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The Nazis have been doing this for years (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4474393)

Everyone knows they take orders from Hitler's brain, which is alive on a chip in a jar.

Re:The Nazis have been doing this for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4474472)

+2 moderately humourous FP.

Re:The Nazis have been doing this for years (1)

hplasm (576983) | more than 11 years ago | (#4477158)

Didn't they stop in the '40s?

Re:The Nazis have been doing this for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4477227)

No, the ones who were killed stopped in the '40s. The ones who survived left for Argentina, Russia, China, America, and other countries. So theoritically this could be a continuation. Also 1 of the scientists in the story is from germany.

Re:The Nazis have been doing this for years (1)

hplasm (576983) | more than 11 years ago | (#4477709)

the ones who were killed stopped in the '40s

(as you do) Or were they...perhaps their brains live on in slices with chips...?!???

Re:The Nazis have been doing this for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4475768)

Gosh, some people can't take a joke.

Funny comments are always modded down (0, Offtopic)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 11 years ago | (#4476403)

And I mean always. What's modded funny? Look at the next comment.

byebye body (2, Funny)

Inominate (412637) | more than 11 years ago | (#4474410)

So when can I have my brain removed and bolted directly into my computer?

Who needs holographic displays, or high quality speakers when it's all piped directly into your mind?.

Re:byebye body (1)

a_borowski (602428) | more than 11 years ago | (#4476527)

Digital rights management sure would suck though.

Re:byebye body (2, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 11 years ago | (#4476599)

Digital rights management sure would suck though.

All the porn stars are gonna copyright their bodies, and bill you everytime you fantasize about them.

Re:byebye body (2)

spike hay (534165) | more than 11 years ago | (#4480947)

All the porn stars are gonna copyright their bodies, and bill you everytime you fantasize about them.

And the RIAA will charge you through the nose whenever you get a song stuck in your head. ;-)

Re:byebye body (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4476957)

I suspect the reverse will come first. :)

And while they don't mention it, that is most likely an aspect of the current research as well. A functional brain interface chip.

Who wants to be the first? No more keyboards or mice, just your thoughts being articulated through a few e s ensors in your head. Not me, nooo way.

While I can imagine useful applications for this technology, it will require many years of greusome experimentation before they can be realized. A surgeon is nothing more than a butcher until sufficient knowledge is obtained to operate in a way that does no harm. Back in the old days, people who got into too much trouble might find themselves in a chair for a frontal lobotomy. Strapped them down, maybe a little anestesia, pointed object into their brain via the eye socket or temples and moved about in a circlular motion. Viola! Instant Good Samaritan.

In the beginning trials of this thing on humans, it won't be as drastic, maybe a little paralysis, loss of memory, or subtle personality changes. Old Fred can use the scroll wheel with his brain but he sure seems different these days!

Move a few more years into the future and see common applications of the technology that range from awe inspiring to hideous.

The future? (5, Insightful)

FosterSJC (466265) | more than 11 years ago | (#4474428)

This can't really be the future of computing can it? I mean, we all are aware of the biggest difference between computers and thu human brain. Humans have great pattern recognition, while computers have great calculating/processing powers. Slicing pieces of brain and attaching them to chips hardly seems likely to enhance either the brain's computational ability or the chip's recognizing abilities. If anything, this is a step forward in facilitating communications between man and machine. I could see uses in reversing paralysis, but thought-upgrades or what have you are a long way off.

Re:The future? (5, Insightful)

Myco (473173) | more than 11 years ago | (#4477783)

You're being too literal here -- assuming that the end result will look just like a particular intermediate step. Nobody's saying we're going to build computers out of brain tissue. Well, maybe somebody is but that's not the point.

In order to potentially imitate the human brain, we still need to learn a lot more about it. Since there's no manpage for the brain, it's a black-box problem and we have to reverse engineer it by trying various combinations of inputs and outputs (as well as analyzing the physical structure, of course). This new technique allows us to do so more effectively, hence improves our ability to understand. That's all.

Re:The future? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4478192)

AND gates are terrific at pattern recognition.

