Human Intelligence: Copy / Paste

Human Intelligence: Copy / Paste

Human Intelligence: Copy / Paste

Every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can in principle be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it.
An attempt will be made to find how to make machines use language, form abstractions and concepts, solve kinds of problems now reserved for humans, and improve themselves

Dartmouth AI summer research project 1955

Julia and John are talking about the following article:
A Proposal for the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence

In this post the dialogue is realised by an interaction of virtual characters, for more information please check the page “Virtual characters

Julia

So I got the outline, and I’m wondering whether we shouldn’t expand it a bit

Today 17:08

Julia

maybe just for the intro, show how old some this stuff is 😊            

Today 17:08

John

Ok, what did you have in mind? 😊

Today 17:09   

Julia

Well, I do get that actual AI is quite recent, but the idea of making an artificial human isn’t …

Today 17:09

John

Ah, I think I see what you mean …

Today 17:10   

Julia

Remember the stuff about the ancient greek vending machine?      

Today 17:11

John

Sure do, I totally did not know the idea was so old! 😄

Today 17:11  

Julia

There’s a lot of mythology having to do with making humans, like the golem or Brazen Heads

Today 17:12

John

But how would that be relevant to what we’re doing? 🤔

Today 17:13   

Julia

Well, those ideas did get people wondering about what makes them think, and what makes them tick

Today 17:14

John

Sure, sure, but … AI?

Today 17:14   

Julia

AI started out as the idea of copying how a human works, simulating humans, so this seems relevant

Today 17:15

John

Maybe, but shouldn’t we concentrate on the psychological side then?

Today 17:15   

John

like the research of Newell, Shaw, and Simon. I think Sam mentioned them to me.

Today 17:16   

Julia

Maybe, but don’t we also need to know about the thing performing the rules and algorithms?

Today 17:16

John

I see what you’re getting at: if engineers started by copying the human hardware, well, “wetware” …

Today 17:17   

Julia

Yes! But I guess you’re right that we should focus on rules and algorithms

Today 17:18

John

Perhaps it would help if you ask Cho and Sam for feedback on this?

Today 17:18 

Julia

Good one! I’ll do that and then get back to you 😉                              

Today 17:19

… Continue reading our conversations that are posted every Saturday …

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Zap goes the Neuron

Zap goes the Neuron

If I do not greatly deceive myself, I have succeeded in realizing… the hundred years’ dream of physicists and physiologists, to wit, the identity of the nervous principle with electricity

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Backward Thinking

Backward Thinking

Backward Thinking

Artificial intelligence belongs in the history of human intelligence

Dick (2019) “Artificial Intelligence”
in Harvard Data Science Review

Julia and John are talking about the following article:
Artificial Intelligence

In this post the images comes from:

  1. Chinmay Singh from Pexels

In this post the dialogue is realised by an interaction of virtual characters, for more information please check the page “Virtual characters

John

Hi Julia! I wanted to ask you about something … 😊

Today 17:08   

Julia

Hello John! Ask away, I hope I can help 😉                                            

Today 17:08

John

Your input on the historical side was really useful for our articles

Today 17:09   

Julia

Oh, I’m happy to hear that! Thanks!  😊                                                 

Today 17:09

John

And the articles did get a lot of good reactions, so …

Today 17:10   

John

We were wondering if you would be willing to collaborate on a new one …?

Today 17:10   

Julia

Yes! Absolutely! What would it be about exactly?                                 

Today 17:11

John

Well, we noticed a lot of people have trouble understanding AI

Today 17:11  

John

What it is, what it can and cannot do, how it ties in to algorithms, and robots

Today 17:11  

Julia

Wouldn’t you rather need someone like Sam for that?                       

Today 17:12

John

Maybe, but we wanted to see if we can clear up some things by looking at the history of AI

Today 17:13   

Julia

Aha, yeah that is a little bit more up my alley indeed 😅                    

Today 17:14

John

That’s what we thought! So, are you in? 😄

Today 17:14   

Julia

Yes, definitely. I still have quite a bit of material left over that didn’t really fit in the previous articles.

Today 17:15

John

That’s very good, but this time it’s not about sci-fi…

Today 17:15   

Julia

Right, but as we were comparing science and sci-fi I came across a lot of interesting ideas.

Today 17:16

Julia

People were trying to mechanize thought for a long time already …

Today 17:16

John

Ideas like that would indeed fit well, I think.

Today 17:17   

Julia

Do you already have an outline for what it should cover exactly?     

Today 17:18

John

Yep, sending it to you now! Let me know what you think. 😉

Today 17:18 

… Continue reading our conversations that are posted every Saturday …

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If I do not greatly deceive myself, I have succeeded in realizing… the hundred years’ dream of physicists and physiologists, to wit, the identity of the nervous principle with electricity

read more

The Killing of a Sacred Disease

The Killing of a Sacred Disease

The Killing of a Sacred Disease

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When the device and Leggett began to work together, a new person emerged—a de-novo identity, a symbiosis of machine and mind

Do Brain Implants Change Your Identity?

In the popular imagination epilepsy has often been treated as a very special, exceptional condition. In the ancient and medieval periods it was associated with divine or demonic possession, and for the longest time people thought that seizures were actually triggered by some external cause, by perceiving something peculiar. People (and doctors) were in the dark about its actual causes and effective treatments. It was only after the discovery of the electric activity of the brain that we got a clue about how epileptic seizures originated in the brain: less than a century ago. Finally, thanks to measurements of electrical activity in the brain the myths about epilepsy being a form of possession or insanity could be laid to rest. This, however, has triggered a new wave of fantasies in the popular imagination.

Epilepsy is again linked to lack of (self)control. In most cases in modern media, epileptic seizures will be portrayed as a completely uncontrolled, wild convulsion of the entire body, often with foaming at the mouth and incoherent speech. However, in many cases this is not how an epileptic episode manifests. The disturbance in the electric activity of the brain can have many varied effects, from short loss of consciousness, to uncontrolled movements in one limb, to simply going limp. Sometimes entirely different causes might provoke a non-epileptic seizure.

Nevertheless, we now knew where to start looking for a treatment: inside the brain. In order to prevent the chaotic electrical activity to spread from one brain hemisphere to the next, one treatment included separating the two brain halves. Other attempts focused on removing the parts of the brain causing the disturbance. Unfortunately, the brain is incredibly complex and tampering with it might nor yield the expected results. By removing just a small slice of the temporal lobe, the entire mechanism for storing memories was disrupted for Henry Molaison: one of the most famous patients in neuroscience, known for decades only as “H.M.”. His clinical history inspired the movie “Memento”. Tragically, it is thought the collective histories of such errors and misjudgements that we slowly were groping our way out of the dark and towards a better attempt at a treatment or cure for epilepsy..

A new generation of brain implants seems to show a light at the end of the tunnel. By closely monitoring electrical activity in the brain, they can predict and prevent seizures from occurring, either by warning the patient to take precautions or by preventing them automatically. Given the long history of epilepsy as loss of control in the popular imagination, immediately the question of autonomy and identity is brought up. How does having a monitoring device in your brain affect you? How can you trust it? Will it change who you are? It is important to remember that for many epileptic patients (and other affect by brain diseases) these questions also come up with respect to their own brains.

Can one trust one’s own brain, if it produces random and unexpected seizures?

How does that affect your autonomy, agency, identity?

Invasive though they may be, the new generation of brain-computer interfaces are all geared towards restoring the autonomy of the patient, by preventing the disease to dominate their lives and curbing their freedom.

Can you drive? Can you swim? Can you be who you want to be?

Henry Molaison, desperate for help, was more than willing to let a surgeon carve away a piece of his brain to get peace of mind. Thankfully we do not have to go so far anymore to help epileptic patients recover a measure of normality. Still, it is hard to have to rely on an “external” device to recover some of your autonomy. It is hard to shake the feeling that such a device, helpful though it may be, als exercises some control over you. Being tied to a piece of equipment for the rest of your life, can be daunting. However, researchers and doctors keep building on and overcoming the limitations of current technologies and treatments. It may very well be that in the near future a new type of approach becomes possible that may be able to heal epilepsy, by restoring control to the brain. Then patients would no longer have to trade divine possession for possession by a device.

See Christian Jarrett “Great Myths of the Brain” (Wiley 2014) for a more thorough discussion of epilepsy myths.

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To Humanity and Beyond

To Humanity and Beyond

To Humanity and Beyond

The case of the use of the abacus by Japanese school children and adults provides an illustration of how thoroughly the historical processes involved in the development of a tool’s use becomes incorporated into a culture-specific technology while simultaneously becoming a part of human nature ..
We Have Met Technology and It Is Us

Cole & Derry 2005

Manuel, Cho and Sam are talking about the following paper:
Enhancement, ethics and society: ..

In this post the images comes from:

      1. Cottonbro from Pexels
      2. Vine from Pexels

In this post the dialogue is realised by an interaction of virtual characters, for more information please check the page “Virtual characters

Group Chat

Manuel, Cho, Sam

Manuel

Let’s get down to earth again. Prosthetics generally replace a missing limb, but cognitive tools seem to do something different, right?

Today 15:48  

Cho

Limb or organ, but OK  😊                                                               

Today 15:50  

Sam

The categories do overlap though, you can definitely see some brain implants as cognitive tools

Today 15:51   

Manuel

OK, examples? 😉

Today 15:51  

Sam

Deep Brain stimulation to improve memory in Alzheimer patients 

Today 15:52   

Cho

Indeed, and this also improves memory in non-impaired people, so can be considered an enhancement too

Today 15:52  

Manuel

Right, so cognitive tools aren’t just handheld devices, but can also be prosthetics or implants

Today 15:53 

Manuel

With all the tools and technologies we have nowadays, do we live in some kind of sci-fi future? 👾

Today 15:53 

Sam

Ha! 🤔 I’m sure some would see it as a dystopia! Everything controlled by computers we no longer understand …

Today 15:54   

Cho

That actually is a serious issue. Things have gotten incredibly complex and no single person understand everything anymore

Today 15:55  

Cho

Just think of surgery: most surgeries require a large team and a lot of infrastructure, not just a dude with a saw …

Today 15:55

Sam

That’s right, same thing for computers. Remember the y2k panic? Year 2000 problem

Today 15:56   

Sam

People thought the millennium bug would cause the end of the world!

Today 15:56   

Sam

Both individual computers and especially computer networks have become hugely complex. Not just two guys in a garage…

Today 15:57   

Manuel

Ok, so a lot more specialization and collaboration.

Today 15:58  

Cho

Sam mentioned brain prosthetics earlier: it won’t be long before we have brain prosthetics with AI

Today 15:59  

Cho

I’m quite sure that this would be considered an enhancement by most, and scary by many.

Today 15:59  

Sam

Right, it might not be literally rocket science, but it does bring together two of the most complex and advanced fields

Today 16:00   

Manuel

Computers and the brain, neither of which we fully understand yet?

Today 16:01  

Sam

Well, we design the computers, but artificial neural networks are indeed hard to explain

Today 16:01   

Cho

Asking people to let an implant “do their thinking for them” requires a lot of trust

Today 16:02  

Manuel

Wow, this has been great, thank you both so much for your input! 😊

Today 16:03  

… Continue reading our conversations that are posted every Saturday …

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If I do not greatly deceive myself, I have succeeded in realizing… the hundred years’ dream of physicists and physiologists, to wit, the identity of the nervous principle with electricity

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Mechanical analog computers had their origins in Naval Gunnery in World War I […] mechanical analog computers remained of considerable military importance certainly until well into the 1960s and have only been superseded by digital computing systems in the 1970s.

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