One Hundred Billion Neurons
Plus, primates get a brain upgrade, heartfelt thanks, AI reads minds and zombies eat them
Scientists long believed the human brain contained 100 billion neurons. Now they know the number is more like 86 billion.
Either way, we’re basically upgraded primates.
Baboon 2.0. 🙈🙉🙊
Does anyone else think humanity could use a system update?
I, for one, wouldn’t mind a few minor bug fixes and some increased memory.
🧠🤯 First they came for our jobs. Speaking of the human brain, scientists at The University of Texas at Austin are developing artificial intelligence (AI) that reads your thoughts.
Technically, it translates a person’s brain activity into streams of text. The process uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and an AI language model (sort of like ChatGPT).
In other words:
The fMRI scanner reads the subject’s brain waves while the subject listens to certain stories, then again while the subject listens to different stories or silently imagines telling a story
An AI deep learning algorithm gathers the info, learns from it and translates
AI overthrows humanity
This type of research may someday help those who are mentally conscious but unable to speak (someone who had a stroke, for instance). And since it doesn’t use a surgical implant, the process is considered non-invasive.
I would argue, reading a person’s thoughts is about as invasive as it gets.
For more detail on how this actually works, check out the study (Nature Neuroscience) and this article from UT News.
👉 BTW. The first-ever AI language model, ELIZA, was developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the mid-60s. Catchy name.
🪦 R.I.P. Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, coincidentally known for the song “If You Could Read My Mind,” died earlier this week at age 84. 🎶
Thank you new readers
Last week’s interview with Jean Owerbach, Wisdom of the Ages, was a big success and brought a tidal wave of new subscribers, including many extended family members, to Chutzpah. Welcome!
This newsletter is a work in progress and I’m excited to have you along for the journey.
For those of you who enjoyed hearing from Grandma Jean, I’m happy to share a pearl of advice that didn’t make it into the article:
“Think about what you say to people. Is it hurtful? Don’t say it. Don’t do anything that hurts other people in their souls.”
Considering she has lived nearly a century, I think she knows what she’s talking about.
Grandma Jean celebrated her 99th birthday by organizing a pizza party with her friends. 🍕🥳
We’re all counting down to 100
Which film popularized human brains as zombie food?
Keep scrolling for the answer ⬇️
Thanks for reading Chutzpah! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
What to Do with an Old Baseball Card Collection
Shout out to my brother, Jonathan, who has a new book available on Kindle: What to Do with an Old Baseball Card Collection—currently the #1 New Release in Antique & Collectible Sports Cards.
The book is a must-read guide to selling a card collection or simply learning more about the hobby. It's also a personal story.
From the description:
“The author shares his own lifelong journey of collecting, including inheriting his dad's old baseball card collection. Through the labor of sorting, selling, and donating, the author gained a deep understanding of what it means to connect with the past and preserve it for the future.”
To get your copy, click here and start collecting or selling today!
➡️ The Return of the Living Dead
It’s the 1985 cult classic—not to be confused with 1968's Night of the Living Dead—which forever plagued our tasty minds with the notion of brain-hungry zombies.
👋😘 Until next week …