The Pentagon's crash program to create an artificial brain is just about up and running. And, if it all goes as planned, we could see an electronic chip that mimics the "function, size, and power consumption" of a cat's cortex some time in the next decade.A summary of another of Cordwainer Smith's works: The Game of Rat and Dragon.
"The follow-on phases of the project will create a technology that functions like the brain of a cat, which comprises 108 neurons and 1012 synapses," Dr. Narayan Srinivasa, SyNAPSE Program Manager and Senior Scientist, said. "The human brain has roughly 1011 neurons and 1015 synapses."
The gray area between circuitry and gray matter has become one of the hotter topics in military research. The Army is funding a study into "synthetic telepathy" that would translate the brain's electrical activity into computer code.
The JASONs, the Pentagon's premiere scientific advisory board, has warned of the dangers of enemies implanted with brain-computer interfaces. And the Defense Intelligence Agency just released a report, saying the military needs to spend more on neuroscience - up to and including "mak[ing] the enemy obey our commands."
Mankind has achieved the ability to travel to the stars, through interstellar space, but there are hazards, namely monsters that people call "dragons" who kill many of the passengers and crew on these ships, drive people insane. To battle these noncorporeal monsters, human psychics have proven very useful, but engineers have found that these human psychics work better against the monsters when they have partners—psychic cats.See previous post on another Cordwainer Smith related neurological issue : Laminated Mouse Brains