How close are we to uploading our minds? - Michael S.A. Graziano | Summary and Q&A

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October 28, 2019
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TED-Ed
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How close are we to uploading our minds? - Michael S.A. Graziano

TL;DR

Mind uploading is theoretically possible but faces challenges in scanning and recreating the intricate details of the human brain.

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Key Insights

  • 🤯 Mind uploading requires scanning the human brain with incredible detail, capturing the connectome and neural signaling.
  • 📡 Mapping the connectome is currently incomplete, and there is still much to learn about neural signaling processes.
  • ⛔ Existing scanning methods like MRI are limited in their ability to capture individual synapses.
  • 👶 New scanning technologies would be needed to achieve the necessary resolution, while electron microscopy has limitations as well.
  • ✊ The digital recreation process requires significant computing power and storage capacity.
  • 🧠 Artificial neural networks already exist but are far from replicating the complexity of the human brain.
  • 🤯 Ethical and philosophical considerations arise regarding access, rights, and potential abuses of mind uploading.

Questions & Answers

Q: What are the main challenges in mind uploading?

The main challenges in mind uploading are scanning the brain with enough detail to capture the mind and perfectly recreating that detail digitally.

Q: How many neurons and synapses are present in the human brain?

The human brain contains approximately 86 billion neurons connected by at least a hundred trillion synapses.

Q: What is the connectome?

The connectome refers to the pattern of connectivity among the brain's neurons, encompassing all neurons and their connections to each other.

Q: What are the obstacles in scanning the brain with sufficient resolution?

Current non-invasive scanning methods like MRI cannot achieve the resolution required to detect individual synapses. New scanning technologies are needed.

Q: What challenges exist in digitally recreating the scanned information?

The challenges in recreating the scanned information digitally include computing power and storage space limitations, although these are improving over time.

Q: How close are we to achieving mind uploading technology?

Mind uploading is likely several hundred years away, as it requires advancements in both technology and scientific understanding.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Mind uploading envisions a future where human minds are uploaded to a digital world, but the process requires scanning and recreating the human brain.

  • The human brain's complexity, with billions of neurons and trillions of synapses, poses significant challenges in mapping the connectome and understanding neural signaling.

  • Current scanning methods, like MRI, are limited in resolution and cannot capture the details of individual synapses. New scanning technologies would be required.

  • The next challenge is digitally recreating the scanned information, which requires significant computing power and storage space.

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