Thread: Who Owns Ideas?
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Old 09-23-2008, 09:08 AM   #52
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tompe View Post
I took a genetical algorithm (or machine learning algorithm) as an example. In what way is this different from how the brain works. The method is inspired by how the brain works.
Since you specified an algorithm: The fact that a computer can give you the answer to any mathematical algorithm in milliseconds, while a human brain will take thousands, hundreds of thousands, or multiple-millions more time to do the same task, should give you a clue to how differently the two things are. A processor processes... specifically, numbers. In essence, that's all it does. If you can't reduce a question to numbers, you can't give it to a processor, because it does not know what to do with it.

A human brain does not process numbers in that way... in fact, it can process numbers, but mostly it extrapolates from memorized data (like the multiplication tables) and unique experience... the process called "thinking." And beyond that, the brain is capable of processing non-numerical information that a computer would just choke on. (Not all data can be reduced to numbers.)

This is why Axel's computers have hit the wall... the ability to crunch numbers is effectively maxed out, and any "advances" are gained only by throwing more capacity, more energy, or faster components at it. In order to progress to the next level, computers need a completely different way to function, a method as far beyond number-crunching as... well, the human brain.

It's this ability beyond mere number-crunching that allows a human brain to output something that was not input... that is the real power of the brain above the computer, which is limited to outputting only variations of what was input. (Axel, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on that.)

There's a reason scientists continue to dissect and study the brain, and why they are still largely in the dark about exactly how it functions. They have tried using computer analogies, and they have all fallen far short of describing how the brain works. That is because the mechanism and method of brain functioning, compared to processors, is like comparing apples to car keys.

We're a long way from the "next generation" of computers, because we have to figure out how the brain works first... and we're still a long way from doing that.
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