Thursday, August 9, 2012

Brain in a dish flies plane

"A University of Florida scientist has created a living "brain" of cultured rat cells that now controls an F-22 fighter jet flight simulator.

Scientists say the research could lead to tiny, brain-controlled prosthetic devices and unmanned airplanes flown by living computers.

And if scientists can decipher the ground rules of how such neural networks function, the research also may result in novel computing systems that could tackle dangerous search-and-rescue jobs and perform bomb damage assessment without endangering humans."

"In a speech the German physicist and cyberneticist Herbert W. Franke put forward the sensational idea that in the decades to come space-ships would journey to unknown planets without astronauts aboard and search the universe for extraterrestrial intelligences. Space patrols without astronauts? Franke assumes that the electronic equipment would be operated by a brain separated from a human body. This 'solo' brain, kept in a liquid culture medium which would
have to be constantly replenished with fresh blood, would be the control centre of the spaceship. Franke thinks that the brain of an unborn child would be the most suitable for programming, because,
not being burdened with mental processes, it could be fed with the data and information necessary for the special tasks of space travel. This programmed brain would lack the consciousness that makes normal brains 'human'. Herbert W. Franke says: 'Stimulations, as we know them, would be alien to the cyborg. It would have no feelings. The human solo brain is promoted to ambassador of our planet."

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