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[3]: The brain is not a CPU.
by Tom Janowitz on Wed 19th Jul 2006 20:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The brain is not a CPU."
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

falemagn Member since:
2005-07-06

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

It's a matter of logic. Find a flaw in my reasoning, and you may have a point. Otherwise, the logic is on my part.

> 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.

I said "if" in the sense that if that's the case, then there's nothing to discuss because the matter is already settled. Then I went on with the other two possible cases.

Let's recap.

There are 3 cases to be considered, when I take a decision. I take a decision either

1) because of chance

or

2) because my dna is coded that way

or

3) because all my past experiences led me to take that decision and not another one.

This is a recursive definition of "causality of a decision": 3 is defined in terms of 2 and 1, and 2 and 1 can happen independently.

I can't see any more cases to consider, can you? And none of those cases contemplates free will.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Tom Janowitz Member since:
2005-12-05

It's a matter of logic. Find a flaw in my reasoning, and you may have a point. Otherwise, the logic is on my part.

Be carefull what you wish for ;) - brain is about 5kg, right ? Quantum mechanics, therefore probablilistic apporoach applies to microworld, and 5kg definitely does not belong to microworld. You can't just simply apply quantum logic when dealing with "macro" objects. Yes - every "big" object consists of small "micro" objects, which obey general rules of QM, but that doesn't make them all of a sudden unpredictible (statistics comes to play).


because my dna is coded that way

You are taking this reasoning way to far. DNA doesn't make you make decisions. It codes information about protein structures and such. Brain is the decision maker, with free will, or without. Of course everything has influence on your decisions, but it does not make those decisions by itself - it only contributes some tiny bit of influence on your central neural system.

In case we are talking about different things (hope this is not the case) consider this "experiment" : put 2 things of whatever in front of you (coions?). Then pick one. Now - was it possible that you would pick another one ? Who made this choice ? You ? Your DNA ? People you've grown up with, society, or someone else ? You probably will say, that is all at the same time. But I will argue, that you wrongly interpret ourselves. DNA is part of you. People who you know are partly the same as you are (more so, than with people that don't know each other). There is no such thing like exclusive/independent judgement/thought/action. But that still does not deprive us of our free will.

Do you wan't to say, that what we really are beings capable of (abstract) reasoning and we don't have slightest control on our actions and are in fact unsuscpecting spectators (puppets) ?

Reply Parent Score: 1