The real Frankenstein experiment: One man’s mission to create a living mind inside a machine

February 6, 2011

The real Frankenstein experiment: One man’s mission to create a living mind inside a machine


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1240410/The-real-Frankenstein-experiment-One-mans-mission-create-living-mind-inside-machine.html#ixzz1DDbfX4Ag

1984

As with most technological advancements, this article raises the question of ethics which is always a topic of technology which arises during the unveiling of new technology.  Often enough technology brings progression but not without unforeseen consequences.  I cannot help but think of George Orwell’s 1984 where a totalitarian government is able to exercise psychological manipulation and physical control over its population through the use of technology.   The totalitarian government called “The Party” is powerful enough to make individuals 2+2=5, thus brainwashing a group to follow their own beliefs.  Here 1984 reveals that technology, which is generally perceived as working toward moral good, can also facilitate the most diabolical evil.

Frankenstein

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has raised the issue of the creator and their responsibility to the created.  While Shelley depicted a biological science experiment gone wrong, she was able open our eyes to ethical issues involving the creation of biotechnology.  While Frankenstein depicts a creature who becomes evil due to its inability to be accepted and experience relationships, this article displays a modern Frankenstein that should emerge by the year 2018.  This modern Frankenstein will be created in the laboratory by Professor Henry Markram.  He calls it “The Blue Brain Project” as he looks to emulate one of the most complex objects in the universe, the human brain.

Article

‘Professor Henry Markram is planning to create the world’s most expensive ‘baby’

Markam announced that his team will create the world’s first conscious and intelligent mind by 2018
Like the monster in Frankenstein, this creature may be able to think, feel and even fall in love.  He believes his artificial mind could show us how to exploit the untapped potential in our own minds. Markam states that if we create a being more intelligent than us, maybe it could teach us how to catch up.  However what does this mean for the human race?  Is this the beginning of dominance of machines? Will humans become inferior to their creation because of biological limitations?  There are many issues to take into consideration but it does not stop this scientist who has a lot of financial support even from the computer giant IBM.

“But what of the problems such an invention could generate? What if the machine makes demands? What if it begs you not to turn it off, or leave it alone at night? ‘Maybe you will have to treat it like a child. Sometimes I will have to say to my child: “I have to go, sorry,” ‘ he explains.”

What about the ramifications to our society? This will indeed raise ethical questions that Frankenstein only begins to introduce. However, Markram says  “If I saw signs of suffering I would stop.'”  However, what if it becomes too late to stop.  What if the machine he creates becomes used for evil purposes for instance by the military, to create futuristic killing machines.

“A glittering machine brain, perhaps many times more intelligent than our own and created by one of the best-equipped laboratories in the world, carries, perhaps, even more potential for evil, as well as good.”

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1 Comment

  • 1.    Jae&hellip  |  February 14th, 2015 at 2:25 am

    Jae

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