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Meat Computers

Michio Kaku sees the brain as "a computer made of meat" and understanding the mind as "just a really, really hard engineering problem," reports Adam Frank in The New York Times (3/9/14). In his latest book, The Future of the Mind, Michio asserts that we are entering a "post-human future" in which "our memories will be recorded and swapped like old videotapes, self-aware robots will be our companions, and our consciousness, downloaded onto machines, will live forever."

Michio, a "string theorist turned popular scientist" believes that "neuroscience technologies" will unlock the mysteries of the mind." He thinks this future "is inevitable and closer than we think," and that "we’ll soon be manipulating the stuff of consciousness with the same acuity we push electrons around in our digital devices." To support his case, Michio cites researchers who "are studying the microscopic dynamics of the brain’s wiring," using "functional magnetic resource imaging" to track neural responses to various experiences.

Michio sees such work as the beginning of an ability to record and replay memories "by stimulating the same pattern of neural activity. Going one step further, machines wired directly to brains will be able to read and transmit our thoughts instantaneously … By mapping out … the explicit account of every neural connection in your head … it should be possible to reverse-engineer each and every person’s brain." By re-constructing the connections "in a computer … you will have downloaded yourself into that machine."