[NTLK] OT: iPad vs. MS Courier: Sound Off

Robert Zimmerman bob_zimmerman at myrealbox.com
Thu Apr 8 03:35:16 EDT 2010

Not strictly true.  The brain does not seem to be very complex at all.  We just don't understand how to go from the simplified form (DNA) to the full thing or how to replicate an existing one.  Again, everyone misunderstands the word "complexity" as it applies to scientific or mathematical discussions.  Random noise is complex.  Ordered patterns, no matter how intricate, are not.  The brain is an ordered pattern.  Your entire genetic sequence, the instructions on how to create *you* from constituent molecules, can fit into roughly 750 MB.  That's pretty simple.  Certainly more so than a full accounting of the position and state of each atom in each molecule of your body as it is now.

Fundamentally, the whole purpose of science is to simplify previously "random" data.  To find the pattern that lets us express it more concisely and potentially predict the data for situations we have not observed.  This is why the LHC and other research platforms exist.  They are trying to get edge cases to better inform our models of how our reality works.

It is likely that there is an elegant way to create an artificial brain.  It will probably be a "Why did nobody think to try this before?" discovery.  Obvious in retrospect, but very difficult to see before its discovery.

Now, what will likely be the real barrier to injection-capable mind/machine interfaces is that much of how the mind works is based on symbols.  Those symbols can be different for everyone.  If two people use different symbology internally, they cannot share their thoughts directly.  Similarly, a machine capable of usefully "reading" or injecting thoughts would likely need to be custom-built for the user's mental symbology.  I don't see that being feasible for a very long time.

Basically, we agree on the end conclusion, but not on the method by which it is reached.


 Robert Zimmerman

On Apr 7, 2010, at 10:42 PM, Jim Lee wrote:

> On Apr 7, 2010, at 8:27 PM, Paul Nuernberger wrote:
>> it seems to me
>> they made a movie about augmented cognition (thoughts-actions) ...
>> 'Forbidden Planet' anyone?
> Spooky - I just watched that a few hours ago!  Good 'ol Robbie...
> Another movie about "augmented cognition" is "Brainstorm" w/Natalie
> Wood & Christopher Walken.
> Personally, I don't believe that any such technology will ever exist
> (don't bother to tell me it already does - it doesn't).  The human
> brain is far too complex for us to interface to in a meaningful way.
> Besides, there is a fundamental law to overcome: the thing that
> understands a complex object must be more complex than that object.
> In other words, only something super-human can fully comprehend the
> human brain.
> Just give me a stylus that I can draw with, please.
> -Jim
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