The Mouse in the Machine: Scientists Make a Virtual Mouse Brain

Wallpaper_19

In Switzerland, they’ve got themselves a virtual mouse (like, a rodent that exists in a computer, not like a peripheral that controls a cursor), complete with a software reconstruction of a mouse brain. Remember how mere hours ago I was writing about how New Zealand’s new law declaring animals to be sentient was tied, in my mind, to what we might have to consider in terms of artificial intelligence, or put another way, software-based animals? Well, it’s all here.

Reuters reports:

Scientists around the world mapped the position of the mouse brain’s 75 million neurons and the connections between different regions. The virtual brain currently consists of just 200,000 neurons – though this will increase along with computing power. [Scientist Mark-Oliver] Gewaltig says applying the same meticulous methods to the human brain, could lead to computer processors that learn, just as the brain does. In effect, artificial intelligence.

GEWALTIG: “If you look at the neurobotics platform, if you want to control robots in a similar way as organisms control their bodies; that’s also a form of artificial intelligence, and this is probably where we’ll first produce visible outcomes and results.”

For shits and giggles, let’s say this isn’t in Switzerland, but in New Zealand. You know where I’m going with this.

At what point is that virtual mouse no longer “virtual,” but sentient…sentient under the law?

Is it already?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s