Re: Kosko on AI in L.A. Times

From: Party of Citizens (
Date: Mon Jul 09 2001 - 17:39:09 MDT

I think we'll learn a lot about chip implants when Professor War-borg does
his next experiment early next year. If I understood it correctly, this
time he is going to determine if the afferent connections work well enough
to upload significant amounts of information directly from chip to
brain. Anyay, the article is in Wired, Feb/01.

On Mon, 9 Jul 2001 wrote:

> Bart Kosko, whom some of you know, has an op-ed today in the Los
> Angeles Times, at
> (that link may not work after today):
> The movie "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" raises the wrong questions
> about our future with computers because it gets the technology
> wrong. It will be far easier to make us more like computers than to
> make computers more like us.
> Chip implants will make that possible because chips have so many
> advantages over brains and robots. Brains are wet and have random
> wiring. They need sugar and oxygen and sleep. They risk stroke and
> need a special cooling system for their thick skull-based housing.
> ...So the real question is not whether robots will replace humans
> but whether chips will replace brains.
> That question may raise many ethical issues, but the answer to it is
> surely yes. ... Moore's Law ... chips in 2020 or so will have the
> raw processing power of the human brain and will forever exceed it
> after that.
> Of course he is glossing over the tremendous difficulties involved
> in interfacing a chip to the brain in such a way that it can provide
> meaningful information, especially if it is going to extend our memories
> so that chip-based memories and data "feel" normal.
> The distant but inevitable step is not just to back up the brain but to
> replace it outright. Then the music of the mind will play on a digital
> instrument with almost godlike powers. Such chip minds will have a
> bit-based omniscience because they could access all knowledge and
> all databases at the speed of light and never forget any of it. They
> could easily relive and edit and alter any past physical or emotional
> experience and do so with the same "real" intensity as when someone's
> flesh first experienced it.
> Chip minds will have a bit-based omnipotence because they could
> create entire virtual worlds simply by imagining them. Let's not
> forget that the world we see "out there" is but an illusion in the
> neural circuitry of our brain's visual cortex.
> Even our subjective sense of time will change. We find the second a
> meaningful unit of time because electrical signals travel so slowly
> through our nerves. Chip time, or "nanotime," will be millions or even
> billions of times faster. One second of brain time will equal years
> or even decades of chip time. This will give chip minds a bit-based
> approximation of eternity. That also will mean a robot with a chip
> mind would find brain-based humans frozen as if they were clay models
> in a time-lapsed animation.
> This part isn't consistent with the idea of chip implants, or even
> chips replacing the brain within a biological body. Apparently he must
> be talking about an upload scenario. Obviously you wouldn't want to
> replace your brain with a chip going billions of times faster if your
> body is still going about its business the same old way.
> I thought this inconsistency weakened the article somewhat. While I
> can understand that presenting the idea of uploading would undercut the
> attractive picture he is painting, it's confusing at the end as we picture
> our bodies standing around frozen while our minds zoom off into infinity.
> Hal

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:39:43 MDT