“The human mind is the byproduct of a biological machine,” an acute observation made by Sandra Helsel reporting on the topic of nanotechnology for the online publication “Inside 3D Printing”. She’s referring to the exciting possibility of a 3D- printed brain: billions of neurons interconnected, firing constantly; randomly, within the grey matter that is the human brain. Synoptic connections are the bridge from the mind (think external hard drive) to the body (think laptop computer). 3D printing prints that bridge. “Complexity is cheap” to produce a tangible prototype of the interwoven system of information architecture that makes up not only the brian, but leads us into the mind… The synoptic connections between neurons come on like lights across a city: gridded, interwoven; linked. Each point must be a functioning, artificially 3D printed neuron (see previous articles concerning biochemical 3D- printing). Furthermore, each functioning neuron must be well-connected via multiple axiom or synoptic connections- wherein 3D printing has the capability to take this theory from 2D to 3D!
Currently, artificial neurons are simply artificial in every since of the word: a 2- dimensional theory yet to exist. Exactly like computers, 3D-printed devices can take the form of an organ (or anything 3D, for that matter), and mimic the functionality of said object. At this stage, functionality is relative to a string of lights; dependent on the previous and next light (or neuron) surrounding the whole. Once the string of lights is correctly constructed, the arrangement is an entirely independent factor. Whilst on the topic of thinking, imagine this: possibility beyond functionality. Can spontaneous creativity truly be both spontaneous and artificial?
“3D Printing an Artificial Mind May Be Possible Someday.” 3D Printing an Artificial Mind May Be Possible Someday. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.