Discovery News has two interesting articles. First, insect AI:

But a small organism doesn’t have so many cells to control and can fit some very elaborate mental circuitry in a pinhead-sized brain.

Several hundred neurons give the ability to count. A few thousand create sentient, and perhaps even sapient, thought. If that’s really the case, then it seems that we’re barking up the wrong tree with cognitive computing concepts and AI projects.

Instead of trying to simulate huge numbers of neurons, then bragging about it as a step towards emulating real brainpower, we should focus on those individual circuits and model the brains of insects rather than mammals.

Second, cyborg astronauts. The pros are interesting, but the hearing the cons aired are a breath of fresh air:

Of course there’s a catch. Each of the procedures that would make all this possible would be a) incredibly invasive, b) exorbitantly expensive and c) require decades of highly focused research projects to make it all possible. While the benefits to those who suffered serious trauma to the brain, limbs and spine, or suffering from organ failure would be immense, there may be some serious pause about healthy individuals undergoing this sort of modification for the sake of traveling to other worlds. People who may never walk again without a prosthetic spine or mechanical legs would certainly volunteer for such procedures because being confined to a bed or a wheelchair for the rest of their lives is a far higher cost than the risks involved with the surgery.

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