How Close Are We to Downloading the Human Brain?


Someday our bodies are going to break down
and we’ll die. Our brain will decay and disappear forever.But,
what if it didn’t have to? Right now there are scientists around the
world working on technology that could one day take your brain, and possibly your consciousness,
and upload it onto a computer. This would be a game changer in neuroscience
and some believe could lead to immortality. So, how close are we to downloading our brains? Okay first off, what do we mean when we say
“downloading the brain?” It’s not plugging a cable into your head
and syncing it with your phone. It is much more complicated than that because,
well, the brain is really, really complicated. The information in a brain is encoded in the
synaptic connections between neurons. This is the major theory of how not only episodic
memories are encoded in the brain, but essentially all learned knowledge, // Now, there’s on
the order of 100 billion neurons in a human brain and each of those neurons has tens of
thousands of connections. You are looking at hundreds of trillions of
those synaptic connections, each of which have been tuned by your life’s experience. So in order to download your brain, each one
of those trillions of connections would have to be precisely scanned, mapped and digitally
reconstructed on a computer as an emulated brain. The idea would be, that this simulation would
not only behave like a biological brain, but could retain the thoughts and memories of
the person whose brain was scanned. Now, all this is great to think about and
makes for interesting dinner conversation, but we have yet to scan a complete human brain
let alone test the theory of consciousness. That’s not to say some progress hasn’t
been made though. There are projects all over the world working
on scanning and simulating brains in the name of healthcare and medicine. This is more about unlocking mysteries of
our brain and less about unlocking the key to immortality. …we don’t really understand a system until
we can build it ourselves and manipulate it in a computer, and really understand all the
pieces and parts. In 2014, researchers scanned a roundworm brain
and made a simulation that they installed into a simple Lego robot. And, the simulated brain moved the robot freely
without any human direction. There have been other projects trying to recreate
the brain through reverse engineering, experiments reading and implanting memories and one group
created an algorithm for large scale human brain simulations. But one of the biggest projects involving
actual brain scanning is taking place at the Allen Institute in Seattle. They have scanned and digitally reconstructed
a cubic millimeter of a mouse brain. Yes, this may not seem like a big deal due
to the small scale, but this is the largest roadmap of connections of a mammalian brain
ever. Now, a cubic millimeter is about the size
of a single grain of sand and is home to 100,000 neurons and over a billion synapses. In order to scan this tiny segment, it first
had to be sectioned 25,000 with each slice being about a fifth the thickness of a human hair.
were taken. Then 10s of millions of images were taken. This gives you an idea of what would need to happen to scan an entire human
brain. That means that mapping a human brain, a million
times larger, would take a fleet of electron microscopes decades in order to image. Obviously the technology is going to have
to change. Perhaps not radically but at least in scale
to make something like this happen. We just don’t have powerful enough microscopes
to be able to accurately and efficiently image entire human brain. And even if we could, the question would still
remain; if we could copy our brain, would that also copy our consciousness? Most neuroscientists would say yes, it’s exactly
the same person if it’s exactly the same thing, but we really don’t know if there’s some other
issue that we’re missing. // Still the question is, is the simulation
at a resolution that is sufficient to capture who you are? The idea is that our thoughts and memories
are basically data, and in theory we should be able to copy that data over to a computer
and you’d still be you. But, what kind of you? …if we made a replication of your brain,
there’s no reason that you’d be living in silence and darkness inside Dropbox. We’d be giving you fake input. In theory, if somebody were a computer simulation
// what it would be like is exactly what this is like for us. You’d look around, you’d say, “Here I am,
I can feel my body, I can taste this drink, I can eat this pizza,” and it in theory wouldn’t
be any different. Or if you want to still experience the real
world, your brain could be installed into a robot. The person opens up their robotic eyes, and
they say, “Wow, I’m still here.” If it works, that’s how it should feel. It should feel like you are coming out of
a surgery and you should be able to call up memories from your past, you should be able
to still remember how to do certain things, you should have the same likes and dislikes… However, advancements in connectomics won’t
come from scientists looking for the fountain of youth. Researchers want to understand the brain better
in order to combat disease and mental disorders. We’d be able to better treat tumors, epilepsy,
addiction and learn more about how we evolved. This is why people are looking to digitally
map the brain. In the end, if we are ever able to upload
someone’s consciousness, it may just be a bonus to these studies. Mind uploading is a very long-term project
of humanity. It’s so long-term that I think most of the
people today that are working on it would not recognize that they’re working on it. The desire is there to scan and map an
entire human brain. That process may lay the groundwork for a
brave volunteer to have their brain removed and digitized which might lead to the first
immortal being. We just have to wait for technology to catch
up with our ambition. So, how close are we to downloading the human
brain? We’re nowhere close. We can’t even download a fruit fly…. We can image small pieces of brain tissue,
or small organisms brains. But, we don’t know enough about how the nervous
system works in order to interpret those images and create a simulation of that. With the technology the we have right now,
we’re nowhere close. But the road seems clear enough to get there,
unless there’s some giant surprise that we run into. It seems like each year as technology gets
better and better, we get higher and higher resolution on what’s going on. It’s a clear path to get there. I mean, unless we already are there and you
are currently watching this in a computer simulated world where nothing around you really
exists. Thanks for watching How Close Are We! Let us know in the comments what topics you want us to cover in future episodes. And if you want more How Close Are We, click here to watch our playlist. And don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe.

