Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 17th Jul 2006 22:47 UTC, submitted by Eugenia
Geek stuff, sci-fi... "Artificial intelligence is 50 years old this summer, and while computers can beat the world's best chess players, we still can't get them to think like a 4-year-old. This week in Boston, some of the field's leading practitioners are gathering to examine this most ambitious of computer research fields, which at once has managed to exceed, and fall short of, our grandest expectations."
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RE: The brain is not a CPU.
by Tom Janowitz on Tue 18th Jul 2006 11:20 UTC in reply to "The brain is not a CPU."
Tom Janowitz
Member since:
2005-12-05

Exactly. Cpu doesn't resemble brain in the slightest. It can compute, but will not process data (senses, images etc.) in this huge hyper-parrallell manner. Moreover brain is not a binary system. Every synaps reacts in a different way dependent on environtmental variables (chemical composition, stress etc.).

It's not even those 200 bln synapsys (I thought there was order of magnitude less of them), but the overwhelming number of possible connections that they can create. Think sth. like factorial of 20bln (when 100! is some billions times the number of atoms in an observable area of the universe). If you want to build a computer behaving like a brain of a living organism, than you better not try to be smarter than mother nature (whith quantum mechanics and billions of year of evolution as her's allies).

As to the numerical simulations, I think we are only constrained by available memory and ... software. It doesn't have to be real time in order to be intelligent. But I would be more than just inclined, there is need for non deterministic mechanisms incorporated from ground up (sth resembling quantum mechanics implications). Maybe $RANDOM will do, but I don't really know . This begs a question if we really have free will, but it probably depends on how we define ourselves. And just as a side note - if sth gives results just as a living, thinking (i.e.intelligent) organism would do, doesn't mean it's intelligent. Simulation is just it - a simulation, I think the divergence is very important here, although AFAIR Touring's Test doesn't define intelligence in this manner.

Anyway, there will be no Skynet any time soon (BTW - I love Terminator teil 1 - watched it .. 15 times or so, Cameron is a Genius), but the future of AI is bright, since we now can acknowledge that there is tremendous work to be done to achive even slightes progress in this matter and hopefully do sth about it.

Edited 2006-07-18 11:25

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: The brain is not a CPU.
by evangs on Tue 18th Jul 2006 21:32 in reply to "RE: The brain is not a CPU."
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

We are not constrained by CPU power or available memory. How can we be if we do not even know what it is we are simulating?

We do not know how the brain functions. We do not know how the brain encodes information (i.e. the elusive neural code). Is it rate based? Do the timings of individual spikes matter? Do individual neurons matter? Is it noisy? or is it chaotic? Since we do not even know the fundamentals of how the brain processes information, simulating all those billions of synapses isn't going to help us in anyway. The fundamental problem of neural networks is much much more basic.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: The brain is not a CPU.
by falemagn on Wed 19th Jul 2006 18:41 in reply to "RE: The brain is not a CPU."
falemagn Member since:
2005-07-06

> This begs a question if we really have free will

Of course we don't.

If it all happens by chance, then there's no free will by definition.

Otherwise, if I decide something about something else in this very moment, whatever decision I take has only two origins:

1) it's the result of all that happened to me and all other decisions I've taken since I was born (notice the recursivity, here), things that have shaped me and made me become the way I am now, and that have, therefore, made me take that decision and not another one.

2) it's the result of the way my DNA is coded

Either way, I don't see space for free will.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Tom Janowitz Member since:
2005-12-05

Of course we don't.

I can assure you, that nothing is so sure about it.


If it all happens by chance, then there's no free will by definition.

You said it : "if". How do you know, that you really don't have _any_ influence in what you do, if everything you do contradicts this notion. You always make choices, but the questions is: is it really _you_ who makes the decision, or just laws of physics do it for you. I am inclined to believe, that even though on a basic molecular/subatomic level almost everything seems to be ruled by quantum mechanics i.e. probability, but on a bigger scale it's not that simple anymore. Brain is a much bigger structure, and QM doesn't apply that simply to it (it doesn't domintate it's functioning as a whole). Even the synapses are to big to be directly and relevantly influenced by QM. The question is (again): how is the transfer from the micro world to macro world performed with regards to cognitive processess and ability to think and what is the role of QM in it. I really doubt that I don't have any real control over my actions (not that I couldn't live with such a consiousness).

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: The brain is not a CPU.
by falemagn on Wed 19th Jul 2006 18:48 in reply to "RE: The brain is not a CPU."
falemagn Member since:
2005-07-06

> if sth gives results just as a living, thinking
> (i.e.intelligent) organism would do, doesn't mean it's
> intelligent.

If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it's a duck.

Really, how do you know the person next to you is intelligent?

Reply Parent Score: 1

Tom Janowitz Member since:
2005-12-05

This sentence about duck etc. is taken from discussion about programming languages - far from intelligence subject. I guess Turing hadn't forseen in what way will the computing science -> evolve <- (pun intended). You could code very sofisticated data base of possible answers, which whould mimick human reactions, but that wouldn't of course be anything that we could call 'intelligent'.

How do I know if someone is intelligent ? First - I was referring to 'intelligence' as a process of ability to perform cognitive processess, to be able to understand at all. Well - I usually assume, that person netxt to me is a human being, a living organism, which resembles in it myself (brain included). And that usually implies some level of intelligence.

If we put some "dumb ass" before computer with a program which is able to make some conversation with humans (text being a medium), then this individual wouldn't probably have easy task recognising if this computer is intelligent or not.

Moreover some people are obviously able to attribute intelligence to objects which inherently can not possess this "feature" (superstitions, religions etc.). It doesn't mean that objects of their perceived intelligence are indeed intelligent. It says more about their "state of mind" instead.

Reply Parent Score: 1