Informative blog post at FutureTechie.com on the future of neuroscience.
From the link:
Before we come up with some kind of Evil Hollywood Science Fiction Artificial Intelligence that for some reason utilizes the horribly inefficient human body as a power source, we are stuck with brains. We are already doing with brains what the machines do with humans in the classic film “The Matrix”.
Animal brains, that is. Scientists at University of Reading have removed the neural cortex of a fetal rat, put it in a nutrient and neuron rich broth surrounding a circuit board, and waited. Over 300,000 rat neurons eventually forged their own new and unique connections with the cortex and circuit board:
Also from the link:
Some say we will lose our unique individualism as we merge with machines, I predict the opposite. Just as an uneducated, starved brain from the medieval dark ages or poverty-stricken Africa is limited in comparison to an educated healthy brain, in the future our minds will expand and become more varied in psychology, ideas, creativity, and perception as we voluntarily tinker with our intelligence, speed of thought, memory, and even how the basic components of our brains are organized. Similar to how a prosthetic leg helps one walk again or a pacemaker allows one to live additional years brain-computer interfaces will be just another step.