The structure of our brain is a mystery that manages to keep the world’s best scientists’ and philosophers’ brains busy. Recreating its structure is no easy task. So how do you recreate it artificially? With AI.
Scientists have been using positive emission tomography (PET), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computer axial tomography (CAT) scans to map the brain (PET).
Due to the mutually beneficial connection between AI and neuroscience, AI is now swiftly becoming an invaluable tool in neuroscience research. Artificial intelligence (AI) models that are designed to perform intelligence-based tasks are offering new theories about how the same processes are managed within the brain.
Ever since the field of artificial intelligence research first emerged in the middle of the twentieth century, the brain has served as the primary source of inspiration for the development of artificial systems of intelligence. The notion that the brain represents an attractive architectural pattern for artificial intelligence strongly backs this, as it serves as a proof of concept for a full intelligence system capable of perception, planning, and decision-making.
Additionally, most scientists acknowledge that the capacity to simulate how the brain’s neural activity shows in its activity patterns is a crucial step toward developing a machine with true intelligence. Trial and error have traditionally taken a lot of time when analyzing brain activity with neural simulation. But in recent years, development in AI has made this technique considerably more productive.
The two most common forms of brain scans – computerized tomography, or CT – and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which both provide exact images of the brain, may be recognizable to the majority of people. They succeed in showing structures but not activity. To achieve the goal, however, we will need next-level intelligence. For this, we should primarily be able to use AI to see the functions of the brain and map its structure to create the next level of AI-an artificial AI (AAI).
By opening up the skull and placing electrodes directly onto the brain, invasive techniques have proven to be the most effective methods to date for obtaining clear ongoing activity.
For instance, Meta’s new AI can decode speech from non-invasive records of brain activity. For a very long time, neuroscientists have fantasized about decoding speech from someone’s brain. But invasive methods were essential to accomplish this goal.
According to the researchers, the new method has the benefit of not requiring any brain implants, such as electrodes, because it is non-invasive.
Electroencephalograms (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG), two noninvasive techniques that can scan the brain from the outside and monitor activity without needing surgery, have the drawback of being overly noisy.
Researchers used machine learning algorithms to “clean up” the noise to solve this issue. They made use of the wave2vec 2.0 model.
A study published on May 9, 2018, shows that researchers can currently reconstruct patterns in the brain with AI. Scientists then used artificial intelligence (AI) to recreate the complex neural codes that the brain uses to navigate through space. And it suggests that they may soon be able to do so again in better ways. AI can analyze and process Big Data in a way that is efficient, rapid, and accurate, providing new possibilities for information processing in neuroscience research. Researchers have the ability to use computational models accurately enough to help them make predictions that they can test in real-world scenarios or even on actual human subjects.
Because researchers can see only one part of the brain at once, traditional methods of studying the brain currently have limitations. This results in a restriction on pattern analysis and data analysis. The time frame involved is the other major problem with brain mapping. To be clear, because the human brain is so dynamic, we cannot and will not ever be able to create a complete map of its connectome.
It’s almost as if your brain’s main activity throughout your life is to change itself constantly, every hour, minute, and even second! Thus, even if scientists were to someday create a strong enough imaging device, it could only capture a single snapshot of your brain at a given time. Your brain’s wiring would have already experienced irreversible alteration within a few seconds, if not less.
The results of brain mapping are provisional, time-consuming, and computationally intensive. The explanation of brain activity and neuronal behavior has greatly benefited from neurotechnologies. However, there is still a need for a thorough quantitative assessment of neural networks. We are still unable to assess all network features concurrently in real time since we presently lack an understanding of neural connectivity.
Understanding the temporal evolution of the neural activity of each brain region over a long period and across different cognitive tasks should therefore be the initial stage in the process. It is important to answer this fundamental problem since doing so will uncover significant facts about how the brain connects with its environment.
Since brains are intricate biological systems with some data that cannot be gathered non-invasively, we may not obtain them currently. Therefore, as we are unable to simulate the brain to the last molecular detail, neuroscience research is still far from reaching a complete knowledge of the brain. For the time being, we must rely on statistical and probability-based methods. This, while not ideal, provides us with enough insights into how the brain works.
And, the use of AI may trigger more rapid brain mapping.
By aiding research teams in interpreting the huge amounts of information that can be generated while measuring neural activity, AI is already speeding up the process of brain mapping. Researchers can create a 3D model of neural activity in the brain using AI algorithms, which can provide information regarding how the brain works.
Bin Li’s latest research from Carnegie Mellon University presents a brand-new, AI-based dynamic brain imaging technology option that could quickly, accurately, and affordably map the brain’s electrical activity as it alters over time.
