On 8/23/2011 3:33 PM, Colin Geoffrey Hales wrote:

I’ve just had a whole bunch of fun at the Melbourne Singularity Summit. What a ‘hoot’!

At the conference I made a somewhat thwarted attempt to introduce physical replication as a ‘roadmap item’ for AGI. I tried to show that AGI may be reached by constructing the actual necessary physics of brain material using different ingredients (inorganic cells and electrons instead of ions as charge carriers). This proposal has critical superiority because it can be argued to retain all the basic physics of brain material and therefore inherit all the natural properties in the manner of brain material. In such an approach, the chips would have an EEG and MEG signature like brains. The chips can be argued to be making use of quantum field effects just like brains do.

Your proposal seems to be saying 'yes' to the doctor who promises to replicate the EM fields of your brain. But if EM fields are what do the thinking then one's thinking would be muddled when you stand near power lines. Of course at the atomic level the EM fields of outer electron shells define the chemistry - but then it's simpler to describe the brain functions in terms of the chemistry.


Such chips (=physical replication) have zero simulation, zero modelling, zero computation, zero emulation, and are not synthetic biology.

Which leads me back to the IBM offering.... the IBM contribution will underperform because it uses models. If an ‘artificial brain’ were like ‘artificial fire’, then the IBM offering would be like claiming to have made fire by pretending to have fuel or oxygen. I would hold that the IBM hardware is not ‘artificial brain material’ and therefore will be missing key properties needed for full cognition.

I’ve been trying to get the physical replication idea across to various people as best I can. I am making slow progress. Please consider it an available AGI option. I am still trying to work out why no-one else has tried it before. Everybody has been assuming since the 1950s that AGI involves computers. I’m here to undo that mindset to the required extent and get more balance in the approaches. Let’s bake the AGI cake with real ingredients so we actually end up with artificially-originated, yet still quite edible, cake.

I’ll be at the EMBC 2011 conference in Boston next week. If any of you folk are around, come by! I have a poster on Tuesday.

Colin Hales

Researcher, Centre for Neural Engineering

Desk: 9035 3566

Mobile: 0487 209 557

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