How will we build an artificial human brain?
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.
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
Latest News from our Front Page
Gunman Storms Dutch TV Station Demanding Airtime
Dutch authorities have released few details about the bizarre case of 19-year-old Tarik Zahzahís attack on the main news studio of television station NOS on Thursday. To get the obvious question out of the way first, the police say there is no evidence that Zahzah, who is half-Egyptian, acted on behalf of organized terrorism.
The authorities always say that on the ...
How Alan Dershowitz bullied rape victims to protect a serial child molester
Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz always felt children were fair game for Israeli missiles. Now the question is whether he thinks they are fair game for the sexual exploits of his powerful associates and himself.
Dershowitz and the UKís Prince Andrew were accused in a recent court filing of raping a teenage girl who was forced into sexual slavery by ...
This past week, the world's preeminent vultures, the economic power elite, met in Davos to discuss the maintenance of their global fiat hegemony. Highlights included furthering austerity, noting that the serf class can't have air conditioning and cars, as well as cheering on the death of privacy through the rise of technocracy. The degenerate elite, completely out of touch with ...
Men must prove a woman said íYesí under tough new rape rules
New guidance will be issued to all police forces and prosecutors as part of a ítoolkití to move rape investigations into the 21st century
Men accused of date rape will need to convince police that a woman consented to sex as part of a major change in the way sex offences are investigated.
The Director of Public Prosecutions said it was ...
4 beheaded in Saudi Arabia less than a week into King Salman's rule
Comment: So when will the the "Human rights" promoting liberal west elite decide invade Saudi Arabia like they did Libya?
Members of Magic Movement stage a mock execution scene in protest of Saudi Arabia beheading of eight Bangladeshi workers in October 2011.
Four people have been executed in Saudi Arabia less than a week after 79-year-old King Salman assumed power following the ...
|More News Ľ |