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Old September 13 2012, 02:18 PM   #82
THE Robert Maxwell
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

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The main difference it that humans have to learn to do math, and with computers that is an innate part of their function. If a computer is to think like a human, it needs to be bad in math, as all this mathematical precision is expensive in energy terms. Humans don't usually do e^(0.5*ln(X)) when trying to figure out the square root of some number. One way is to pick a number between 0 and X and multiply that number by itself, if that number is greater than X, then that number is the upper bound of the next number you pick and 0 is the lower bound, otherwise that number picked is the lower bound of the next number picked and X is the upper. If one keeps following that algorithm one gets fairly close to the actual square root fairly quickly. The brain does a lot of its thinking by guesses or random numbers, and often times a quick decision is better than a mathematically precise answer which is what computers are used for.
At this point I have to conclude you know absolutely nothing about actual computer science, so maybe you should refrain from commenting on how to simulate human brains (or anything else, really.)
Actually I have a degree in it, what is lacking is an understanding of how the brain works. Are you saying a future computer can't simulate the human brain? Then you are saying there is a part of the universe that can't be simulated with mathematical algorithms, and that 3 pounds or organic matter in your skull is beyond the ability of any conceivable computer to emulate, the rules at work within the brain are somehow non-mathematical, maybe a soul or spirit separate from the body is involved then.
If you have a degree in computer science then you got ripped off, because so far you've not said anything that tells me you understand much at all about how computers work, nor how they are designed, nor how organic brains differ from them.

I never said you can't simulate the human brain--that's hogwash, of course. It is certainly possible, but an analog electro-chemical computer operates on entirely different principles from a digital electronic computer. It's like describing how to simulate the behavior of an airplane using nothing but grapefruit. Our level of understand of human brain functions is too inadequate to approach any kind of accurate simulation.

In addition, you claimed that if we just simulate the neuronal activity of a human brain, personality and consciousness will emerge. There is no reason to believe this is so. We do not know how the electro-chemical processes of the brain interact to give rise to what we see as intelligence, consciousness, and free will. To think that if we just simulate neuronal functions it will happen by itself is quite wishful. I'm not implying there is a soul or any quality that is impossible to duplicate, just that we know so little about what we want to duplicate, it is not going to happen by accident, at least not within a timeframe relevant to humans.
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