Hi Richard et. al.,
Wow that thread just keeps on going!

I am designing chips that do what the brain does. There is ZERO
computing. The use of the chips is, I believe a viable source of
empirical verification of the claims of the kind that have been
discussed in this thread, insofar as any practical outcomes speak to
that end. Rather than talk about it, I'd rather just build them and
start using them.

I'd like to make an interesting (at least I think, anyway) observation.

AGI is a case of technology design, unlike any other design in the
history of technology engineering, in the construction of an artificial
version of a natural phenomenon, the original physics of the natural
phenomenon (the activity found in a brain) has been discarded, yet the
natural phenomenon is expected to occur!

Consider if such an approach had been adopted in the case of the
creation of 'artificial fire'. Gronk the ancient hominid has pushed a
rock into a clearing and carefully painted flames on the side of the
rock. Gronk then erects meat on a spit over the pretend flames and waits
for the feast to be cooked. The physics of fire has been replaced by the
physics of a rock. In the modern approach to AGI, in exactly the same
way, the physics of cognition has been replaced by the physics of a
slightly more complicated, hotter rock: a semiconductor chipset. Instead
of the flames drawn on the rock, we have drawn the program in the
chipset. Just like Gronk we await our meal of AGI. After 60 years, we
are still waiting. What delusion has us believing it ever will?

You can list example after example of the implementation of artificial
human technology that can be expressed in the same way (eg flight, the
wheel, telephone, transport, power generation, lightning, the lightbulb
..etc etc). In some technology, computation has been very successfully
included in the causal chain that implements the technology. However, in
terms of the artificial instigation of a natural phenomenon, there is no
instance where a model successfully eliminated the natural physics
underlying it. Indeed the idea itself would be thought very odd. 

Yet in AGI that is what we have been doing for 60 years. It is possible
to see that an exceptionless chain of hundreds/thousands of years
successful technology development (and related science) outcomes now
has, in the modern era, one exception. It is the only instance where we
humans have decided to pretend to create a human technology: AGI. In AGI
design, without exception, we have chosen to use computers and
computing. Indeed such is the pervasiveness of it, if you suggest to AGI
designers that failure will ensue in the same way that computed fire is
not fire, you will elicit incredulity.

"According to the Church-Turing thesis, a Turing machine can emulate any
other Turing machine. The physical Church-Turing thesis claims that
every physically computable function can be computed by a Turing
machine. This is the basis for brain emulation: if brain activity is
regarded as a function that is physically computed by brains, then it
should be possible to compute it on a Turing machine. Even if true,
however, it does not demonstrate that it is a computationally feasible
process." (Sandberg & Bostrom, 2008)

a Turing machine can emulate any other Turing machine..... get it? This
has got ZERO to do with the problem of AGI. Replication, not computing,
will do it... and computing is NOT replication. It is emulation at best.
The key to empirical resolution of all these issues is replication.
Until you play with the real physics ... you are just doing armchair
philosophy and dreaming your answers.


Sandberg, A., & Bostrom, N. (2008). Whole Brain Emulation: A Roadmap.
Oxford: Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University.

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