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Fri Nite Frite: Guy wants to upload brain to computer

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No, really, from Georgia Rose at Vice:

Humans, if you hadn’t already noticed, have stopped evolving. As David Attenborough recently reminded us, our species is the first-by our free will-to remove itself from the process of natural selection, therefore stunting evolution. That, accompanied by Steven Hawking and Elon Musk’s theories that robots will supersede human intelligence and become our biggest existential threat, paints a pretty bleak vision of the future.

Neuroscientist Randal Koene has the answer. Instead of allowing robots to become our cold, lifeless overlords, why don’t we just become partially robotic ourselves? Koene is currently working on whole brain emulation, the process of being able to upload our minds to a computer. By mapping the brain, figuring out its mechanisms and replicating this activity in code, humans could-theoretically-live on indefinitely.

I recently gave Randal a call to try and get my head around his ideas. More.

Is it true that we are expected to believe that humans have stopped evolving? Then what about Nick Wade and the Troublesome Inheritance?

Anyway, a friend reminds us that that was the theme of the movie Transcendence.

But, what happens if the support staff make a mistake and scramble a geek’s brain files with the files of the Relationships TV airhead? That’s the frite part, the one we never wanna see. 😉

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5 Replies to “Fri Nite Frite: Guy wants to upload brain to computer

  1. 1
    fossil says:

    Good luck to Randal Koene! That is if he can come anywhere close to doing it before he dies of depressive discouragement.

  2. 2
    DavidD says:

    This has been the Atheistic version of hope for everlasting life for years, to have one’s brain uploaded into a Super-Computer

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Dr. Egnor has been doing a series on the erroneous belief that computers are capable of consciousness at ENV. Here’s his latest:

    Steven Novella Doesn’t Trust His Computer One Bit – Michael Egnor – December 19, 2014
    Excerpt: Sometimes my task of making these guys look ridiculous is just too easy.
    To sum up: Dr. Steven Novella, Yale University School of Medicine clinical neurologist, self-styled science-defender and “skeptic,” has denied for years that the universe has a cause, denied that living things manifest teleology, and denied that the mind may be something more than meat.
    Yet Novella believes that computers are on the verge of waking up and devising evil plans to destroy mankind, and he asserts (matter-of-factly) that when we finally meet the space aliens who rule the universe, they will be mechanical or biological or some kinda hybrid.
    I’m laughing too hard. I must stop now.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....92181.html

    Here are the previous articles by Dr. Egnor on the subject:

    Brains on Fire: Dr. Steven Novella Explains, “The Mind Is the Fire of the Brain” – Michael Egnor – December 18, 2014
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....92151.html
    Understanding Memories: Lovely Metaphors Belong in Songs, Not Science – Michael Egnor – December 16, 2014
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....92071.html
    Recalling Nana’s Face: Does Your Brain Store Memories? – Michael Egnor – December 8, 2014
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....91821.html

    Software engineer Erik Larson also did a series at ENV on the erroneous belief that computers are capable of consciousness. Here is one of his articles:

    Stephen Hawking Overestimates the Evolutionary Future of Smart Machines – Erik J. Larson – May 7, 2014
    Excerpt: “Model saturation,” as it’s called, is the eventual flattening of a machine learning curve into an asymptote or a straight line, where there’s no further learning, no matter how much more data you provide.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....85311.html

    This errouneous belief that computers are capable of consciousness goes back to at least Alan Turing. Alan Turing, who invented computers, infamously thought that his brain was merely a ‘Turing Machine’. This following poem teases the ‘merely a machine’ notion of Turing

    Alan’s brain tells his mind, “Don’t you blow it.”
    Listen up! (Even though it’s inchoate.)
    “My claim’s neat and clean.
    I’m a Turing Machine!”
    … ‘Tis somewhat curious how he could know it.

    Yet Turing, although I don’t think he ever actually admitted it, actually ended up proving that Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem was valid for computers, and thus the notion that computers are capable of consciousness has been invalidated since at least that time:

    Alan Turing & Kurt Godel – Incompleteness Theorem and Human Intuition – video (with Gregory Chaitin)
    https://vimeo.com/92387854
    Quote from video: Turing recast incompleteness in terms of computers and showed that since they are logic machines, there would always be some problems they would never solve. A machine fed one of these problems would never stop (halting problem). And worse, Turing proved there was no way of telling beforehand which these problems were.”

    The Limits Of Reason – Gregory Chaitin – 2006
    Excerpt: “an infinite number of true mathematical theorems exist that cannot be proved from any finite system of axioms.”,,,
    http://www.umcs.maine.edu/~chaitin/sciamer3.pdf

    Kurt Godel stated the implications for the incompleteness theorem, as it related to computers and consciousness, as such:

    “Consciousness is connected with one unity. A machine is composed of parts. The brain is a computing machine connected with a spirit.”
    Kurt Godel

    “Either mathematics is too big for the human mind or the human mind is more than a machine.”
    Kurt Godel

    Moreover, it is found to be a physical requirement that memories/information be stored ‘non-physically’, on a ‘spiritual’ basis, rather than a physical basis because of the following,,,
    First, it is important to note that a human brain has, (conservatively), more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth.

