Published on January 8, 2019 | Updated on January 29, 2019

CORTEX conference by Yves Frégnac

December 15th, 2017

Industrialisation of neuroscience and artificial intelligence: from brain modeling to the myth of transhumanism

New technologies in neuroscience generate reams of data at an exponentially increasing rate, spurring the design of very-large-scale data-mining initiatives. Several supranational ventures are contemplating the possibility of achieving, within the next decade(s), full digital simulation of the human brain. This "opinion" review questions the scientific and strategic underpinnings of the runaway enthusiasm for Big Data and industrial-scale projects at the interface between “wet” (biology) and “hard” (physics, microelectronics and computer science).

I will focus on four major issues:
(i) Are Big data produced by the industrialization of neuroscience and New algorithms in artificial intelligence the soundest way to achieve substantial progress in understanding the brain?
(ii) Do we have a safe “roadmap” to build a Mega-Science of the Mind based on a scientific consensus? (iii) Irrespectively of technological feasibility, what could be the main conceptual bottlenecks ? (iv) Do these large-scale approaches announce a new trend in scientific conduct, fueled by economics of promises and promoting futurist mythology (theory of singularity and transhumanism)