Hello there my my dear travel buddies to the unknown! Welcome to yet another series of captivating stories into our deeper journey to the unknown. This week, I will be bringing you interesting stories to help us understand the one part of ourselves that we are using to understand, our mind. What else can be done to it to further enhance it thru Science and Technology? Where can it take us to? What does the future hold for it? Let's begin walking thru our journey...
Taking the first step are the Scientists from Vienna Technical University who uploaded the mind of a worm (Nematode) into a computer and taught it tricks. Yes, you read it right! The mind of a worm. No no, don't say that worms don't have minds! This particular worm called Caenorhabditis elegans (C. Elegans) is a prime target of nonscientific researches because its entire neural network is composed of just 300 neurons. That’s enough to wriggle around, eat, and avoid physical stimuli. The human brain, meanwhile, is thought to house around 100 billion neurons (also used to mostly wriggle around, eat, and avoid physical stimuli, oddly enough).
The simple structure of the nematode’s mind means its entire brain could be recreated accurately with today’s computer software. So why not fire the thing up in virtual and see what happens? A computer program tasked it with balancing a virtual vertical pole on its own without being taught how to do it. And the worm nailed it with flying colors! The virtual worm learned a new behavior on its own without any human intervention. Amazing indeed!
The researchers claim that this worm-brained system learns just as well as the most advanced machine learning approaches. Is this the beginning of a much bolder subject of experiments which is the human mind? I know, the mind of a nematode is one thing and the mind of a human is one thing but...remember one thing, although the human brain has billions of neurons, but its most usual usages are similar to the nematode's. Just think of the virtual tasks these virtual brains can do. Or much better, why not imbue it with artificial intelligence? Can you imagine how much more our minds can do?
This is just the beginning our our attempt to understand our own mind. Come with me again tomorrow as we continue to unravel the mysteries of one of our most important body parts. If you enjoyed today's story, please click the heart button and drop me a word or two in the comment box. Hasta la Vista baby!