”I believe that the 21st Century will be the Century of the brain.” Professor Patrick Aebischer, EPFL
Both USA and EU have recently launched extraordinary longstanding projects in order to explore the human brain’s functions and how these work together. In particular for the EU initiative information- and communication technology (ICT) is an important tool in the research. The aim besides to build a solid ground for what Professor Aebischer calls ”the Century of the Brain” the project also is expected to help the development within ICT. This means development of technology with brain-like functions but also technology that adapts to the human brain.
Educational political policy often lacks scientifically ground
In this spirit pedagogical research also improve the foundation for development of learning. In order so that the educational politics finally escape “political fashion-whims and instead rests on a solid scientifically ground” to use the words of Torkel Klingberg, Professor of neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.
The American Psychologist Kurt Fischer also belongs to the growing group of Scientists that criticise the lack of scientifically attachment in political policies of education. Statistics from single often limited studies is regularly the foundation for these. Then when politicians and their administrator staff show the knowledge development in school within different subjects, they do it by comparing with other socio-economic similar countries. This means studies from the same criteria that have been used during several decades despite that the prerequisites for the labour market and the society in general has changed profoundly. Something that also concerns the terms for education. Perhaps declining results according to old criteria only shows an adaption to the society today. And that pedagogical- and technological development has been further implemented than in the “similar” countries that has improved its position on the list.
In the Century of computer-technology
IBM is one of the organisations that for a long time have invested in research within the field of computer-systems with brain-like functions, artificial intelligence. In their latest project, Truenorth, they are building a new type of computer with the human brain as the source of inspiration. The hardware is encompassed in 96 standard lockers however a human brain is still according to IBM 1542 times faster. The fields of use that the company hopes to improve are for instance business analysis and world mapping watch.
In this series of articles I will dig deeper in development of technology, as well as the neuroscience development and aims, the next part will combine the two by a special focus on learning.
Written by LarsGoran Bostrom©
HBP – The Human Brain Project
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