The topic of our 2009 'Topoi' project was 'revolution'. The most revolutionary change in our lives is likely to be the integration of computer technology and the human brain. It is estimated that computers will exceed the capacity of the human brain in about 2029, in less than twenty years. Paralleling the rapid advance in computer science, neuroscience is expected to progress to the extent that in twenty years' time it may be possible to read all our thoughts, and thus all our mind. Combining these advances we can predict that it may be possible to transfer a human mind to a computer. The implications would be enormous - nothing less than immortality for the human mind (could we still call it human?) and vastly-enhanced thinking abilities. See this BBC article 'We will be able to live to 1,000' if you need convincing. Of course this is all highly controversial and clearly has a dark side...
My 16 year old ICT students participated in the Revolutions project in five ways:
- They watched and discussed in detail a series of YouTube video clips about the above-mentioned advances, paying special attention to identifying the most important concepts so that we could reduce the one hour of video material to just 10 minutes. The result should be playing on your screen just below.
- Some students took a video camera and filmed interviews with several students and with the Deputy Head of our secondary school. Excerpts from some of these interviews are included in the video.
- The students suggested questions for inclusion in a questionnaire which was then administered to about thirty students - the results have been analyzed and are now available HERE.
- The students gave their opinions on these issues in free response form - a selection of their comments will soon be available here.
- The students made PowerPoint and Flash presentations about other revolutions in technology, both past and future.
This video lasts 13 minutes. If you find this video interesting then please also check out this clip.
By an amazing coincidence, on the exact same day that our school started presenting its Revolutions project, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) published an article called 'Building A Brain on a Silicon Chip' announcing major advances in the convergence of computing and human thought: www.technologyreview.com/computing/22339/