How Robots Could Help Uncover What It Means To Be Human

Robots and the Human Brain Intelligence, compassion, consciousness. These are some of the most fundamental aspects of what it means to be human. Yet, biologists struggle to settle on common definitions for these complex traits, let alone explain how they arise from the electrical signals fired by the million of neurons that make up our brain. Major American and European initiatives are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into mapping and modeling the electrical circuitry of the human brain. But not everyone in the neuroscience community thinks these projects are on the right track. “The BRAIN Initiative supports attempts to develop new methods that will add to our knowledge,” explains John Lisman, Zalman Abraham Kekst Chair in Neuroscience and Professor of Biology at Brandeis University, “The particular feeling we have…

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