Carboncopies.org Activities

On this page, we intend to present ongoing Internal Projects at carboncopies.org, as well as the areas in which carboncopies.org is active.

Ongoing Internal Projects

(completion expected around Dec.2013)

(completion expected around Dec.2013)

(completion expected around Jan.2014)

(completion expected around Dec.2013/Jan.2014)

(completion expected around Dec.2013/Jan.2014)

Areas in which carboncopies.org is active

  • Organising conferences and workshops to incite discussion between different organisations connected with this field of reserach
Carboncopies.org has been a crucial contributor to the 2013 Global Future 2045 Congress in NYC, as part of our integration with the 2045 Initiative and its efforts. The roadmap to Whole Brain emulation is a core component of that Congress series, as exemplified by invited speakers in the Neuroengineering and Theory of Mind tracks.

Carboncopies.org has also organized workshops such as the ASIM-2010 conference, and has held annual satellite meetings and brainstorming workshops during meetings of the Society for Neuroscience (sfn.org).

This effort continues, such as at a SIM/WBE Workshop that is planned for the 20th Anniversary conference Towards a Science of Consciousness.

  • Monitor progress towards SIM along routes identified on our roadmap, maintain and update that roadmap with the set of required technologies in mind
A roadmap exists at multiple levels, from the big picture objective of SIM to the feasible technology routes via whole brain emulation and neural interfaces. Objective requirements and technological routes are assessed within our multi-disciplinary network of collaborating experts.

This effort involves keeping track of and recommending activity in each of the pillar areas of the roadmap:
  1. System decomposition into feasible sub-problems (Structure data acquisition; Connectomics).
  2. System identification within feasible sub-systems (Functional data acquisition and characterization; Brain Activity Mapping).
  3. Emulation resource development (Parameter estimation; Model representations; Neuromimetic hardware).
  4. Iterative hypothesis testing (Measuring performance; Identifying further requirements; Roadmap improvement).

  • Identify key projects and resources that are needed in accordance with the roadmap
Each technology is assessed to identify feasibility requirements, existing components, integration options and development needs. Conform with the updates of the dynamic roadmap, we are aware of the most promising candidates at this time. This includes efforts such as the development of the "Molecular Ticker Tape" approach to functional recording within cells (Harvard, MIT, Northwestern University), the development of Focused Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscopy for use in Connectomics (Janelia Farms) and many more.

Key areas that are in need of focused attention appear on each iteration of the roadmap. For example, after the last update was completed it became clear that the route forward involved methods of System Identification and that while Structural data acquisition had received enough attention to propel it to the level of rigor and effort that is needed for system decomposition in Whole Brain Emulation, the same had not yet occurred for Functional data acquisition. Several labs (especially at MIT and Harvard) were already considering an effort to make Brain Activity Mapping a new priority area starting in 2012/13. Neuroscience tools for internal data acquisition at high resolution and large scale needed additional contributions.

Carboncopies.org recognized that a potential contribution of this sort lay in the "Neural Dust" proposal at UC Berkeley. We subsequently met with the Professors pioneering that work, explained that similar interest and work was going on at Harvard and MIT, bringing about a realization of common aims among the principal investigators involved on both coasts. This accelerated the collaborative effort between those sides during work on the BRAIN Initiative, had the UC Berkeley Professors involved in a summit at Harvard and the publication of a combined research paper on 1ms sample rate recording from every neuron. The principal investigators from MIT, Harvard and UC Berkeley then all appeared and spoke about neuroscience tools and Whole Brain Emulation at the GF2045-2013 Congress in New York City.

  • Provide the overall context, network of expertise and resources to existing projects, ensure optimal fit of project results with SIM roadmap requirements
Many of the most relevant and necessary projects are already linked into our network, and a world class network of experts is informed and involved (see for example the speakers that carboncopies.org assembled for the Neuroengineering and Theory of Mind tracks of GF2045-2013 in New York City). We are continually increasing this mosaic, filling in the pieces and identifying those that need additional attention.

Project-request addressing fundamental SIM insights with regard to System Identification in neural circuitry: We are interested to hear about and contact projects or project proposals aimed at experimental methods to determine the effects of a deviation from expected/intended mind state at t+dt; how might one determine a deviation that is acceptable; and how does that threshold relate to the type and resolution of the data deemed crucial during acquisition of mind state and function parameters at t. - We imagine that projects may take a whole brain perspective, considering the total mind state, or that projects may take a component perspective, considering variations and effects of component functions. Learning about this will allow us to improve our assessment of candidate technology routes to WBE and SIM.

  • Fund-raising
Carboncopies.org is always interested in compatible individual or organized sponsors to join us, our network and our existing funders to take advantage of this Window of Opportunity to achieve the means by which our species can address our present and upcoming challenges.

  • Communication and expansion of our network

    Carboncopies.org is always actively inviting participation and recruiting promising individuals who are enthusiastic to contribute or who provide essential expertise!

  • Database of literature and resources

    Information relating to relevant fields of science and technology, knowledge obtained through our network of experts and key points of understanding are collected and will be presented in an accessible format.

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