Comments on "Reverse-Engineer the Brain"

Katie Gramling
Katie Gramling

PostedFebruary 15, 2008

Combining artificial intelligence with robotics could revolutionize medical treatments and factories.  How closely will these combinations be able to approximate humans?  What other areas could benefit by such advances?

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  • Donald Wilhelm, III
    Donald Wilhelm, III

    Posted 10 years and 4 months ago

    Donald Wilhelm, III from Oakley, CA comments on How close can machines come to human intelligence?
    Michael Zeldich made excellent comments: the brain does not know causes, so it does no computations. Darwin showed that dog and human brains are fundamentally the same. If we consider that dogs don't use symbolic language, we need to rethink language so that it is not symbolic. Wittgenstein has already done this: words are actions in the culture, and don't represent or refer to any entity-material or abstract. Now, since words are actions, they are culturally trained unconscious muscle patterns of the vocal muscles, made conscious by the perception of the results of the activated patterns. As Lakoff and Johnson showed, the metaphorical nature of language invalidates Western philosophy and education. Until academia stops the dogma that brains do computations, that knowledge is in the head (it is in the culture), and that inanimate word entities that don't exist perform actions on other word entities that don't exist, the brain will never be understood. By the way, here is the algorithm of the brain: "Environmental or cultural training of unconscious muscle activation patterns, stored in memory, are selectively activated; the perceptual feedback of the activation results allows conscious adjustment of the unconscious patterns, until the task is accomplished. Then, the adjusted patterns are stored in unconscious memory". Consciousness is simply the perceptual leg of the algorithm.
  • collins Nwach
    collins Nwach

    Posted 10 years and 6 months ago

    collins Nwach from Nigeria comments on How close can machines come to human intelligence?
    The thought of one day finding a robot in a lab jacket at a hospital is quite laudable.And a cocktail of artificial intelligence and robotic would definitely transform man's productivity.However i am skeptical of the possibility of replicating human instincts in robots to a large extent because human do not have a perfect understanding of itself and as such, cannot solve it's own non material problems or problems that would arise from such technologies.
  • Brijesh Ku. Soni
    Brijesh Ku. Soni

    Posted 10 years and 6 months ago

    Brijesh Ku. Soni from India comments on How close can machines come to human intelligence?
    There should be a consideration in our scientific community that we can develop a kind of brain-computer-interface that could interpret and simulate our dream and it can be shown on the computer monitor screen conversely we can also upload the videos in human memory which can be dreamed in our sleeping.
  • Dave

    Posted 10 years and 6 months ago

    Dave from Ruston, LA comments on How close can machines come to human intelligence?
    We humans learn due to many years of experience. By thousands of instances of trial and errors. But it all starts with one simple idea. The idea is called curiosity.
    I think in order to create an artificial intelligence, this is where we should start. By programming curiosity into machines. Writing codes that will tell machines not to stay still and do or learn things.
  • Evan Taylor
    Evan Taylor

    Posted 10 years and 7 months ago

    Evan Taylor from South Carolina comments on How close can machines come to human intelligence?
    I do not think machines will ever be able to match the human. Don't get me wrong computers are now hundreds of thousands of times quicker than the human brain, But that is just processing power, we humans have this innate ability to learn with about being taught and to be creative. You have to program a computer to function properly, whereas we can figure that out by ourselves.
  • shaannon

    Posted 10 years and 7 months ago

    shaannon from las vegas comments on How close can machines come to human intelligence?
    i do not believe it is wise to put an AI in to someones brain that controls the heart, for fear of the damages. what if the is a malfunction and the person dies? what if some other country figures out a way to destroy the AI killing millions of people in the process? i believe there are to many risks then benefits.
  • Austin Barwick
    Austin Barwick

    Posted 11 years and 10 months ago

    Austin Barwick from Deep Gap, NC comments on How close can machines come to human intelligence?
    I think it would be wise to investigate the possibilities of creating a booster for the part of the brain that controls the heart, as opposed to installing an artificial heart beating device.
  • Bill Colvin
    Bill Colvin

    Posted 12 years and 4 months ago

    Bill Colvin from Pullman, WA comments on How close can machines come to human intelligence?
    Quantum mechanics does indeed play a role in biological processes. Virtually all of today's computers avoid that randomness however, using high voltage levels to ensure that all detected electron pulses are intentionally sent. Low voltage/energy, high efficiency, slightly innaccurate (on the order of 2% max error, according to the article I heard of them in) computer chips exist, but these are relatively new and not widespread.
    Also, as others have mentioned, most computer processors can only do one calculation at a time, though at an incredible speed. The brain does many thousands, even millions, of 'calculations', or neural impulses, simultaneously. True, we are limited to single digits for conscious thoughts/actions, but there are a great many unconscious, automatic processes necessary to keep you alive, functioning, sensing, percieving and processing the flood of sensory input, etc. Each requires the cooperation of many neurons. Very probably conciousness/awareness, and moreover selfawareness/sentience requires constant communication between large numbers of neurons.
    As to the question "How close can machines come to human intelligence?", the predicted date for comuputers capable of uploading and/or functioning as the human brain is around 2050. Whether they will be sentient remains to be seen--the physical origins of the "mind" are even less understood than the functions of the "brain."
    One more thing: the identifiable storage capacity, or available memory space, of the human brain is about 2 Petabytes, or 2000 TB.
  • Nitish Kannan
    Nitish Kannan

