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machine brains

Joe Kilner jjmk2 at hermes.cam.ac.uk
Fri Feb 12 14:47:23 EST 1999


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?

    Joe







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