    Human brain has more switches than all computers on Earth – November 2010
    Excerpt: They found that the brain’s complexity is beyond anything they’d imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief, says Stephen Smith, a professor of molecular and cellular physiology and senior author of the paper describing the study: …One synapse, by itself, is more like a microprocessor–with both memory-storage and information-processing elements–than a mere on/off switch. In fact, one synapse may contain on the order of 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth.
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-2708.....2-247.html

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Second, it is important to note that computers with very many switches have a huge problem with heat,,,

    Supercomputer architecture
    Excerpt: Throughout the decades, the management of heat density has remained a key issue for most centralized supercomputers.[4][5][6] The large amount of heat generated by a system may also have other effects, such as reducing the lifetime of other system components.[7] There have been diverse approaches to heat management, from pumping Fluorinert through the system, to a hybrid liquid-air cooling system or air cooling with normal air conditioning temperatures.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.....chitecture

    Yet the brain, though having as many switches as all the computers, routers, and internet connections on earth, in a very confined space no less, does not have such a problem with heat,,,

    Appraising the brain’s energy budget:
    Excerpt: In the average adult human, the brain represents about 2% of the body weight. Remarkably, despite its relatively small size, the brain accounts for about 20% of the oxygen and, hence, calories consumed by the body. This high rate of metabolism is remarkably constant despite widely varying mental and motoric activity. The metabolic activity of the brain is remarkably constant over time.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/99/16/10237.full

    THE EFFECT OF MENTAL ARITHMETIC ON CEREBRAL CIRCULATION AND METABOLISM
    Excerpt: Although Lennox considered the performance of mental arithmetic as “mental work”, it is not immediately apparent what the nature of that work in the physical sense might be if, indeed, there be any. If no work or energy transformation is involved in the process of thought, then it is not surprising that cerebral oxygen consumption is unaltered during mental arithmetic.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....4-0127.pdf

    Does Thinking Really Hard Burn More Calories? – By Ferris Jabr – July 2012
    Excerpt: So a typical adult human brain runs on around 12 watts—a fifth of the power required by a standard 60 watt lightbulb. Compared with most other organs, the brain is greedy; pitted against man-made electronics, it is astoundingly efficient.
    http://www.scientificamerican......d-calories

    Moreover, a certain percentage of the heat generated by computers is because of something known as Landauer’s principle.

    Landauer’s principle
    Of Note: “any logically irreversible manipulation of information, such as the erasure of a bit or the merging of two computation paths, must be accompanied by a corresponding entropy increase ,,, Specifically, each bit of lost information will lead to the release of an (specific) amount (at least kT ln 2) of heat.,,,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L....._principle

    Moreover, Landauer’s principle implies that when a certain number of arithmetical operations per second have been exceeded, the computer will produce so much heat that the heat is impossible to dissipate.

    Quantum knowledge cools computers – Published: 01.06.11
    Excerpt: The fact that computers produce heat when they process data is a logistical challenge for computer manufacturers and supercomputer operators. In addition, this heat production also imposes a fundamental limit on their maximum possible performance. According to the so-called Landauer Principle formulated by the physicist Rolf Landauer in 1961, energy is always released as heat when data is deleted. Renner says, “According to Landauer’s Principle, if a certain number of computing operations per second is exceeded, the heat generated can no longer be dissipated.” Assuming that supercomputers develop at the same rate as in the past, this critical limit will probably be reached in the next 10 to 20 years.
    http://www.ethlife.ethz.ch/arc.....u/index_EN

    Thus, the brain is either operating on reversible computation principles that no computer (or computer engineer) can come close to emulating (Charles Bennett; IBM), or, as is much more likely, the brain is not erasing information from its memory, as the material computer is required to do during arithmetical operations, because our memories are stored on the ‘spiritual’ level rather than on a material level. This argument has been developed more formally here:

    Sentient robots? Not possible if you do the maths – 13 May 2014
    Over the past decade, Giulio Tononi at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his colleagues have developed a mathematical framework for consciousness that has become one of the most influential theories in the field. According to their model, the ability to integrate information is a key property of consciousness. ,,,
    But there is a catch, argues Phil Maguire at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth. He points to a computational device called the XOR logic gate, which involves two inputs, A and B. The output of the gate is “1” if A and B are the same and “0” if A and B are different. In this scenario, it is impossible to predict the output based on A or B alone – you need both.
    Crucially, this type of integration requires loss of information, says Maguire: “You have put in two bits, and you get one out. If the brain integrated information in this fashion, it would have to be continuously haemorrhaging information.”,,,
    Based on this definition, Maguire and his team have shown mathematically that computers can’t handle any process that integrates information completely. If you accept that consciousness is based on total integration, then computers can’t be conscious.
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....3LD5ChuqCe

    To support this view that ‘memory/information’ is not being stored in the brain, one of the most common features of extremely deep near death experiences is the ‘life review’ where every minute detail of a person’s life, every word, every deed, is reviewed in the presence of God.
    At the 17:45 minute mark of the following Near Death Experience documentary, the Life Review portion of the Near Death Experience is highlighted, with several testimonies relating how every word, deed, and action, of a person’s life (all the ‘information’ of a person’s life) is gone over in the presence of God:

    Near Death Experience Documentary – commonalities of the experience – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTuMYaEB35U

  5. 5
    Dionisio says:

    Guy wants to upload brain to computer

    What brain?

    🙂

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