An article in the NY Times, by Kenneth Miller, addresses the question of whether or not we will one day be able to upload a brain, that is, to simulate in a computer the complete behaviour of a human brain.
The author, a neuroscientist from Columbia University, addresses carefully the challenges involved in mind uploading and whole brain emulation.
The author’s (wild) guess is that it will take centuries to determine a connectome that is detailed enough to enable us to try brain uploading.
However, he also recognises that we may not need to reconstruct all the fine details of a brain, with its billions of neurons and trillions of synapses, whose structure varies in time and space. Still, a level of detail incommensurable with existing technology would be required to even have a shot of creating a model that would reproduce actual brain behaviour.
It seems the singularity may not be over the corner, after all…
(Image by Thomas Schultz, avaliable at Wikimedia commons).