100 thoughts on “How Close Are We to Downloading the Human Brain?

  1. 05:21
    why?
    what's the problem of finding fountain of youth?
    why we people sicked in accepting this fact it is not good to be immortal
    we spend billions of dollars on shit stuffs, but we won't pay attention to the real issue
    Death

  2. I doubt it would 'copy' consciousness, since consciousness itself is very unknown. But to have two seperate "existentions.." how would that work? Would we see and feel the same?

  3. I mean the brain is 100 terabytes and you would need a 8g network to store it…
    That’s an expensive brain

  4. It will be great if you add more type of contrasting colours in your video like making his glass contrasting to the environment

  5. Isn't it better and easier to transfer consciousness by moving the brain ITSELF rather than digitally?. Why the effort?! Submerge the brain into an anti-aging liquid, and connect it to a camera, speaker, microphone etc with some transfusion digital connection so the person has senses. You don't need to copy the brain, just move it so it doesn't die off from natural organs, it could last forever with digital organs and senses.

    Just look at the Futurama cartoon TV series, All the famous celebrities have their heads in jars of liquid to save their consciousness, and they can always have a adaptable body. Why can't we do that!!!

  6. So if the power goes out for a lil does that me like sleeping? Will there be reboots? Who is going to be running it? So much question

  7. Ya I would want to be put into a robot that would be the most amazing thing in the world could live for ever and just keep getting upgrades for about 1000 more years instill we can make a biological body we can just 3d print and have oir memory a saved every day incsse you die you would just get reprinted snd the consiosnous from that morning redownloaded that would be the coolest. But it eont happen instill I'm dead probably the day after with my luck lol no no really it would be cool to be alive in about 100 years bet it will be possible then or atleast close guess mortality will be more for our grandkids grandkids. They. Be the lucky lones who get to live forever by rhen it will be a bunch of people who have never even been outside except to ealk to a vehocle or never worked a physical job in there life its already getting this way quick kids these days dont go outside ever they never walk around or.ride bikes or work making money stacking hay or working on farms shit they think its child abuse till do chores I mean come on when I was a kid from the age 10 up I worked on a farm plus watched my brothers and sisters did chores coomed dinner washed dishes and cleaned the house and stuff just so my parents would be happy and have nothing to bitch about gave me more time to not be noticed that i was gone lol if everything is done your parents are happy and let you do more now kids want respect from parents wining they had to go to school all day and shouldnt have to do anything then want tonsit on a game or phone all day I had to be outsife from daylight to dark when o was a kid fishing hunting playing

  8. Using Human Brain as Healthcare and Improving Human Life is OK.But if you using Human Brain creating Terminator Like people and Make Evolution Of Bring Back of A dead person to live in A new Sets Of Robotic Body!GOD against that! Try spend million dollars R&D & imitating technique.Believe me,Your never suceed.The time you Suceed.GOD already forbid it and bring And Ends to this world.Because for me.Human brain created by GOD is the best creation ever.No machine can beat it

  9. Once we get AI it will solve all these problems for us.. we really just need a machine capable of scanning our entire brain all our neuro activity down the the smallest level.. then upload it to the AI… and itl probably end up being downloaded into a probe where we each have our own robot body/probe but are still all connected like the internet… and we probably will go spread life and study other civilizations.. that’s more then likely what we will encounter if we ever encounter alien life… itl just be probes.. but intelligent ones. Probably the same ones our military has been spotting.. they say it’s intelligent and can’t do insane speeds and turn on a dime.. it’s deff under intelligent control.. but nothing biological is in it I guarntee it. Probably why they don’t contact us.. they want us to form our own ideals and morals… if our civilization is to survive we have to do it ourselves

  10. No thanks . What condition does the volunteer have to be in ? Does the brain have to be alive ? Have you got a huge pile of dead bodies ? Are you getting permission ? I think some of the missing people might have ended up here . I dont like human experiments . Our history is full of it . Stop probing and dissecting people . Get your kicks some other way . Please dont claim to help humanity and mental health . Everyone knows this is bull . The mentally ill have suffered god knows how many times at the hands of doctors . This is disgusting and cruel . Imagine my suprise its american .