The key to immortality (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4474473)

Replace the neurons one by one with an equivalent electrical doodads until the whole kaboodle is machine. Then you'll be effectively immortal, unless you skimped and purchased from the Shack or something.

Re:The key to immortality (2)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 11 years ago | (#4474603)

"I'm sorry, sir, our warranties don't cover that."

"Well shit, I guess that means I'm dead."

I'm sorry, but someone would just plain have to get screwed. Actually, almost everyone would dave to. Imagine the kind of control that could be exerted onto someone whom humans designed and manufactured.

"Good afternoon, sir. All your cyber-organs are belong to us."

Re:The key to immortality (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4477225)

That sounds like something cool to use nanotechnology for...

Re:The key to immortality OR NO LONG TERM MEMORY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4484893)

Assuming, that is, that there is not meaningful neural computation happening at a level other than synaptic structure. Oh, and what about interfering magnetic fields. not to mention neural plasticity. you could never learn anything new. Ever see memento?

Re:The key to immortality (1)

Dread_ed (260158) | more than 11 years ago | (#4485685)

In other news, a man was zapped to death today when he ran around his home for two hours in woolen socks, and then reached for his doorknob...

It is completely impossible to say anything intelligent or enlightening in a space this size, excep

Who will it be? (3, Informative)

silicon_synapse (145470) | more than 11 years ago | (#4474477)

Well this brain tissue will have to come from somewhere. If it comes from humans, we could have the same issues as with stem cell research. If it comes from animals (more likely) PETA will defecate copious amounts of brick

Re:Who will it be? (2, Informative)

dacarr (562277) | more than 11 years ago | (#4474600)

They already have used animals. Note the article mentions rat {and,or} mouse brain tissue.

Re:Who will it be? (2, Funny)

ActiveSX (301342) | more than 11 years ago | (#4475056)

by silicon_synapse on 16:34 17th October, 2002 (#4474477)

I find your name quite appropriate for this story. You used your amazing silicon brain to compute the chances of this story happening when you registered your account, didn't you?

Re:Who will it be? (1)

hplasm (576983) | more than 11 years ago | (#4477118)

Politicians. Fresh and unused

Re:Who will it be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4477213)

We'd only have the same problems in your and other yahoos minds. What you people need to realize is that your religion is wrong. Science is the future of mankind. Science lets us move FORWARDS, instead of holding us 2000 years in the PAST. As for the PETA argument, I agree with them. If you aren't willing to test it on humans, don't test it at all. Progress is not free. It will be paid for with the blood of the believers, just like throughout history.

A step towards learning computers? Not quite... (4, Funny)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 11 years ago | (#4474486)

"The New Scientist magazine has an article reporting on new advances in keeping brain tissue alive (and working) on a "chip", with electrodes that can monitor the brain activity. Could this be a step toward computers that can learn as humans learn?"

Not quite, The scientists are really just developing a a way for keeping your brain alive while watching TELEVISION!

Re:A step towards learning computers? Not quite... (2)

Alsee (515537) | more than 11 years ago | (#4477037)

The scientists are really just developing a a way for keeping your brain alive while watching TELEVISION!

All attempts to date have failed. Scientists fear it may never be possible.

-

Make 'em work together? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4474612)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these! On a render farm, at that!

no, i don't think so (0)

fredopalus (601353) | more than 11 years ago | (#4474626)

As long as something is man made it can be as smart as man.

Re:no, i don't think so (0)

fredopalus (601353) | more than 11 years ago | (#4475013)

Yeah, that was good spelling.
What i meant was:
As long as something is man-made it can't be as smart as man.

Re:no, i don't think so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4475180)

Just like every straight line has to be less straight than the straight edge you're using.

I get it. The whole reason that we have straight lines is that GOD made the first straight edge. After all, it's a contradiction in logic to think that man could have made a straight edge from nothing.

Re:no, i don't think so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4477059)

hehe, nice, go on poke him again and see if he responds...

sweet (2)

pizza_milkshake (580452) | more than 11 years ago | (#4474674)

forget blade servers, gimme a rack full of these.

Re:sweet (2)

dacarr (562277) | more than 11 years ago | (#4475048)

No, no, no! Imagine a beowulf cluster of these!

