Re: headless horseman

From: Ross A. Finlayson (
Date: Sun Jan 07 2001 - 07:54:43 MST

Anders Sandberg wrote:

> "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <> writes:
> > Hm... I was just wondering whether you could hook up an AI to such a
> > body. I'm not quite sure what the point of that would be, aside from the
> > sheer exhiliaration of mad science.
> Well, mad science is its own reward :-) Seriously I think interfacing
> a computer to the remaining nerve stumps is just as tricky as ordinary
> BCI, that is, rather hard at present. Just stimulating the sympathic
> and parasympathic systems or different ganglia to induce crude
> reflexes is quite doable (just jolt enough axons), but movement
> control remains hard right now - people are of course working a lot on
> it for spinal injuries. The same for input. Your AI might be able to
> regulate homeostasis a bit, which would be quite useful in this case,
> but the body would not make a good robot chassi.
> --
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
> GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

Well, the ends of the nerves have reaction to the other nerve endings, as
opposed to anywhere along the nerve, generally. So, like a coaxial cable, you
could put a new dendrite on the end of a nerve, or put a connecting dendrite
that just forwarded messages to the original length and input of the nerve.
Then there is a biological layer where the nerve endings have chemical
reactions. That is a very small scale. Then, the system has to emulate the
old nervous reactions, because the old nerve will keep sending some of the same
messages as before the limb was amputated.

Brain function happens on a very small scale and in very complex ways. Anders
has nice pictures of the brain on his web page.


Ross Andrew Finlayson
Finlayson Consulting
Ross at Tiki-Lounge:
"The best mathematician in the world is Maplev in Ontario."  - Pertti L.

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