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  1. #31
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    The similarity between the brain and a computer seems like a basic similarity to all matter, in that everything that happens can be reduced to smaller and smaller pieces that fire bits of information.
    Yeah... the deeper and deeper it gets, the less and less I like the analogy -- you can basically say, computers == everything. I'm a pretty staunch 'lumper' but I think you gotta draw the line somewhere. I mean they are at least composed of different atom configurations.
    Each bit, alone, means nothing. But in some pattern, it acquires significance.
    The patterns are similar -- that's partially what we're getting at
    Everything, I would argue, is like this. In both the mind and computers, though, the bits are aggregated in such a way that they can make calculations for some end.
    Here lies the remainder of the point. What you say here sums it up quite nicely.

    That end, and the type of calculations that are built around that end, is what makes computers and mind different. Computers aren't designed to protect their own existence; humans, and the minds that form their headquarters, are explicitly designed for that purpose.
    True enough, but as I stated earlier, computers could be designed to protect themselves. We don't have that implementation for a number of reasons, the most prominent being that there's no need -- computers' greatest threat is dust and static electricity, both of which seem to attract the other.
    Because of that, the type of calculations (means) that each performs to reach that end is different.
    I disagree. I think the way those calculations are manifest are differently.
    The mind works by assessing probabilities, by seeking danger, by heuristics, etc., like your teacher said.
    The programming can, and is used for prediction, and learning. Computer programming is a perfect example of heuristics in a computer.
    Computers are designed for storing, quantifying, and deconstructing/evaluating, so they rely on different calculations which tend to produce more accuracy in some situations.
    So... we devised an entire system of 'thinking' never to be used by conscious people -- only to be employed by computers?

    I was under the impression that we took commonly accepted logical methods and implanted them to the integrated systems.

    Big whoop.
    Yeah... it's not really a big deal. Computers seem to be just an extrapolated incarnation of the logical side of the consciousness. It's quicker with immediate calculations because it can focus. There's less survival 'clutter' in the computer, so it can do our thinking for us.

    The ends are different though. I'll give you that.

    Oh... I'd also like to point out another differentiation.

    I don't see computers 'using' other computers, or manipulating their users. They're functional machines, and while a brain is a functional machine, we've not to my knowledge come up with a way to train them to be persuasive, or argumentative. They don't try to convince.
    we fukin won boys

  2. #32
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nocapszy View Post
    Yeah... the deeper and deeper it gets, the less and less I like the analogy -- you can basically say, computers == everything. I'm a pretty staunch 'lumper' but I think you gotta draw the line somewhere. I mean they are at least composed of different atom configurations.
    True, but take one more step and all the atomic constituents are the same.

    True enough, but as I stated earlier, computers could be designed to protect themselves. We don't have that implementation for a number of reasons, the most prominent being that there's no need -- computers' greatest threat is dust and static electricity, both of which seem to attract the other.
    Even if that was the case, they would still operate differently. Would you agree?

    Natural selection operates on everything, but in different ways. In humans, the most adaptable human survives. The most adaptable human can market himself to mates, survive competition, and replicate. In robots, you would see the same thing: best funding, best marketing, best design would lead to the most popular model. But in humans, the creative force is mutation and imperfect replication. In robots, the creative force is human ingenuity. So, the question is, does the way humans design and model thinking for AI really imitate the way people think? Or does it only model the way we think we think? I submit that they're very different things. Thinking about something is not the same thing as the thing itself.

    I disagree. I think the way those calculations are manifest are differently. The programming can, and is used for prediction, and learning. Computer programming is a perfect example of heuristics in a computer. So... we devised an entire system of 'thinking' never to be used by conscious people -- only to be employed by computers?
    Same reply as above.

  3. #33
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    just realized this drunkenly:

    i guess my original question should have been "is the brain fundamentally different from a computer", not is the brain is literally a computer...since "computer" is defined as a specific type of processing machine.