Re:sweet (1)

skaffen42 (579313) | more than 11 years ago | (#4475956)

Great. I can just imagine what is going to happen when the MTTS (mean time to senility) starts to kick in on your server farm. "Error four-oh-something... damn, where did I put that page?"

Re:sweet (1)

LinkDJ (163960) | more than 11 years ago | (#4484029)

You have one of 18 signatures that dosen't suck.

Timeline (0, Funny)

mar1no (559482) | more than 11 years ago | (#4474689)

1) Man merges computer chip into brain. 2) Computer chip able to simulate orgasm over an over. 3) Technolo..*oh god, yes yes YES OOhh oh..* um yeah, I'll be right back.

Another use (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 11 years ago | (#4474702)

Being able to send instructions to a computer hardwired to your brain.

Re:Another use (1)

snoopdalf (521652) | more than 11 years ago | (#4477258)

What about the interface? Microsoft wont allow anything REMOTELY related to computers being used without an OS, Preferably theirs. Its a vicious circle I tell you. Back to the Linux Windows war, not even mentioning cross ubgrade issues between different manufacturers... "Sorry sir, your MS BRAIN professional is currently unlicenced, well have to confiscate your brain..." ps: computer viruses in your BRAIN !!!

One word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4474992)

Arcade.

(Full Moon fans will understand.)

Oh contraire. (2, Interesting)

Trusty Penfold (615679) | more than 11 years ago | (#4475134)

Could this be a step toward computers that can learn as humans learn?

No, it's a step towards brains that feel as computers feel.

Re:Oh contraire. (2, Funny)

mj_1903 (570130) | more than 11 years ago | (#4477137)

I don't want to feel what my computer is feeling "Help, I'm burning, I'm burning!"

Re:Oh contraire. (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 11 years ago | (#4479612)

I think you mean "au contraire".

Re:Oh contraire. (1)

rpresser (610529) | more than 11 years ago | (#4480785)

Certainly not the first step, then.

Hocum or over protective of company IP? (4, Interesting)

Deanasc (201050) | more than 11 years ago | (#4475271)

I've been trying to find something, anything on this breakthrough besides a press release. It sounds like cutting edge neuroscience but I haven't found anything peer-reviewed in any of the journals. I leave it up to you to draw your own conclusions.

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4476737)

I thought that this was interesting...

www.caltech.edu/~pinelab/pinelab.html

Re:Hocum or over protective of company IP? (5, Informative)

Alik (81811) | more than 11 years ago | (#4477878)

That's because it's not a breakthrough, it's commercialization of stuff that's been done in the academic labs for a couple years. Amazingly, it *does* take time to go from neat idea to marketable product. Electrode arrays can be a real bitch to fabricate.

See:

Biosensors & Bioelectronics 16:527-33
Brain Research Protocols 2(4):229-42
Journal of Neuroscience Methods 101(1):31-42
Journal of Neuroscience Methods 114(2):135-48

Plus, as the other poster mentioned, Jerry Pine's work. However, AFAIK, Pine's no longer working on that project, having found other interests. Pity, because the neurowells (as noted by Peter Fromherz in the New Scientist article) give the kind of single-unit interface that might be very desirable. I know that my group is planning to use similar approaches.

Re:neurons and stuff? (1)

Zurk (37028) | more than 11 years ago | (#4480896)

just out of curiosity...has anyone done a realistic model of a single neuron ? or at least a complete emulation of a single neuron in software ? that includes all the growth and electrical/chemical effects ?
i check minduploading.org (MURG list at http://minduploading.org/mailman/listinfo/murg) but they dont seem to have accurate models.

Re:neurons and stuff? (2)

Alik (81811) | more than 11 years ago | (#4496317)

Including all growth and electrical/chemical effects is not yet possible, because they are not yet all known. Furthermore, knowing all of them would probably tell us that there's no such thing as a generic neuron model; each cell has a very specialized gene expression profile that near-optimizes it for its role in the network. It may be that this can be reduced to expressing a neuron as a function of some hundred-odd parameters (as a guess), but it is not yet clear what the controlling parameters are.

