What’s the line between life and brain death? Artificial intelligence offers hope of digital simulation

maxresdefault
Image credit: Frederik Questier

Since the invention of bypass machines in the 1950s, which can artificially maintain circulation and respiration, death has come to be defined by an absence of brain activity – brain death.

But even permanent brain death, which is considered undisputed, does not hold as an adequate criteria for some. The field of cryonics rests on the belief that if one’s brain is frozen and kept intact, future scientific advances will enable reanimation. Although often considered outlandish, new advances are being made that involve a process called aldehyde-stabilised cryopreservation.

Novel approaches to neurobiology based on information-theory, however, go a step further, making the bold claim that it is possible to accurately emulate the brain’s connectivity, and therefore the mind, in the form of digital information.

Related article:  Artificial intelligence could have a future diagnosing sick children, study says

According to this perspective, permanent death occurs only when the neural connections that support one’s memory, personality and self are annihilated. It is underpinned by the emerging possibility that one’s connectome can be scanned entirely, transformed into a digital code and then ‘uploaded’ to any new, viable substrate.

The boundary between life and death seems like it will never be clear. Yet the connectome and the information it contains regarding critical aspects of consciousness mark a digital-age transcendence of current thinking regarding biological brain and heart activity as supporting life.

Read full, original post: AI-powered brain emulation is changing our definition of death

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Sometime in 2019, probably in China, SARS CoV-2 figured out a way to interact with a specific "spike" on the ...
Untitled

Philip Njemanze: Leading African anti-GMO activist claims Gates Foundation destroying Nigeria

Nigerian anti-GMO activist, physician, and inventor pushes anti-gay and anti-GMO ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend