Addressing criticism for my “Humans are metal robots in a valid sense” story:
I made no claim that an electronic transistor experiences sensations. Going back to Peter Tse, neurons are coincidence detectors. Neurons detect information as coincidence patterns. The bit of the mind is a coincidence.
A bit of information is the basic unit of data https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bit
The neural network builds concepts like an artificial neural network but one that is more evolved (by the age of life on this planet.) Perception is a rendered concept. Rendered by the brain to other parts of the brain in a fractal of feedback loops. This part is a reference to deepdream https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeepDream
I understand that neurotransmitters flow between chemical synapses. I am arguing that they cause a change in the placement of charged ions which affects when and where neurons will fire.
Note: Calcium, potassium, and sodium ions are metals regardless of whether they are dissolved in aqueous cations. Look at a periodic table to see for yourself.
Note: I never said it was as simple as a neuron firing or not firing. I said coincidence detection was the basis of a bit, but there is a lot of computation that can happen below the threshold of a neuron firing.
Note: See the article I linked in the original article I referenced where they show how the brain processes information in discreet steps. Relevant to a comment someone made that [time isn’t digital in the brain]. Someone said [Sampling frequency will change the bit-stream] I agree: Exhibit psychedelic medication research and deep-dream.
I didn’t say a neural firing was equal to 1 bit exactly. I said that coincidence detection serves as the basis of a bit. Thats different. I agree with the idea that neural firing could be more or less than 1 bit. Its not a simple summation to 1 bit like they teach in Intro to Computational Neuroscience.
Note: A bitcoin is the basis of a bitcoin but that doesn’t mean all transactions will be in amounts of 1 bitcoin or greater. Folks can trade in amounts like .00034 bitcoin if they want. Also note that there are sub-threshold events that could count as coincidence detection (events that do not cause a neuron to fire). An example might be when a action potential is triggered in the dendrite (that might backpropogate) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neural_backpropagation
Note: I am not suggesting that a bitcoin is equal to a bit, and I certainly didn’t say that it was. Whether a particular neuron firing at a particular time represents 1 bit, or 1000 bits, .0005 bits my statement that coincidence detection can serve as the basis of a unit of information in the brain is valid.
Note: My central thesis isn’t that the brain is digital. The fact that the brain is discrete verses continuous is a subtopic established by a paper that I linked in the original article.
This address came about because of a post on social media where I said:
“I say that there is nothing that we can teach people that machines cannot also learn. You may ask why do I think machines can learn everything that humanity holds dear including feelings and art? It’s simple really, all knowledge, feelings, emotions, insights and intuitions can be broken down into tempo-spatial patterns that can processed by a brain and thus by a computer.”
Someone said [Machines can also be spoofed easily, as Microsoft’s Tai debacle showed, which is fairly easy to do when large groups of outsiders hack a system. AI can learn fast, but teams much faster and in unexpected ways.]
I replied “that’s a true statement but the fast pace of AI development will soon lead to machines that are much harder to trick or spoof. In less than two decades and maybe sooner it will be easier to fool a community of the smartest humans than it will be to spoof the best AI.”
I was also asked if I was a Functionalist I said
“I’m not a Functionalist exactly but close. The state of knowledge is going be directly related to its function. The parameters of the frequency and spatial mapping of information in a mind are going to effect the functionality of it, and that includes the internal functions of internal representations.”
“the difference is that I believe that a certain class of substrate is required to achieve a certain kind of mind, like the human mind, but that class of substrate could be made out of different materials, so I’m not believing that the functionality of the human mind can be achieved without a certain class of substrate that accomplishes certain objectives.”
Someone mention a Max Tegmark paper from 2014 https://arxiv.org/abs/1401.1219 and I replied
“I know that paper, I call it special sauce theory, and I side with folks like Jeff Hawkins who think there is no special sauce, no magical “emergence” phenomena (like gas turning to water) ha. Nothing special that hasn’t been detected already. Maybe later on this author will point to electromagnetism in the brain and then say there it is but I think the problem is that information doesn’t have any meaning in it without a decoder to decode that information, otherwise it’s just a bumps on a record player.”
Someone asked if I would try to reduce life to its components such as ones and zeros or particles.
I replied “whether life can be described with one’s and zeros or with particles is just one view point out of many, that one view point would not be the whole story of life, just a small part of the story”
“I think from a valid point of view feelings are just patterns in space and time, the pattern could be analyzed and someday replicated in a machine that attempts to mimick the functions of biology. At the same time, I think I can appreciate that some people don’t need those extra details, and the feelings alone are what matters to them.”
In short I believe that if you combine a digital signal processor with a deep learning neural network, a three dimensional point cloud and a fractal of feedback loops you get the human mind or a self aware network.
I would say that I think there are still some things that people do not know about the brain, but we know a lot more about the brain than most people think. People perceive things differently, emotions don’t follow logical patterns, but they are patterns like sunrises and sunsets, some with highs and lows, beginnings and ends, feelings that have strange shapes in space and time.
Below this line are a few samples of the art of Amir Zand check out more images here: