Human Brain Project

Technological Human Brain

1.12316_2013-01-14_Mouse_Brain_Section

Artificial Intelligence

THE BRAIN

The Human Brain Project (HBP) is a research project which aims to simulate the human brain with supercomputers to better understand how it functions. The end hopes of the HBP include being able to mimic the human brain using computers and being able to better diagnose different brain problems, as well as to reconstruct an entire artificial human brain [1]. They work with Supercomputing Research, according to them, brain is a “magical machine”, working out on computer brain simulations of neurons.

It is directed by the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne and it is supported by the European Union as a ‘FET Flagship’ project and the 86 institutions involved will receive 1 billion euro in funding over 10 years (01/2013) [2].

The Human Brain project involves the deep ambition to fully understand the functional mechanisms of the human brain and to be able to build an artificial organ, notably after the Human genome project _ the HGP is an international scientific research project that started in 1989 with a primary goal of determining the sequence of chemical base pairs which make up DNA, and of identifying and mapping the approximately 20,000–25,000 genes of the human genome from both a physical and functional standpoint.

They actually started with the Blue Brain Project (2005), modelizing a rat brain to to create a synthetic brain by reverse-engineering the mammalian brain down to the molecular level.

Their belief is based on the human body as a machine. They rely on Descartes’ idea of the body as being totally independent of the mind, that is known as the mechanistic view and draws upon a metaphysical dualism body/mind (mind and body are understood as two distinct and separable substances).

[1] http://www.humanbrainproject.eu/
[2] http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-54_en.htm?locale=FR

Bionic man (London Museum, 01/2013)

bionic man at science museum (2013)rex-with-legs
Rex-Bionic-Man. One million dollars

BIONIC MAN @ LONDON SCIENCE MUSEUM.

Created for a Channel 4 documentary (01/2013) to prove just how closely technology can emulate the human body, Rex – short for “robotic exoskeleton” – has been put together by the Shadow robotics company using artificial limbs and organs borrowed from the laboratories of leading scientists from as far afield as New Zealand and San Francisco.

As well as prosthetic arms and legs, he has a functioning heart, lung, kidney, pancreas and spleen, artificial arteries that carry man-made blood, and a microchip that interprets images and acts as a rudimentary eye.

Rex has been modelled on a Swiss social psychologist Bertholt Meyer, who is himself an arm-amputee, and has a face hatmakes him his twin brother at all. The cost of this first “bionic man” is about $ 1 million.

The SF Soccer team (2008)

The Hybrid body soccer team

The matter in this painting was to express with a given group of individuals, eleven players on the field, lost limbs and reconstructed ones, following the range of possibilities plastic surgery practices offer: mechanical, myoelectrical, functional and/or aesthetical and bionic. The last “player” thanks to his numerous enhancements has already become a hybrid body, of which we don’t know anymore what is part of the human and what is part of the machine.

Reconstruction/ Augmentation of the HUMAN BODY

Augmentation

2009. Judith Nicogossian, From reconstruction to augmentation

HISTORY OF THE HUMAN BODY: FROM RECONSTRUCTION TO AUGMENTATION

The non-reconstructed human body inscribed in early-Christianity was considered as an untouchable God’s creation, so was strictly forbidden its reconstruction. Then, the social and religious order has progressively allowed the reconstruction to the condition this latter was inscribed within the following dichotomy, between normal and pathological. Thenceforth practice of plastic surgery has developed in performing increasingly good reconstructions (connected to the progresses made in Medicine) up to start considering the plastic enhancement of the human body. How can we make a better body, to go beyond the human functions and aesthetics, in regard with the use of techniques and technologies.
This work with a left-arm amputee has underlined the visual comprehension of the lack of a limb, for amputees, and the evolution of the undertaken surgery (aesthetical and functional) from the attempts of reconstruction (prosthesis in wood) to its plastic augmentation (bionic prosthesis or brain-machine interface).