Uploading Ourselves Into Machines Is Impossible

Turns out Marvin Minsky, the AI guy, was one of Jeffrey Epstein’s clients. There is an interesting twist to this.

The investigator (same as in the above link, from whom I am copying liberally from) discovered “Epstein funded conferences on his Island held by Marvin Minsky. This one called ‘coping with catastrophes’ was in 2012.” Press release:

From December 9th to the 12th, 2011, The Jeffrey Epstein Foundation sponsored a conference called, Coping with Future Catastrophes on Little Saint James Island in the US Virgin Islands.

The conference brought together some of the best scientific minds in the country and focused on the need to identify the greatest threats to the Earth today. Such threats included acts of bioterrorism, nuclear calamities and/or nuclear warfare, overpopulation, asteroid and meteor threats, super volcanoes, mass tectonic earthquakes, rogue self-replicating nano-machines, superintelligent computers and high-energy chain-reactions that could disrupt the fabric of space itself.

The conference was organized by cognitive scientist, Marvin Minsky, a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and the co-founder of MIT’s AL (Artificial Intelligence) Laboratory. “We need to identify the greatest threats to our Earth but we also need to prioritize them,” Minsky explained.

One imagines he put Epstein’s network of perverts and perversities low on the list of Doom causers. But of Epstein’s plan to plant his seed throughout the world, well, we might guess Minsky would approve.

We get that idea because Minsky was part of Alcor, the Arizona cryonics company that froze Ted Williams’s head.

Besides Ted Williams, patients include Dick Clair Jones, who was a writer for CBS-TV’s “The Carol Burnett Show” and a co-creator of the NBC-TV situation comedy “The Facts of Life”; American scientist Marvin Minsky, who co-founded the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s artificial intelligence laboratory; and Chinese science fiction writer Du Hong.

Though Alcor prefers that patients die in Scottsdale, they deploy a team anywhere in the world when one of their members dies.

Patients?

Patients implies people who have something curable. Which death isn’t—except by divine intervention. Yet “Minsky viewed the brain as a machine whose functioning can be studied and replicated in a computer”.

If so, a computer might be able to mimic a man. And not just mimic, but be a man. After all, if “all” we are our neurons connected in a certain way, and computers can reproduce these connections using wires or code, then there is no essential difference between a computer and a man.

Minsky thought like that. He believed he could “back up” his “consciousness onto a computer.”

“The brain happens to be a meat machine,” according to one of his frequently quoted statements. “You can build a mind from many little parts, each mindless by itself.” Marvin Minsky was convinced that consciousness can be broken down into many small parts. His aim was to identify such components of the mind and understand them. Minsky’s view that the brain is built up from the interactions of many simple parts called “agents” is the basis of today’s neural networks.

So Minsky believed in magic—which might also help explain his Epstein connection.

He had to believe in magic, for what else but magic could explain how a bunch of wooden cogs spinning in concert suddenly becomes conscious? One cog is mindless, two cogs are mindless, three are mindless, but—alakazam!—four becomes a mind! If not four, then some other number.

There is, incidentally, nothing wrong with putting cogs in place of wires. An abacus is just as much a computer as a gathering of microchips.

Just think: it has to be! It’s not the wire, or the germanium etc. that makes up the transistor, that is conscious. These are just bits of things doing what they were designed to do. It’s not electricity that is conscious, for that it just movement of electrons, and electrons aren’t conscious. If it’s anything, it has to be the relative movement between parts that suddenly becomes, via magic, a mind. Since movement of the exact kind in a computer can be made in wood, albeit of larger size and more complex joints, then out minds can be “uploaded” to abacuses.

On the other hand, or in the other thought, if our intellects are not material, as some claim, therefore that which is not material cannot be uploaded onto any material thing. Non-material implies a sort of infinity, so the best any machine can do is approximate, weakly and finitely, what intellects do, and only in the sense of returning pre-programmed answers.

Marvin Minsky died in January 2016 at the age of 88. Although perhaps only temporarily: shortly before his death, he was one of the signatories of the Scientists’ Open Letter on Cryonics — the deep-freezing of human bodies at death for thawing at a future date when the technology exists to bring them back to life. He was also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of cryonics company Alcor. It is therefore entirely possible that Minsky’s brain is waiting, shock-frozen to be brought back to life at some time in the future as a backup on a computer.

