It’s 2021 and science, technology, and Artificial Intelligence have evolved to a point where humans are able to harness the potential of those three to achieve mind-blowing feats. One of such attempts, if successful and perfected, would enable you download your brain onto silicon that mimics the natural brain function.

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Samsung wants to download your brain

Preliminary findings published in a Nature Electronics paper titled “Neuromorphic electronics based on copying and pasting the brain” indicate that Samsung is currently conducting research into possible ways to download the brain’s neuronal map onto an electronic device.

While that kind of technology is understandably several years away from becoming a believable reality, it hints at the fact that tech and consumer electronics giant, Samsung, is not simply interested in making regular memory chips; it wants to manufacture silicon that mimics natural brain function too.

To explore the feasibility and make this possible, the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) partnered with researchers from Harvard University.

What Samsung aims to achieve with this latest ambition of it, to download your brain, is to explore a new approach in developing chips that would work by mimicking the human brain function for self-learning tasks. And Samsung wants to achieve this by copying the real thing on to a special silicon receptor.

How this would work

The new research aiming to download your brain proposes that it should be possible to copy the human brain’s neural connection map using a nanoelectrode array specially-developed by Professor HongKun Park and Professor Donhee Ham. The neural connection map would then be pasted to a high-density 3D network of solid-state memory cells, which could either be the standard NAND used in SSDs or the more exotic memory like resistive RAM.

With resistive RAM, when neural map recordings are pasted on it, each cell would be programmed such that its conductance would represent the strength of a certain neural connection. This, however, is no small task as there are an estimated 100 billion neurons in the human brain with many more synaptic connections between them.

Raising concerns

While there is the concern that this would make the process rather slow and complex, Samsung is optimistic about the prospect as memory technology has evolved to the point where it can effectively help in reverse-engineering the human brain on memory chips.

The ultimate benefit of this is that it would allow researchers to more easily develop neuromorphic chips that would have characteristics such as low-power operation, quick adaptation to a given environment, and even cognition — same as with the human brain.

 

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