Re: Analog vs. Digital AI (was fetal tissue)

Harvey Newstrom (
Wed, 04 Mar 1998 11:33:10 -0500

At 04:48 PM 3/3/98 -0500, Reilly Jones wrote:
> I just won't
> grant that anything purely digital could ever be conscious, consciousness
>must access the entire universe, not just 50% of it.

You may be surprised to learn that human and animal neurons represent
digital data. Neurons are binary: They trigger, or they don't. The
brain cannot detect a level of neuron triggering. (It is true that
chemical seepage between synapses occurs in an anolog way, but the
neuron remains totally unaffected up to its trigger point, and then it
remains totally "fired" when the amount of neurotransmitter goes above
its trigger point. Thus, it is like a telegraph wire. The telegraph
key looks analog, but the data it sends is binary, either on or off.)

Continuums of sensory input are simulated by: the number of neurons
triggering, how long they trigger, how often they trigger, etc.
Clusters of neurons that trigger at different levels can provide a
degree of measurement in a sensory system, but there is no analog
information being transmitted to the brain.

Likewise, your output mechanisms are also binary. Muscle strands are
binary: They either contract or relax. There is no way to trigger a
single muscle strand to contract to a specific degree. Clusters of
muscle strands work together to provide various levels of muscle
contraction within a mass of muscle tissue, but there is no analog
information being transmitted from the brain.

The communications neural network into and out of the brain is totally
binary. It is sending binary data packets via the nervous system
network to its destination receptors.

Harvey Newstrom <>
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