    Posted 12 years and 9 months ago

    Nitish Kannan from United States comments on How close can machines come to human intelligence?
    I run and work with BCI systems in terms of typing and to operate a robotic arm using the P300 based EEG systems available today. This is based on exponential growth and the law of accelerating returns, we will reverse engineer the brain and recreate neocortical columns to work as portions of the brain and then run them in real time and upload skills and build human intelligence based upon our structure and it will grow and surpass human intelligence then continue to do so more efficiently in accordance with the laws of physics. this is the most important project in humanity and in the 21st century we will soon then upload human thoughts and ideas into supercomputers and build upon them and merge with the machines and augment our intelligence and parts of our brains with this technology.
  • Robert B. Chadfield
    Robert B. Chadfield

    Posted 13 years ago

    Robert B. Chadfield from Minneapolis, MN comments on How close can machines come to human intelligence?
    Even the term "systems" fails to take into account that biological communication and specifically neurological effects are many process's and events that happen in an apparent lack of, synchronization of all factors and indeed require different aspects of even methods of communication at each "phase". To simply build a neuron cluster even many of them and connect them as if they are just neuro-chemical's that produce EMF echo's as just artifacts, if we simply approach as neuro-synthetic "circuits" I don't think it is likely to work. System's endure, Organisms adapt, and seem to "love it". You do have at least a 3.5 billion year head start on any of our designed systems...

    There is no distinction between HW&SW in the brain. Both the geo-topology of neurons physically change indeed "morph" and thats just for starters. What happens in neuron cluster's may resemble and does look very linear, but evokes change in higher dimension non-linear "areas", to regions to global-brain, by encoded (fractal) ? But with stochastic forcing, this scalable-information may transfer to a very low energy-information "pulse", that may be coded as EMF and "other' carriers of change. This may be a soliton wave that requires almost no energy to maintain all need information charge the "state of the destination" areas. And we haven't gotten into what may be most important about the brains low energy, ultra-redundent nature: quantum information transfer.

    Add biological systems self assemble and correct. We have detected quantum events in photosynthesis: tunneling, bi-locality at the minimum. Certainly any real hope for "AI" has got get over the "circuit like view". Take advantage with what biological and abstract thought are based on. It works.

    An example of little energy that transfers information is "the wave" we all know at sports stadiums. A trigger of, not energy exchange except as information. And in its own way "the wave" is pleasantly infectious.

  • Ronald D. Planesi
    Ronald D. Planesi

    Posted 13 years and 1 month ago

    Ronald D. Planesi from Oakdale, California USA comments on How close can machines come to human intelligence?
    As long as technology essentially mimics the square-based spreadsheet (because the base level of computer switching is on/off), we will not be able to understand the full methodology of human brain function. The next logical step to structural simulation is necessarily the hexagon, yet no one bothers to look toward the benefits of a hexagon structure in neurology before deciding the concept isn't sufficiently technological for groundbreaking ideation. This mental state of pre-closure would have prevented the discovery of penecillin, yet technology adheres to it like superglue.
  • Michael Zeldich
    Michael Zeldich

    Posted 13 years and 1 month ago

    Michael Zeldich from Brooklyn, NY comments on How close can machines come to human intelligence?
    Reverse-engineer the brain

    The intersection of engineering and neuroscience promises great advances in health care, manufacturing, and communication.

    For your information; A brain is part of a body and it did not have any direct access to an environment. By that reason it cannot process any information about causes in the World.
    There are no facts for support commonly spread opinion about existence of mental functions.
    Modeling of a brain will not provide a clue on how it works because it works in conjunction with a body.
    I knew how to develop an artificial subjective system capable to demonstrate an intelligent behavior without wasting funds on such fruitless projects, or spending a billions on the research within the AI paradigm. Semiotics is another example of current research in style, which is based on the misleading assumptions about an functional and meaningful links among the words in a message.
    The truce is in the simple conclusions: Meaning is in the behavior of an recipient, not in a message of any kind.