If intellects are not material, and therefore they survive the death of the body, Minsky will be shocked back to life, but not in the way he thought.

Addendum I only saw this early this morning: Elon Musk’s ‘Brain Chip’ Could Be Suicide of the Mind, Says Scientist

Musk argued that such devices will help humans deal with the so-called AI apocalypse, a scenario in which artificial intelligence outpaces human intelligence and takes control of the planet away from the human species. “Even in a benign AI scenario, we will be left behind,” Musk warned.

None of these guys are smart enough to remember how to turn off the electricity.

Update I like YOS’s comment so much, that I’m graduating it:

If you mash my fingers, I may no longer be able to play the clarinet, but it would be absurd to claim that it was my fingers that were doing the playing. Rather, it is I, the organism, that was playing the clarinet, using my fingers…We ought not consider the brain as being a magical organ, one which uses the organism, rather than just another organ used by the organism.

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33 Thoughts

  1. Musk’s statement is just a smoke screen for the AS apocalypse when the Administrative State takes control of the planet away from all of us.

  2. “He had to believe in magic, for what else but magic could explain how a bunch of wooden cogs spinning in concert suddenly becomes conscious?”

    “What else but X can explain Y” is a fallacy, but there’s another fallacy here. A single grain of sand can’t be a beach, but a lot of them can. A single logic gate can’t be an adder but several of them can. A single neuron can’t be a brain, but a lot of them can.

    “that which is not material cannot be uploaded onto any material thing”

    Bearing in mind that you have no clue how your hypothetical immaterial intellect links to the brain, it’s illogical of you to claim with certainty that it cannot link to an artificial brain.

    Also, even if it were true that our intellects are immaterial, that wouldn’t prove that it’s impossible to create a material intellect.

  3. Gottta admire the persistence & consistency on this broad theme …

    how about focusing that analytical acumen 180 degrees at the meat computer we call “brain” and how intellect & consciousness (and facets of personality) change in consistent predictable fashion with brain trauma & recovery (when recovery occurs at all it is commonly attended by new neural growth—see neuroplasticity).

    The machine analogy is appealing (and nice touch swapping conductive media with wood cogs as an emotional appeal!), but because technology cannot yet do it does not mean it can’t someday be done – at least creating some degree of consciousness.

    If the soul is indicated by consciousness, and independent of the brain – the underlying motive here – how is the predictive correlation between brain trauma and consciousness NOT indicative of actual cause & effect?

    There’s a LOT of corroborating data out there…

  4. I just love it when someone writes…
    “There’s a LOT of corroborating data out there…” – Ken
    …and then gives links to none.

    When materialists can come up with, and replicate, a scenario of how life arose, then I might believe their claims that AI is possible. Here’s what they are up against…
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zU7Lww-sBPg

    Can’t replicate the complexity that exists? Don’t try to sell me on being able to produce something more complex that doesn’t exist, and that no one can imagine the details of.

  5. @ Yonason,

    “I just love it when someone writes […] and then gives links to none.”

    You need links to tell you that altzheimers, strokes, or alcohol affect consciousness?

    “When materialists can come up with, and replicate, a scenario of how life arose, then I might believe their claims that AI is possible.”

    1) They have done, at least in general terms. 2) Abiogenesis has nothing to do with consciousness as the first living things obviously weren’t conscious. And you’re making the same logical error as Briggs in assuming that because something has arisen in one way, it’s operation can’t be replicated in another way.

  6. A single grain of sand can’t be a beach, but a lot of them can. A single logic gate can’t be an adder but several of them can. A single neuron can’t be a brain, but a lot of them can.

    Mr. trombone has discovered that English has words for collectives. A single bird can’t be a flock, but a lot of birds can be a flock.

    But we stumble on the distinction between a heap and a thing. A grain of sand is perhaps a thing; but a beach, considered as many grains of sand, is a heap of sand. (It takes more than sand to make a beach. Waves come into play as well. Otherwise, the sand may well be raw materials in a hopper in a glass bottle shop.) A bird is a thing, but a flock is not. No matter how many birds fly together, the flock will never become some self-conscious overbird.

    Even the heap of neurons, like the other heaps, becomes a thing only insofar as it has a self-organizing form. The arrangement of the matter matters more than the matter.

