Saturday, February 5, 2011

I feel somewhat vindicated... wow

Wow, all I can say is that this podcast with Natasha Mitchell interviewing Nobel laureate Gerald Edelman justifies what I was saying my post on the beginnings of AI and what the structure of intelligence might actually be: a process. Oh, I can also say that I'm rethinking everything in the way that I'm wont to do when coincidence lays down a similar idea for me to ingest. The mammalian brain and more specifically, the human brain, has the 'wetware' to run the process of 'intelligence' which other mammalian brains do not yet seem to have. I use the cautious word 'not yet seem to have' because I'm not quite convinced that all other animals do not have it. Helen Keller could not speak at all for many years yet possessed the machinery. Apes do not speak but perhaps possess the rudimentary machinery for it sans actual vocal chords and hardware to create human speech.

Apparently, Edelman does not give many interviews, so you'd probably better go listen to this one. I've never wanted to be part of or live in a monastery, but his scientific monastery sounds like a good place to spend a few years, not that I'm qualified. It consists of 40 really smart people working together doing whatever they think is important to do. They are studying the genetics of sleep now that they have shown that insects actually do sleep. How cool is that?

In this interview he talks about some of the differences between 'intelligent' mammals and humans based on consciousness, creativity and what he calls 'neural Darwinism'. Yes, the title didn't really give it away for me either, so listen in for the explanation. It's good stuff. Hopefully his 'monks' will figure out why it is that we sleep because I think that is extremely important to AI.

Note that his thoughts on consciousness seem to preclude the singularity as many imagine it might come to be.

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