Re: 1000 humans in a grain of salt

Henri Kluytmans (
Sat, 24 Jan 1998 19:17:54 +0100

>Henri Kluytmans wrote:
>> I guess that, for example, 50 gigabytes per day should
>> be sufficient to describe (simulate) all the sensory
>> impressions our brains receive during a day,...

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
>WAY too small an estimate, if you ask me.
>assuming very good data compression (say MPEG-2 or better,

But MPEG-2 is not the optimal compression method
theoretically achievable for human visual data input.
(Maybe it is the optimal method achievable with
presently affordable hardware and software. )

I had in mind the compression which results from the actions
of the neural networks in the retina and the visual cortex.
(Not only the compression achieved by methods like Delta Y-UV,
discrete cosine transformation etc.. which are implemented in MPEG

Furthermore the 50 gigabytes per day was just meant as an upper
bound. Originally I estimated even less, but to be on the safe
side I enlarged this number.

>Henri Kluytmans <> writes:
>> The beginning state of the brain (at least before birth,
>> or better, before any actual inputs arrive) we should
>> in principle be able to deduct from the information
>> stored in the DNA. (The DNA contains about 10^10 bits)

Anders Sandberg wrote:
>I think this is wrong, since the genetic information is just the basic
>rules to grow the brain, the exact structure is laid down in an
>emergent fashion most likely very dependent on the environment; brain
>growth creates information.
I agree. The problem, ofcourse, is that inputs arrive even during
the embryonic growth of the brain. However (theoretically) even
these imputs could be simulated.

>> how much information per unit of time do I need to
>> simulate the real life environment of a human individual
>> in such a way that his brain will not notice the difference.
>That makes 10 million axons of sensory information. The
>normal activity for neurons lie beneath 1 KHz, so an upper bound on
>the input would be 10 billion bits/s.
When uncompressed...

>> An information input of 50 gigabytes per day results
>> in a total of approximately 10^16 bits after an average
>> human life time.
>But we do not store this flood of information, in fact most of it is
>quickly removed. Only the salient information is retained and
>amplified in the brain, and it is from this we learn. Of course, we do
>not have good figures of how much this is.
I agree.
But this way of estimating an upper bound was just a theoritical
example! (The standard way, ofcourse, is to count the total
number of synapses and the number of bits to describe their state.)

>My personal estimate for the human capacity is around a bit per
>synapse (based on assumptions from neural networks), there are around
>10^14 synapses, making a capacity of around 10^14 bits.
And what about the information required to store which connection
the synapses belong to. I.e which other neuron each dendrite is
connected to.

>Henri Kluytmans wrote:
>> Now, every new successive state should be derivable from
>> the original state and the inputs it receives during the
>> interval in between.
Hara Ra wrote
>Not true. The nervous system is noisy, so successive states
>are in general not causal. Of course the CNS has to eliminate
>this factor.
I assumed the neural network of the brain can be
simulated by a deterministic system. (i.e. that a selfconsiousnes
intelligence can be created by a deterministic system)
This has ofcourse not been proven but seems quite likely.

Some persons claim that some internal randomness should be
inherent for generating selfconsiousness intelligence.
However others claim that the random noise input from the
environment is sufficent.

That the human consiousness could be transferred to a
deterministic system is unacceptable to some people
because it kind of reduces themselves to machines...?

> The question now is : how much is the total information
> input a person receives during his life. Or, on average,
> how much input does a person receive during a day.

>50 gigs/day is waaay too large. Some estimates are about 1 bit/sec
>of non redundant information - a CDROM can hold a lifetime at this
>data rate.
The number of 50 gigs/day was just meant as an upper bound
(a very rough upper bound).

>Hkl -------> Technology & Future at
Transcedo ---> Dutch Transhumanist Society at
Because the future is where we will spend the rest of our lives ...
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