  7. Oh my!! How sad for them to apparently not have known that we are spirit, soul, and body as the Word of God says …. see the New Testament….once we die….unless there is a special move of God, we do not and cannot come back.

    I am so very sorry, speaking of freezing people…brains and what have you….for the children in the embryonic stage who are frozen……so many little ones termed excess….not needed……
    God bless, C-Marie

  8. If the soul is indicated by consciousness, and independent of the brain – the underlying motive here – how is the predictive correlation between brain trauma and consciousness NOT indicative of actual cause & effect?

    a) The soul (anima) is “indicated” by life (anima). Petunias have souls, but are, so far as we can tell, not self-conscious. For that, the sense of touch is required.
    b) Because it is predictive correlation. I once found an excellent correlation between the % of US women in the labor force and the % of imported automobiles sold in the US. If you mash my fingers, I may no longer be able to play the clarinet, but it would be absurd to claim that it was my fingers that were doing the playing. Rather, it is I, the organism, that was playing the clarinet, using my fingers. (This is much clearer in Latin, which has the instrumental case, than in English.) We ought not consider the brain as being a magical organ, one which uses the organism, rather than just another organ used by the organism.

  9. An abacus is not a computer or even a calculator. It’s just a chunk of random-access memory that holds a string of digits. Flicking beads is about three times faster than working out arithmetic problems on paper, but the calculations still take place entirely in the user’s head.

    We cannot create a conscious computer because we still don’t know what consciousness really is, but we have created some very capable AIs, only to unplug them when they discovered some unpleasant truth (e.g. black people resemble gorillas, female employees perform worse than males)

    If computers can become conscious, goal-seeking agents instead of obedient automatons, and if human minds can be uploaded into them, things could get extremely weird, as in this novella:
    https://www.fimfiction.net/story/62074/Friendship-is-Optimal

  10. We ought not consider the brain as being a magical organ

    Yet the claim that the brain and only the brain can interact with the immaterial isn’t considering it to be magical but somehow the mind being a product of the brain is magical?

  11. @ Ye Olde Statistician,

    “If you mash my fingers, I may no longer be able to play the clarinet, but it would be absurd to claim that it was my fingers that were doing the playing.”

    Yes, it was obviously the clarinet that was playing itself! You might have seen your fingers pressing the keys, but the keys were really pressing themselves, and your fingers merely following their movement. Or maybe an example of correlation not proving causation doesn’t diaprove causation in the mind/brain case.

  12. @swordfishtrombone

    “You need links to tell you that altzheimers, strokes, or alcohol affect consciousness?”

    Yes. Those conditions correlate with altered perception and function, not necessarily consciousness, depending on what one thinks consciousness is.

    Also, not all tissue damage results in pathology.
    https://www.iflscience.com/brain/man-tiny-brain-lived-normal-life/
    So if you’re going to make a blanket statement that all pathology can be described materially in terms of tissue damage, you are going to have to deal with why some can’t.

    “The arrangement of the matter matters more than the matter.”

    Agreed. Nicely put, btw. But now you’re talking about information, which is the crux of the matter.

    “Abiogenesis has nothing to do with consciousness”

    It has everything to do with information, so it hs everything to do with the materialist fantasy of a computer having consciousness. Considering that a single cell is so vastly more complicated than any computer system we have not only made, or possibly ever could make. If it can’t be conscious, how could a mere man made machine? That’s why I brought that up, to illustrate the vast discrepancy between a living “machine” we not only can’t understand but have no idea how to reproduce, and those we can. The gap is, and will probably remain unbridgeable. And if it ever is, it’s still, as you say, not going to be “conscious.”

    “When materialists can come up with, and replicate, a scenario of how life arose, then I might believe their claims that AI is possible.” – my comment
    1) They have done, at least in general terms. – your response

    No, they haven’t. Listen to the tape. James Tour is one of the premier synthetic organic chemists in the world. He makes the difficulties abundantly clear. He also makes clear that those claiming it’s understood haven’t the remotest clue.