The MURG question of computational modeling of the human brain is a very open problem with no solution in sight. I was not familiar with them, but they do at least seem to be composed of people with useful technological skills. It'll be interesting to see if they come up with anything cool.

Disturbing thoughts... (2)

dacarr (562277) | more than 11 years ago | (#4475446)

Anybody remember that episode of Star Trek, "The Perfect Computer"? Or Emerson Lake and Palmer's "Karn Evil 9 (third impression)" and the last verse thereof?

Counter to my previous idea of a beowulf cluster of these, is anybody even remotely concerned about the possible outcome? Frankly, I'm scared shitless.

Re:Disturbing thoughts... (1)

trezor (555230) | more than 11 years ago | (#4476914)

Well.. It has possibilities though!

First... If you got a shitty job, you can put your brain in "autopilot"-mode, and watch television yourself while your at work.

This autopilot could ofcourse also be programmed to handle domestic problems... Now thats a use! (-:

Future of computers learning ... (5, Funny)

rotwhylr (618309) | more than 11 years ago | (#4475457)

The LAST thing we should want is a computer that learns like a human. With my luck I'll probably buy one that complains about homework and gets F's before dropping out of school and mooching off me for life.

In a related story (3, Funny)

WhiteChocolate42 (618371) | more than 11 years ago | (#4476483)

YOUR TOWN- In a related story, several zombies broke into a local CompUSA, chanting "Braaaaaains" and licking every processor in sight.

I gotta say it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4476510)

What if we had a beowulf cluster of these things?

Re:I gotta say it.... (1)

hplasm (576983) | more than 11 years ago | (#4477127)

IQ of a WWF audience.

ad nastalgia (2)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 11 years ago | (#4476587)

"Everything tastes great when it sits and a Ritz"

eeeeew! (1)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 11 years ago | (#4477161)

Man, I hate it when my nice, clean, acedemic world of Computer Science gets involved in messy ethical problems.

Science needs to keep a handle on what's right and wrong. I'm not saying this shouldn't be researched, but I would hate to see this become an industry.

Brains on a chip? (1)

sopuli (459663) | more than 11 years ago | (#4477229)

Sounds like something Hanibal Lector maight cook up.

Hardware and software issues... (2, Funny)

snoopdalf (521652) | more than 11 years ago | (#4477268)

What about the interface? Microsoft wont allow anything REMOTELY related to computers being used without an OS, Preferably theirs. Its a vicious circle I tell you. Back to the Linux Windows war, not even mentioning cross upgrade issues between different manufacturers... "Sorry sir, your MS BRAIN professional is currently unlicenced, well have to confiscate your brain..." ps: computer viruses in your BRAIN !!!

Fried up... (2)

Zelet (515452) | more than 11 years ago | (#4478070)

I fried up the brain on my AMD Thunderbird and toasted it with a nice chiante'. **slurping noises**

For those who didn't read the article... (2, Insightful)

Kenrod (188428) | more than 11 years ago | (#4480845)



The article is about medical applications, NOT computing. This doesn't have anything to do with computing. The researchers have found a way to keep larger portions of the brain alive so they can monitor the effects of psychoactive drugs. This may lead to new avenues of research for Alzheimers, Parkinsons, ALS, and many mental disorders. The chip is actually a tiny EEG. The first product is targeted to be an anti-anxiety drug.

I think the most interesting aspect of this story is the living consciousness aspect. Can this piece of brain (or pieces intercommunicating) which is biologically active, become self-aware? Although these experiments have only been done on rats, if it were human brain tissue, would it be "alive" in an ethical, moral, or legal sense? These questions are probably several years away from being relevant, but is there any doubt we are heading down that road?

Brrraaaaiiinnnsss.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4480972)

Yes, Return of the Living Dead's comin' back to mind.

Heh-heh. Pun.

What Hideous Strength (0)

boatboy (549643) | more than 11 years ago | (#4485024)

Sounds like the Head from C.S. Lewis's That Hideous Strength [firstthings.com] ...

Rise Of The CORE (1)

Wes Janson (606363) | more than 11 years ago | (#4486232)

"..for each side the only acceptable outcome was the complete elimination of the other."
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