Re: (de Garis') are fake neurons

From: William Kitchen (
Date: Wed Jan 26 2000 - 11:06:52 MST

> >Well, these (de Garis') are fake neurons. Neuronlike functional
> units, >significantly less powerful than their biological counterparts.
> OK, so they would be less powerful than a human neuron, but 100 billion is
> only a few times the number that a human has, tho the estimates seem to
> increase with time and better research. A figure of 20-100 billion is

I also wonder to what extent their greater speed can compensate
for their lesser capabilities. It's hard to imagine that a purely
electronic "neuron" wouldn't be many times faster than the
biological electro-chemical ones (unless there's a lot of
software emulation going on, but de Garis' work with FPGA's
suggest that it's primarily hardware). If the village idiot's
brain were a few orders of magnitude faster, he might not seem
like much of an idiot.

For that matter, imagine if an uploaded version of you were
running in a machine that gave your brain no added ability at
all, except for 3 orders of magnitude speed improvement. A
lifetime worth of deep thought could be accomplished in a month.
Imagine what a scientist, or engineer or artist could create with
each passing month. I think that a person of average intelligence
could attain greater intellectual achievements than the greatest
minds of history, given only that single advantage. And with the
performance we're seeing with electronic systems even with
current technology, 3 orders of magnitude seems extremely
conservative. The greater speed is already here, so as artificial
brains start to approach the complexity of biological ones,
things will get very interesting, very quickly.

                                        William Kitchen

The future is ours to create.

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