RE: a new thread

From: The Great Cthulhu (
Date: Fri May 12 2000 - 09:10:38 MDT

Education is not equivalent to software development, at least, not using any
current methodologies of software development
and not creating any kind of resultant state that I'd call educated.

Current software development methodologies create very rigid sets of
instructions to be followed, and these instructions are
not adaptive to their environment. A learning system must be able to
adapt, and the closest thing that exists to this right
now is Genetic Programming (a'la John Koza). It is interesting to note that
while the act of pedagogy is provided by outside
actors, the actual act of learning is self-deterministic. That is,
programming someone is not teaching, because it they are
not self-determining and the sets of rules they are being given are rigid
and inflexible. A learning sytem can take suggestions,
and there are ways to force the issue (brainwashing, in humans) to make one
learn something, but just writing a few thousand
lines of code telling a system how to do a particular activity is not
teaching. A learning system must be adaptable to at least
some new situations without reengineering.

However, it would be interesting to augment our existing brains, which are
much better at learning various things than any
current computing technology, with even sets of rigid instructions. I would
be quite interested to be able to have a full array of
mathematical libraries on a chip in my mind, which I could then recall at
will, requiring that I not memorize many complex
mathematical formulae and their solutions, but rather only how to apply
them - and recall them from the library, and have the
computer solve them, at will. Currently, I must program this sort of thing
into Mathematica or Matlab or C or whatever in a very
cumbersome manner - just thinking about it would be much nicer :-)

I suspect if we could have electronic dictionaries in our heads, our natural
language facilities would do a much better job
of completing translations than existing machine translation systems. By
having quick recall of dictionary mappings from one's
native language into another, one could at least conduct conversations in a
stilted version of the other language, which so far
is orders of magnitude better than the very poor, non-real-time NL
processing done by computers.


  -----Original Message-----
  From: []On
Behalf Of Ian Field
  Sent: Friday, May 12, 2000 2:17 AM
  Subject: a new thread

  Any thoughts on human genetic manipulation? Say, with the purpose of
creating a workable interface between an electronic microprocessor and a
human mind? Throw in some nanotechnology for physical interaction...
Education equates to software development... Implications?

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