How will we build an artificial human brain?
2012 05 02

By George Dvorsky | io9.com

Thereís an ongoing debate among neuroscientists, cognitive scientists, and even philosophers as to whether or not we could ever construct or reverse engineer the human brain. Some suggest itís not possible, others argue about the best way to do it, and still others have already begun working on it.



Image: io9.com


Regardless, itís fair to say that ongoing breakthroughs in brain science are steadily paving the way to the day when an artificial brain can be constructed from scratch. And if we assume that cognitive functionalism holds true as a theory ó the idea that our brains are a kind of computer ó there are two very promising approaches worth pursuing.

Interestingly, the two approaches come from two relatively different disciplines: cognitive science and neuroscience. One side wants to build a brain with code, while the other wants to recreate all the brainís important functions by emulating it on a computer. Itís anyoneís guess at this point in time as to who will succeed and get there first, if either of them.

Before we take a deeper look into these two approaches, however, itís worth reviewing what our friend Alan Turing had to say about brains.

The Church-Turing Hypothesis

Given that scientists are looking to model the human brain in digital substrate (i.e. a computer), theyíre having to work in accordance to a rather fundamental assumption: computational functionalism. This goes back to the Church-Turing thesis which states that a Turing machine can emulate any other Turing machine. Essentially, this means that every physically computable function can be computed by a Turing machine. And if brain activity is regarded as a function that is physically computed by brains, then it should be possible to compute it on a Turing machine, namely a computer.

So, if you believe that thereís something mystical or vital about human cognition youíre probably not going to put too much credence into these two approaches.

Or, if you believe that thereís something inherently unique about intelligence that canít be translated into the digital realm, youíve got your work cut out for you to explain what that is exactly ó keeping in mind that any informational process is computational, including those brought about by electrical and chemical reactions. Minds are what brains do, so itís not too implausible to suggest that minds are what computers can do, too.

Rules-based artificial intelligence

One very promising strategy for building brains is the rules-based approach. The basic idea is that scientists donít need to mimic the human brain in its entirety. Instead, they just have to figure out how the "software" parts of the brain work; they need to figure out the algorithms of intelligence and the ways that theyíre intricately intertwined. Consequently, itís this approach that excites the cognitive scientists.

Some computer theorists insist that the rules-based approach will get us to the brain-making finish line first. Ben Goertzel is one such theorist. His basic argument is that other approaches over-complicate and muddle the issue. He likens the approach to building airplanes: we didnít have to reverse engineer the bird to learn how to fly.

Essentially, cognitive scientists like Goertzel are confident that the hard-coding of artificial general intelligence (AGI) is a more elegant and direct approach. Itíll simply be a matter of identifying and developing the requisite algorithms sufficient for the emergence of the traits theyíre looking for in an AGI. They define intelligence in this context as the ability to detect patterns in the world, including in itself.

[...]


Read the full article at: io9.com



Video from: YouTube.com





Also tune into:

Jim Elvidge - The Singularity Will Not Occur, Programmed Reality & Infomania

Jim Elvidge - The Singularity, Nanobotís & Reality Simulation

Kevin Warwick - Artificial Intelligence & The Rise of the Machines in 2020

Aaron Franz - The Philosophical Roots of Transhumanism

Marcia Schafer - Extraterrestrials, Artificial Intelligence & Cosmological Society








Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Recent Israeli Synagogue Attack, a Possible False Flag?
2014 11 21
Dear Friends - I woke up yesterday morning to see a newspaper lying on the kitchen table with the front page proclaiming that five people were slain in an Israeli synagogue after a so-called "Palestinian attack." Some members of the media said that four people were killed, others said five, so it seems like that there was some confusion (or ...
The Michael Brown Shooting, Race Baiting for Political Power and Militarization of the Police
2014 11 21
From Youtube: The evidence clearly shows that Officer Darren Wilson was justified in shooting Michael Brown, so why is this case being hyped by the mainstream media and the leftist political establishment?
Detekt: A New Malware Detection Tool That Can Expose Illegitimate State Surveillance
2014 11 21
Recent years have seen a boom in the adoption of surveillance technology by governments around the world, including spyware that provides its purchasers the unchecked ability to target remote Internet usersí computers, to read their personal emails, listen in on private audio calls, record keystrokes and passwords, and remotely activate their computerís camera or microphone. EFF, together with Amnesty International, ...
New UK spy chief says tech giants aid terrorism, privacy not Ďabsolute rightí
2014 11 21
Robert Hannigan, the new head of GCHQ The new head of Britainís GCHQ, the UK equivalent of the NSA in the U.S., said he believes privacy is not an absolute right and that tech giants must open themselves up to intelligence agencies. ďGCHQ is happy to be part of a mature debate on privacy in the digital age,Ē Hannigan said. ďBut privacy ...
LOL: Atheist Feminist Pornographer Used as Moral Authority in T-shirt Row
2014 11 21
Dr. Matt Taylor was thrust into the headlines this last week, largely for his lead role in successfully landing a spacecraft on a comet 300 million miles from earth that travels at a speed of 85,000 mph. In short, Taylor and his colleagues pulled off one of the most amazing achievements in contemporary science and space exploration, and in a ...
More News Ľ