it. We can track it in 3-D. You can browse a library of its complete genome, its proteome (like the genome, but proteins) and even its whole nervous system on the internet. Science has studied this organism more thoroughly than any other -- with the possible exception of the fruit fly and the laboratory mouse -- in the entire animal kingdom.
If we can't simulate 302 neurons and 5,000 synapses, how can we hope to conquer 100,000,000,000 and 100,000,000,000,000? Let's not even get started on the 100,000,000,000,000,000 electrical signals per second that form the traffic on that neural road network.
So, no mind uploading yet. Sorry, Ray Kurzweil.
It marks another milestone in SpaceX's long-standing effort to make spaceflight cheaper.
- SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy into space early Tuesday morning.
- A part of its nosecone – known as a fairing – descended back to Earth using special parachutes.
- A net-outfitted boat in the Atlantic Ocean successfully caught the reusable fairing, likely saving the company millions of dollars.
Controversial map names CEOs of 100 companies producing 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.
- Just 100 companies produce 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.
- This map lists their names and locations, and their CEOs.
- The climate crisis may be too complex for these 100 people to solve, but naming and shaming them is a good start.
The world's richest people could breeze through a climate disaster – for a price.
- A new report from a United Nation expert warns that an over-reliance on the private sector to mitigate climate change could cause a "climate apartheid."
- The report criticizes several countries, including the U.S., for taking "short-sighted steps in the wrong direction."
- The world's poorest populations are most vulnerable to climate change even though they generally contribute the least to global emissions.
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