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machine brains

james d. hunter jim.hunter at jhuapl.edu
Fri Feb 12 16:38:30 EST 1999


Joe Kilner wrote:
 > 
 > Michael Edelman wrote in message <36C4327C.F824987 at mich.com>...
 > <SNIP>
 > >> As you see, I'm arguing that what we might conceive as naiive
copying of
 > the
 > >hardware still involves assumptions about function.
 > >
 > >
 > 
 > I agree with you and your arguments have made me think about the
problems in
 > a way I hadn't quite looked at it before.  I was only saying that in
theory
 > that if we made a perfect replica of the brain that we need not
understand
 > all of it's intricasies to make it functio (i.e. we copy the green
paper,
 > punch holes, paper fibers etc. just to make sure).  And I also
thought that
 > the process of replication may allow us to pick up on things - i.e.
we get a
 > working artificial brain and then we can tinker with it more
effectively
 > (and less imorraly?  that's a tricky one...) than we could a human
brain.
 > But I see your point that the sheer volume of potential for missing
the one
 > important feature in a sea of coincidence makes this task virtually
 > impossible.  As such the only way forewards would seem to be through
 > neuroscientific understanding of the brain, but I just don't feel
that that
 >  can give us enough of an understanding to get at how the brain works
(see
 > long and reather tedious messages elswhere in thread....).  However
we may
 > be able to learn enough through neuroscience to get a replica to work
(maybe
 > the brain is not as complex as we fear, maybe we can learn what is
redundant
 > and what is salient through failures in replicating the brain?) and
then,
 > who knows where our ingenuity may take us?


  Well, brain copying may not do what you want. The brain itself
  is not all that incomprehensible. The trickest part about 
  brain copying may copying the mind that goes with the brain.

  ---
  Jim



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