  4. #34
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    The similarity between the brain and a computer seems like a basic similarity to all matter, in that everything that happens can be reduced to smaller and smaller pieces that fire bits of information. Each bit, alone, means nothing. But in some pattern, it acquires significance. Everything, I would argue, is like this. In both the mind and computers, though, the bits are aggregated in such a way that they can make calculations for some end.

    ...

    Big whoop.
    i essentially said that in my first post -- that everything is basically a computer.

    i dunno, i thought more people would come along and disagree

    i mean, at some level, things are running deterministically (i know someone's gonna bring up quantum mechanics, blah...). it's not like some atom can just choose to not follow the laws of physics. there's a physical state your brain is in at each specific moment in time, determined by the positions of atoms and their charges, etc. each of those atoms follows the physical law (some giant function, if you will), and the next position and charge of the atom is the output of the function. so everything is a giant computer! the whole universe, even.

  5. #35
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dissonance View Post
    i essentially said that in my first post -- that everything is basically a computer.
    Yeah, but what makes things unique is the way the computer pieces assemble themselves.

    i dunno, i thought more people would come along and disagree
    I think I both agreed and disagreed. It's just a matter of how much you "zoom in." On high magnification, everything looks the same. But when you zoom out, everything looks different. To a degree, even a computer and apple are the same. They're just different iterations of the same basic formula. But there's a lot of variance there, too. Half empty or half full? It's not an either/or thing. It just depends on what you focus on. The only wrong answer is to say "I'm right."

  6. #36
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    Yeah, but what makes things unique is the way the computer pieces assemble themselves.



    I think I both agreed and disagreed. It's just a matter of how much you "zoom in." On high magnification, everything looks the same. But when you zoom out, everything looks different. To a degree, even a computer and apple are the same. They're just different iterations of the same basic formula. But there's a lot of variance there, too. Half empty or half full? It's not an either/or thing. It just depends on what you focus on. The only wrong answer is to say "I'm right."
    yeah yeah, everything is the same at a low enough level. but then why talk about anything at all?

  7. #37
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dissonance View Post
    yeah yeah, everything is the same at a low enough level. but then why talk about anything at all?
    It's your OP!


    Like I said, the way matter clumps together is interesting. It's not TOTALLY DIFFERENT. It's not TOTALLY THE SAME. It's ...cool.

  8. #38
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    It's your OP!


    Like I said, the way matter clumps together is interesting. It's not TOTALLY DIFFERENT. It's not TOTALLY THE SAME. It's ...cool.
    meh. all the philosophy discussions i've had recently end like this.

    boo. i'm drunk and argumentative right now. i guess i'll go to sleep :steam:

  9. #39
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dissonance View Post

    i dunno, i thought more people would come along and disagree
    I disagreed.

  10. #40

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    Ok. There are a lot of things to consider. Although, on the whole I agree that the brain is "not a digital computer" thrust of most of the thread (sorry), we are asked to play devil's advocate, so her goes....

    Church-Turing thesis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    In computability theory the Church–Turing thesis (also known as Church's thesis, Church's conjecture and Turing's thesis) is a combined hypothesis about the nature of effectively calculable (computable) functions by recursion (Church's Thesis), by mechanical device equivalent to a Turing machine (Turing's Thesis) or by use of Church's λ-calculus:

    Church's Thesis: "Every effectively calculable function (effectively decidable predicate) is general[1] recursive" (Kleene 1952:300)

    Turing's Thesis: "Turing's thesis that every function which would naturally be regarded as computable is computable under his definition, i.e. by one of his machines, is equivalent to Church's thesis by Theorem XXX." (Kleene 1952:376)
    Now if we interpret that to an extreme, that would mean that it is conceivable that we can make a computer that can "simulate" the human brain (even if it is an analog computing device).

    EDIT: Read more of the thread, and this ground has been covered.

    Still, we are increasingly having computers take over more tasks that human beings used to do.

    Computers are already more powerful and faster than the human brain in many respects.

    We already have people who fail the Turing test, while programs pass it.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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