  11. They are going to have to make a 2 step up procedure for downloading yourself into a robot. First the initial transfer and back to your body. Than the second transfer is were the robot you pulls the plug on the organic you. How else could this be done ethically?

  12. Am I the only person who got freaked out by his last statement. "Unless we're already in a simulation"

  13. This whole video theory was proven wrong when he said they took images. That just means they'll be able to make a copy of you but it will not be you. The new copy of you will be alive and conscious as well but not you. In life we have to accept that there is only one of you forever. The only way I think we can continue forever is we are able to transfer our physical brain into another life body and continue until forever as long as your brain does not get destroyed.

  14. I been thinking about this for a long time but i am confused if this really happens that i can copy my brain 100% what about my soul, and most important the notion of I ? if this happens then will I be on both sides consciously ( in my body and in computer) simultaneously ? Can i switch between these self's that is my-self and compu-self ?

  15. I don't care if I would be the original or if I would die if I had a copy that could be backed up and reinstalled into a physical body. I'd probably make a perfect soldier because my own life would be of little importance.

  16. If you were downloaded onto a robot, you yourself would have to figure out how to connect to the sensors like sight and hearing.

  17. Let’s say this, in my ideal scenario: I am 16 years pass and I am 70, I have cancer and I’m dying, a computer takes my consciousness and uploads it into a clone of myself that lays dormant, and I am reborn

  18. Impossible to download brain consciousness ..only solution is to take brain out and fitting it in a bot using nero lace… this is foolishness. This scientist know thats the only solution but its a taboo so they probably doing underground experiment..

  19. But even if your brain is scanned it’s still not you because your not transferring yourself. It’s just a digitalised version of yourself

  20. Yeah ok. Live forever, cool. But what about the fact that this would be a COPY? When you copy a CD to your computer, the fragile disc that has the original information still exists separately from your computer. If you ever uploaded your brain along with a COPY of your consciousness, your brain is still separate from that copy. You are still in reality and you are going to die. That copy is not you, no matter how much it thinks it is

  21. The video doesn't address continuity of existence, the process shouldn't be copying, is should be displacing that consciousness

  22. It's not a transfer, it's a clone. It's misleading to suggest it'll make us immortal, since a digital version of my brain is a separate entity to me (since we can live simultaneously), even if we're identical. So it's kind of pointless.

  23. Something tells me this would be easier to achieve using a quantum computer of some type, but that technology is still being worked on like this is.

  24. Please don’t download from my brain 🧠
    Inside are porn site and toxic idiot behaviour
    Im a Billy last time hope I want new Brain that clear and become a wealthy in future 😂🤣 😜

  25. Are you totally crazy? When the last life cycle is over, the soul releases itself from the body and is free again.
    The thought that this is actually being philosophized about it The awareness of imprisoning the energy or the soul in a technology is really more than frightening and very very ignorant!

  26. everything is digitalized, there is no point of "human". every knowledge/memory will be merged into one central computer. lol

  27. Doesnt God Offer Us Eternal Salvation If We Believe And Worship? Do the right thing etc…if only the scientists would believe in God, Soul And Afterlife. They Truely Can Earn Immortality In The Kingdom Of Heaven Where Evil And Nagging Wifes Don't Exist.

  28. To copy the consciousness accurately. We need to understand all forms of electro-magnetism as well as electricity of brain waves in connection to the body( may be a more proper term).

  29. Err, sorry to bother you guys with this question.
    Technically, if your brain gets sliced you die.
    Now, let's admit the digital copy works perfectly and gets uploaded on a platform, a robot. 
    It wouldn't be "you", it would be a copy of your brain on a different platform, some sort of "clone".
    But you died, you never wake up from the surgery, someone else does, with the same brain you had.

  30. Yeah well most will not be able to afford it

    The elite will simply make slave robots without a way to think other than clean this

    Go get that so don't get your hopes up no matter what

    Have a nice day we're doomed

  31. 1 of the issues I perceive is the mathematical equivalent of the information contained within is there but the experience of the moment probably wouldn't transfer over .

  32. It always fascinates me how much trouble these bright PhDs have grasping the Law of Accelerating Returns and fundamentally understand exponentiality. Reading Kurzweil should be mandatory in STEM fields…

  33. It's true nothing around us actually exists…. even ourselves are merely a simulation to keep ourselves busy the singular being that has always been.

  34. I feel like we can only live forever by removing our brain and put it on top of a computer of some sort. If we just downloaded our brain it would just be a copy, you cant copy conciousness, its only in your brain.

  35. Who knows, maybe some day mankind will be able to copy itself to a computer but i highly dought that we will ever be able to copy the consciousness to a computer.

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