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machine brains

ray scanlon rscanlon at wsg.net
Wed Nov 12 20:05:11 EST 1997



Neil Rickert <rickert at cs.niu.edu> wrote in article
<64a8qu$abu at ux.cs.niu.edu>...
> In <01bceec8$7cb77900$fd7a61ce at asdf> "ray scanlon" <rscanlon at wsg.net>
writes:
> 

> >Connectionists look to the brain, the net of neuromimes is their
> >paradigm.
> 
> But the tools the connectionists have are too weak, given the
> magnitude and complexity of the task.

Not in my opinion. 

Are we looking to explain awareness? Is it our goal to construct a
brain that has awareness inherent in its architecture and thus explain
the world of intension in extensional words? You said that you don't
believe this possible so let me just put it aside. What remains? Are we
confusing a multitude of neurons with complexity?

What is needed is the ability to generalize, the ability to clear off
some trees so we may have a clear view of the forest. Those jellyfish
that have advanced to the stage where they have interneurons between
the sensory neurons and the motor neurons do not seem to pose much of a
problem to being simulated with a neural net. Yet the whole story is
there.

What do we find as we go from jellyfish to mammal?--A clumping together
of neurons in nuclei. The interneurons remain interneurons, they just
clump together. A thalamus appears as a relay between sensory neurons
and the cerebral cortex and again as a relay between the basal ganglia
and the motor cortex. Is that too much to incorporate in a neural net?
I don't think so.

A reticular nucleus of the thalamus appears with the ability to inhibit
the relay neurons in the thalamus. Not a great thing to incorporate in
a neural net.

That's all there is. If I forgot something, please tell.

I think the magnitude and complexity of the task to which you refer is
really our intensional view of the brain that looks so beautiful.

Ray

-- 

email: rscanlon at wsg.net

If you are interested in how the brain works, visit
http://www.wsg.net/~rscanlon/brain.html



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