Anders Sandberg wrote:
> Can we simplify neurons? Probably; this is just how nature made them,
> and I think it is possible to create more computationally efficient
> input-output mappings retaining the same properties. This is an
> interesting problem, both from a research, a theoretical and an
> uploading standpoint. What can we do away with without losing the
> important? How much detail is needed? Could you upload yourself into
> an integrate-and-fire model? Could this process be continued on higher
Nature has had billions of years to thoroughly exploit and deepen every possible quirk that could be used for computing power. Roger Penrose thinks that the fundamental units of computation are microtubule dimers, which would put the brain at 10^26 ops/second. He furthermore speculates that the brain uses quantum computing. I'm not sure I believe (guess-that) either, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised.
-- email@example.com Eliezer S. Yudkowsky http://pobox.com/~sentience/AI_design.temp.html http://pobox.com/~sentience/sing_analysis.html Disclaimer: Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you everything I think I know.