If you're following the wonderful wacky world of transhumanism, you'll be interested in this story spotted and shared by V.T. (and as always, thank you to all of you sharing articles). The reason? According to the article, technicians took another major step forward toward the transhumanist goal of merging man and machine, or to be more specific, the human brain and computers, by creating a network of biological and artificial neurons, and getting it to work:
What happened is, indeed, breathtaking when one considers what has actually happened:
Scientists have linked up two silicon-based artificial neurons with a biological one across multiple countries into a fully-functional network. Using standard internet protocols, they established a chain of communication whereby an artificial neuron controls a living, biological one, and passes on the info to another artificial one.
We’ve talked plenty about brain-computer interfaces and novel computer chips that resemble the brain. We’ve covered how those “neuromorphic” chips could link up into tremendously powerful computing entities, using engineered communication nodes called artificial synapses.
As Moore’s law is dying, we even said that neuromorphic computing is one path towards the future of extremely powerful, low energy consumption artificial neural network-based computing—in hardware—that could in theory better link up with the brain. Because the chips “speak” the brain’s language, in theory they could become neuroprosthesis hubs far more advanced and “natural” than anything currently possible.
The three-neuron network, linked through artificial synapses that emulate the real thing, was able to reproduce a classic neuroscience experiment that’s considered the basis of learning and memory in the brain. In other words, artificial neuron and synapse “chips” have progressed to the point where they can actually use a biological neuron intermediary to form a circuit that, at least partially, behaves like the real thing. (Emphases added)
If you're a regular reader here, or have read my and co-author Dr. Scott DeHart's Transhumanism: A Grimoire of Alchemical Agendas you'll recall that one goal of the transhumanists is to re-create that rung on the alchemical ladder that represents "mineral man," i.e., the merger of man and machine. Transhumanists speak of downloading a person's "neural net" to a computer, storing it, and then uploading it (perhaps) into a clone, or a robot, thus allowing a kind of virtual immortality.
Here comes some more high octane speculation. In that goal, transhumanists are focused on the human side of this merger. However, when reading stories such as this, it becomes apparent that the technicians and scientists involved in such research are focused as much, if not more, on the machine side of the merger. This leads me to my high octane speculation, for the research suggests that if any such merger is possible - as the current article suggests - then it leans more heavily on the machine side than the human one, and thus, one may expect that computers will be "tweaked" with biological additions, than humans will be with machine ones, leading to the idea of the "biologically" or "neuronally enhanced computer" as an interim phase or step to the "computer enhanced human."
And that interim step, as Mr. Elon Musk suggested years ago, may not be an interim step, but a final one, for a distributed network utilizing the internet, and such "neuronal enhancements," might indeed become some kind of quasi-conscience, independently acting entity, a "global brain" with the internet for its "circuits", distributed everywhere, and centered nowhere., a beast which can only be turned off by removing electrical power, and dismantling the circuits that enable its existence...
See you on the flip side...