From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> The human brain is organized into hundreds of regions, with widely
> varying local neural architecture, a complex cognitive
> architecture that
> describes how they intercommunicate, and learning programs that suck
> additional richness out of the perceptual environment as part of the
> process whereby the initial, relatively ordered state grows into an
> intelligent brain.
> If Hugo de Garis hasn't planned a path whereby an equal amount of
> richness enters his big honkin' neural network, he'll just
> wind up with
> a big honkin' earthworm.
Yes, if de Garis' neural connections are just random, there's no way he's
going to achieve human-level intelligence, even with 1000x the neurons.
That having been said, his plans are encouraging in two respects:
1) Independent of getting human-level (or human-like) intelligence, a neural
net of that size does seem to hold the promise of being a remarkably
powerful learning machine.
2) If he can really simulate 10^12 neurons in 2011, then that leaves the
door open for scanning a human brain and replicating its architecture in de
Garis' neural simulation. In 2011 presumably the only option would be a
destructive scan, but even this would be phenomenally ahead of schedule.
The major question in my mind is how rich his simulated neurons are. How
many synaptic connections do they each have? How frequently are their time
slices? How closely can the mimic the behavior of human neurons?
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