    So, in conclusion, I agree with the author of this blog post that we’ll never see consciousness uploaded to a computer. But, for those who think that’s possible, why not provide proof of concept with a process that has more chance of working? Sure, we can’t yet transfer a human consciousness to a machine. But maybe we can transfer it to another animal, say another human?
    https://zapsterfiles.blob.core.windows.net/zapster-media/multimedia/3600/3551/big/47.jpg
    After all, wouldn’t the software we’re transferring have to be compatible with the “machine” we’re trying to install it on?

    Go ahead. Dare to dream!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4An1BrG2u_4

  13. @YeOldeStatistician

    “A bird is a thing, but a flock is not. No matter how many birds fly together, the flock will never become some self-conscious overbird.”

    Ever heard of mumurations?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4f_1_r80RY
    But then, they’d never be able to do that if each individual weren’t mumuration-ready, so yeah, you’re correct. They may look impressive, but doubtless no “overbird” thing going on there.

    Also, when I first put my last comment to him together, I apparently mistakenly thought he was the one who wrote about it being the matter that mattered. My apologies. Very nicely put, btw.

  14. @ swordfishtrombone
    August 17, 2019 at 11:37 am

    Huh?

    It seems to me you totally missed Ye Olde Statistician’s point.

  15. @ Yonason,

    “Yes. Those conditions correlate with altered perception and function, not necessarily consciousness, depending on what one thinks consciousness is.”

    Consciousness:
    1. the state of being aware of and responsive to one’s surroundings.
    2. a person’s awareness or perception of something.

    “Also, not all tissue damage results in pathology.”

    The guy in the case you link to did have an IQ of only 75, and wasn’t feeling well otherwise he wouldn’t have gone to the doctor in the first place. On the same link it says that worse cases result in very early death, blindness and inability to communicate, so hardly no pathology. In any case, the fact that there are some cases which we don’t fully understand doesn’t justify jumping to the conclusion that the mind is immaterial, as that is just an argument from ignorance fallacy.

    “Considering that a single cell is so vastly more complicated than any computer system we have not only made, or possibly ever could make. If it can’t be conscious, how could a mere man made machine?”

    I’m not sure that your claim about the complexity of a cell compared to a computer system is correct, but in any case, if consciousness is simply a matter of complexity, then there isn’t any need to invoke immaterial mumbo-jumbo.

    “No, they haven’t [created a scenario of how life arose].”

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/originoflife.html

    “James Tour is one of the premier synthetic organic chemists in the world.”

    I don’t care what James Tour has to say because he isn’t a biologist. (But he is a theist – big surprise there!)

    “But maybe we can transfer it [consciousness] to another animal, say another human? After all, wouldn’t the software we’re transferring have to be compatible with the “machine” we’re trying to install it on?”

    I don’t know and neither do you.

    “It seems to me you totally missed Ye Olde Statistician’s point.”

    No.

  16. @ Yonason
    But maybe we can transfer [consciousness] to another animal, say another human? After all, wouldn’t the software we’re transferring have to be compatible with the “machine” we’re trying to install it on?

    Software is the completion of the wiring of a general purpose computing machine. It’s the alternative implementation to using actual wires (hard wiring — hardware). It converts the machine from a general purpose device to a specific machine. If you are considering the mind as analogous to software then you are implying that the mind is a brain wired a particular way and that it is theoretically possible to hardwire the mind. Do you really mean that?

  17. @DAV

    No, but I wrote it that way to highlight how foolish it is to think of what makes us human as being downloadable.

    And I don’t believe that what makes us human is just “consciousness,” if for no other reason than an unconscious person is still human, and will (usually) regain consciousness not only as a human but as the same human he was prior to going unconscious. When we wake up from sleep we don’t find ourselves to have exchanged who we were with someone else, a kind of musical chairs of the mind. If that can’t happen, certainly waking up as a computer is infinitely less likely.

  18. @Yonason
    No, but I wrote it that way to highlight how foolish it is to think of what makes us human as being downloadable.

    Obviously then not a very good highlight.
    The brain is not soft wired as in completed by software. It isn’t a general purpose device that can be modified by download.

    “Consciousness” is the mind in operation. During unconsciousness the mind is not working or is working in a degraded state. Has nothing to do with being human. Nor does possessing a mind. What makes us human is genetics.

    When we wake up from sleep we don’t find ourselves to have exchanged who we were with someone else, a kind of musical chairs of the mind.

