Randal Koene, the neuroscientist who’s dreaming of uploading our minds
As one of the most complex organs of the human anatomy, the brain’s exploration is far from being over. Mapping the brain is one of the major issues of science and medicine. Randal Koene has dedicated his scientific mission to the understanding of the brain.
Who is Randal Koene?
Randal A. Koene is a Neuroengineering pioneer in Neural Interfaces & Protheses and a Computational Neuroscientist. He is also a science & technology architect in the field of Whole Brain Emulation.
He is a neuroscientist who’s been focused on neural interfaces, neural prosthesis and the functional reconstruction of neural tissue since 1994. Koene introduced the multi-disciplinary field of whole brain emulation (a term he coined in 2000) and is the lead architect of the scientific roadmap with which its technological development has been promoted. Koene relentlessly advocates the importance of the technology and the science, and has helped identify accelerators for the development of neural interfaces, neural prostheses, and brain emulation.
Dr. Koene’s professional expertise includes: “computational neuroscience, neural engineering, psychology, information theory, electrical engineering, physics, venture capital due diligence, and enterprise in early-stage technology startups“.
His project: uploading a brain to a computer!
For several years, he has been working on a project, which could be mistaken for science fiction: mapping the brain to understand how it works in order to convert these data points into computer language. His goal: uploading the human mind to a computer, digitize consciousness and thus saving a copy of the brain on a computer.
In an interview with Vice, he explains: “Neuroscientists are 99% convinced that the brain is a mechanism. It is something that calculates, that performs and functions. If you can find out how it works, you can build something to replace it. ”
However, even though other scientists support his hypothesis, there are numerous critics of his project.
Here is how he summarizes his battle plan: “The idea that we can take a small part of the brain and replace it with a replica is very widespread and well understood. Why not do it with the whole brain? And then why not transfer it to a computer to process more data and store it better, as a computer does, by classifying thoughts into folders that we can access when we want to? ”
According to Koene, if scientists manage to make an exact and complete copy of the brain, it will include the areas involved in emotions. For him, this could allow humans to live forever. He goes even further by saying that we could live in another environment or even in a virtual world, and why not transfer to another body. This scientific project is at the moment only theoretical and scientists have only managed to upload a worm’s brain to a Lego robot. But some science fiction authors have already written about this scenario, such as Richard Morgan, author of Altered Carbon, which has also been made into a series available on Netflix.