    Best regards, Michael
  • Carmen Lupan
    Carmen Lupan

    Posted 13 years and 2 months ago

    Carmen Lupan from Valencia comments on How close can machines come to human intelligence?
    Is reverse engineering the brain done on human beings without their consent? Are human beings tortured and violated to develop Artificial Intelligence? Are people chipped against their will so that you people can test your dreams?
    How many people have you saved? You seem to be good at murdering people, and not the other way around.
  • Wondimagegn

    Posted 13 years and 11 months ago

    Wondimagegn from Ethiopia comments on How close can machines come to human intelligence?
    One of the behaviors of human thinking is its nature of growth and improvement ,in a greatest amount and speed, to fit its environment. Machines are static.They can no longer run than what has been dictated inside them. 10Q.
  • Michael Zeldich
    Michael Zeldich

    Posted 14 years and 1 month ago

    Michael Zeldich from Brooklyn comments on How close can machines come to human intelligence?
    R&D in AI mostly have illusions as a basis. For the beginning, why one have to reverse engineering of a brain to have a system capable to demonstrate a reasonable behavior? Biological brains did not have access to the World. Because of that a brain can not process the information about the events in the World. On another hand, a brain is dynamic system, with a structure reflecting the history of the body, not a history of the World. The tempo of developing of the new synapses in a live brain is pretty high. As it was discovered recently, from 5000 to 8000 synapses are created every second. It is no reason in further discussing. Reverse engineering of a brain is practically impossible. It is possible to have an artificial creative system? There is no law of the Nature that could prohibited such development, but its should be provided on the factual basis. What we could see today? Unsupported by facts statements are used as a theoretical basis for many projects. Who, for example, could provide a factual support for believes in existent of any so called mental functions? I could lead the team of professionals in development of an artificial subjective system capable to demonstrate a reasonable behavior. Such systems could be used for various purposes. In health care they could be used as a Robonurses, for example. Best regards, Michael
  • Jasmin Alsaied
    Jasmin Alsaied

    Posted 14 years and 2 months ago

    Jasmin Alsaied from Fort Irwin comments on How close can machines come to human intelligence?
    Thank you for the great information on scieintific breakthroughts. The idea of reverse- engineering the brain is due to be a wonderful achievement, but I believe that scientists may not be looking in the right direction, not learning from the existent, as said in the article. Why don't scientists find a way to preserve the brain, transplant it into a robot, and allow it to continue life from one who is deceased? Yes, this may sound extremely science fictional, but bear with me. Then, introduce the robot with a human-brain to a robot with a minor artificial intelligence wiring system. Allow each to speak to each and let the AI robot learn from the human-brained robot. Yes, the task of supplying blood, oxygen, fluids, and an appropiate skull is tough, but we also thought that uncovering the human genome was impossible. Also, there are rumors floating around that the reverse- engineering of brains has been accomplished in a privately-owned lab here in the US; I cannot wait to hear their findings. To add to my idea, how can you conceptualize the idea of thinking to a machine which must first conceptualize thinking. I am not skeptic of the machine becoming smarter than a creator (human), but smart on its own. I mean as in thinking or acting upon its on thought train. Who knows if a sci-fi re-enactment of I-Robot will occur? But, we must first study the brain much, much more to merely adhere the thought of reverse- engineering the brain to our agenda.
  • Paul Adams
    Paul Adams

    Posted 14 years and 4 months ago

    Paul Adams from Stony Brook, NY , US comments on How close can machines come to human intelligence?
    Re comment 1, no "philosopher" ever reached a definite conclusion (or even one that is likely to be roughly correct). Read our very short paper on neurally-based intelligence at We argue that the key to intelligence is simply accurate adjustment of individual synapses. Since we have a quadrillion of these inside our skull, this is not trivial. We think the circuitry of the cerebral cortex can pull off this amazing trick. I am skeptical any currently proposed machine could achieve this, but perhaps I am wrong.
  • Adam

    Posted 14 years and 7 months ago

    Adam from OU comments on How close can machines come to human intelligence?
    For philosophical reasons, i dont think its possible for a creation to be smarter than its creator.... (don't confuse faster with smarter)
  • Mike Trumpfheller
    Mike Trumpfheller

    Posted 14 years and 8 months ago

    Mike Trumpfheller from California comments on How close can machines come to human intelligence?
    One Question to the headline (How close can machines come to human intelligence?) As far as I am informed, no one claims to know how the brain works (parts of the brain, Neurons, transmitter and what have you - sure, but....not much more than that, right?). So if we don't know how the brain works how can we say that something which we don't understand is equal to a machine et vice versae? Next question: How closely will these combinations be able to approximate humans? I guess, AI can support a doctor - sure why not? My car supports me when I want to get from point A to point B. Therefore, thank you so much for your interesting questions.
  • Nicholas Dudley
    Nicholas Dudley

    Posted 14 years and 10 months ago

    Nicholas Dudley from Amarillo, Texas comments on How close can machines come to human intelligence?
    Perhaps it is possible that AI developement can help to improve a numerous variety of fields. Thinking only about the medical field is far too small. The creation of AI robots could lead to a global revolution. It may, one day, be the downfall of our necessary evil, money. Robots can be created to work for our desires, and the science fiction thought that they could take over is absurd. If you view this situation maturely there is no way for that to happen if we were to create them to "our" desire