Currently, existing machine-learning algorithms are much more effective than humans at sorting through data and spotting patterns. Researchers can start to comprehend how the network evolves over time, fluctuations, and patterns that are otherwise challenging to uncover by using AI and computational models.
We may test a basic prediction model on actual data, refine it in light of our results, and then test it once again. The model we develop will assist us in comprehending how this network of neurons actually functions, even though it is not a clear description of actual brain activity.
Mayo Clinic and Google Research developed a computational intelligence technology in 2021 in order to improve the care given to patients using brain stimulation devices. This algorithm provides a comprehensive set of responses that can be used to depict intricate dynamics and thought processes. According to Dora Hermes Miller, Ph.D., a biomedical engineer at the Minnesota campus of Mayo Clinic, it’s a sophisticated way to explore brain networks.
AI is one source of information that could help researchers better understand not only how the brain develops, but also how you can change and even recreate it.
Recreate the human brain in the form of artificial AI
Once it has helped us analyze its structure and identify important areas for manipulation and recreation, scientists could use AI to build the “AAI” by recreating the human brain.
But even with AI’s help, how could we practically recreate the human brain? In reality, it would cost several billion dollars in the future, consume a huge amount of energy, and take ten years to construct a full-scale physical replica of the brain.
People with superior artificial intelligence would be able to do anything humans can do, except better. At least for me, that is the prediction for the near future. If they could perform much better, they would continue to do so indefinitely, increasing their intelligence.
To guarantee that the system can think and behave similarly to its natural counterpart, the reconstruction must be neurobiologically accurate.
Combining a realistic master model with an artificial neural network will be the first step. The artificial system will be created to mimic the precise manner in which the brain neurons link with one another. Thus, just like in people, the neurons of the artificial brain will link based on their electrical characteristics.
The computer must, in the second step, have all the appropriate inputs and outputs for a human brain to operate. This entails simulating every signal that would be necessary to connect them to a human brain. The last phase is to merge input from various connections into a single pattern that an advanced machine-learning system will be able to comprehend.
The final phase will involve undoing everything in an effort to regain the network’s original signal. A neural network connected to a human body or anything analogous should be able to receive data from various sources, process it, and output this information through the artificial brain.
What about consciousness, though? And is consciousness even necessary? If AI can’t replicate our form of consciousness, why not give them their own? There are multiple views on this subject.
On the one hand, sentience, or the capability to perceive and interact with the outside world, is often regarded as a fundamental property of consciousness. Animals are not thought to be capable of consciousness, humans are conscious. It will be vital that artificial intelligence develops into an algorithm that perfectly replicates all of these properties.
On the other hand, some people think that conscious thought will always be a mystery and that artificial intelligence cannot replicate it. Unlike humans, you can program AI only in such a way that it can learn from experience; unlike humans, AI cannot learn from experience or from others.
Recreating the brain in Virtual Reality?
Your mind might also exist in digital form on a network if we recreate the human brain in virtual reality using the AI-mapped human brain structure. You might be capable of communicating with all the other AI brains in cyberspace where your consciousness has been transmitted. Together, you might be able to create a better AI that will eventually become more intelligent than all of us.
The construction of a machine that thinks, feels, and lives like us have drawn the attention of scientists, researchers, philosophers, and artists for many years. However, in virtual form? Not a lot. Not yet.
People like Elon Musk consider that our species may be at risk if AI goes out of control. They may not agree on how to avoid this threat, but they all agree that it’s very possible that AI may become so advanced and powerful that humans should be afraid.
However, if we could recreate such an AI in the virtual world, it would be a threat to that particular world at most. Am I missing something? Maybe humans would be too sated in that virtual world and forget reproduction – eventually leading to extinction.
Anyway, scientists are actually getting closer and closer to making artificial brains that operate as ours do.
With the help of a new superconducting switch, computers may soon be able to make decisions that are extremely similar to our own. The switch “learns” by digesting the electrical impulses it receives and producing the appropriate output signals, much like a biological brain, according to researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. The technique replicates how biological synapses, which allow communication between neurons in the brain, work. In comparison to human synapses, artificial synapses fire 20 million times more rapidly.
How many years did it take us to understand that our bodies are made of cells and molecules? And before we had the microscope, it was all invisible to us. Our ability to observe and manipulate biological systems has accelerated our understanding of how they work.
The more we learn about the human brain, the more AI will be able to mimic its functions. Is there any law or ethical code that says you can’t just upload your brain and live in a virtual world? I don’t think so.