On Aug 12, 4:21 am, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote: > On 12/08/2011, at 1:06 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote: > > > Sure, muscles will contract for any old material that can conduct an > > electric current. A muscle doesn't require a high level conversation > > with the brain's cells to react. We can move in our sleep when we > > aren't subjectively conscious of it. > > But can the muscles be made to contract through electrical stimulation in > such a way that you can have an intelligent conversation with them?
You might be able to have an intelligent conversation about glucose or tensile strength electronically, but it need not have anything to do with making them contract. Nervous tissue is a special case of biological tissue in that it's purpose is to make it's own cellular experience transparent in favor of refining and telling the stories of other tissues and their stories of their environment. A muscle cell isn't necessarily interested in or capable of non-muscular conversation. In a normal person the brain does the complex calculations which produce intelligible language from the vocal cords. If my hypothesis is correct, the brain and the vocal chords work together to some degree. It uses sensory feedback from the vocal chords in real time to modulate it's motive efforts to speak. Can the same calculations be done by computer stimulating the vocal cords or is there something the computer just won't be able to do? My guess is that a computer would have to be entrained to the real life vocal chords of the particular person's body in order to get close to perfect fluidity, and that may require 'cooperation' from the nervous tissues related to the vocal chords. Absent those, the tissues themselves would have to be hacked into with artificial neurology. If so, where will its language deficiencies be, and what is the specific mathematical problem the brain can solve but the computer can't? If the computer can't copy human behaviour due to lacking human consciousness that is equivalent to saying that there are non- computable mathematics in the brain. To produce human speech, the computer need not have human consciousness (awareness of the awarenesses of the human organism as a whole), it just needs awareness of the larynx and the speech centers of the brain. If you want the computer to be able to understand the meaning of what it's saying, then you are talking about replacing the entire prefrontal cortex, in which case, it depends on what you replace it with as to the extent to which it's understanding resembles ours. If you replace the neurological community which handles speech articulation only, you might be able to do it well enough that we, the user, can use it (probably would have to be entrained from the cognitive side as well - the brain would have to discover the implant and learn how to use it), but that doesn't mean that on the level of the community of the brain and nervous system there is no difference. That fact becomes monumentally important when you consider replacing not just the neurology that you use but the neurology that you actually identify with personally as you. Even with just the artificial larynx driver, you may very well be able to tell the difference in the sound of your own voice, and others may also. It may feel different to speak, and some unanticipated differences such as swallowing, clearing your throat, noticing a sore throat before it gets serious, etc may arise. Craig -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.