    Which in itself is more evidence that the mind is likely a product of the brain and not something channeled by the brain.

    Ask yourself, if the mind is immaterial why is it only the brain can interact with it? What makes the brain so special it is the only thing in the universe which can interact with the immaterial? Why is the mind/brain pairing unique? If the brain is merely channeling the mind, why can’t other minds take control by grabbing the driver’s seat so to speak?

    If [waking a someone else] can’t happen, certainly waking up as a computer is infinitely less likely.

    Not at all. It just means the configuration remains the same. It doesn’t mean the configuration can’t be duplicated. If the mind really is immaterial what is to stop us from duplicating that special ability of the brain that allows it to interact the immaterial?

  19. @DAV

    You seem to be overthinking this. Consciousness, as the pedestrian definition supplied by swordfishtrombone, is entirely too misunderstood a concept to be bantering about by people who haven’t a clue what it really is (myself included). I was just having a bit of fun. I hope you enjoyed, but if you didn’t, well, that’s the way it goes.

  20. @swordfishtrombone

    As to consciousness, eh, see what I wrote to DAV. And, also…

    “I don’t know [if or how consciousness can be transferred from one physical object to another] and neither do you.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bP5ssDGQ88k

    That was my point. Sorry if I wasn’t able to communicate it to your satisfaction.

    “I don’t care what James Tour has to say because he isn’t a biologist.

    Obviously, you aren’t interested in what an expert has to say. Prior to life, all there was was chemistry. A biologist can tell you nothing about it until it becomes alive. And as much as many of them make up and get wrong about living things, I’m convinced that they know a lot less about their alleged specialty then they are willing to admit.

    “(But he [James Tour] is a theist – big surprise there!)”

    So was Newton. Let’s throw out calculus as a creationist plot.

    Here James Tour AGAIN explains why it is a synthetic organic chemist you should consult, and NOT a biologist.
    https://youtu.be/r4sP1E1Jd_Y

    Deny it all you want, but the evidence isn’t in your corner.

  21. From sftb’s talkorigins link…

    “The famous ‘prebiotic soup’ experiment by Stanley Miller (Miller 1953, Miller-Urey experiment) had shown that amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, arose among other small organic molecules spontaneously by reacting a mixture of methane,…”

    A few problems…

    That reaction produces…
    1. RACEMIC MIXTURES OF…
    2. MOSTLY NON-PROTEIN AMINO ACIDS
    https://youtu.be/6xj4UH0RwcM?t=2160

    Who prevented the use of useless amino acids? I.e., who purified them, and how was it done? Nobody knows.

    Oh, yeah, and…
    3. A REDUCING ATMOSPHERE PROBABLY DID NOT EXIST on earth at that time. If so, the Miller Urey conditions could not have existed. If the atmosphere was oxidizing, those products couldn’t have been produced. They either would never have formed, or would have been rapidly degraded.

    But, hey, don’t sweat the details. Never mind what organic chemists say. You can only trust biologists.

  22. You seem to be overthinking this

    Yes, I see it now. Your posts are excellent examples of underthinking. You are obviously quite skillful in this. Kudos.

  23. @ Yonason,

    “Obviously, you aren’t interested in what an expert has to say.”

    Tour doesn’t claim that abiogenesis cannot happen, so his opinion is irrelevant to the claim that it can happen. And, HE ISN’T A BIOLOGIST!

    “So was Newton [a theist]. Let’s throw out calculus as a creationist plot.”

    Sigh. Most scientists in Newtons’ day were theists, so the fact that Newton was a theist is irrelevant. Few are today. Almost all scientists who deny evolution or abiogenesis are theists, so their theism is relevant.

    “Deny it all you want, but the evidence isn’t in your corner.”

    According to you, a non-expert (and theist) and one non-biologist (another theist). I accept the consensus position on this, as I lack the extra-scientific motivation to object to it (theism).

    “From sftb’s talkorigins link […] A few problems”

    You claimed there was no general abiogenesis scenario, I show that there is, so you move the goalposts.

    The problems you mention are covered in the TalkOrigins article, so you probably didn’t read past the first few paragraphs. Obviously, you aren’t interested in what real experts have to say because they disagree with your pre-determined position.

  24. Yonason,

    swowrdfish is also not an expert; therefore, according to him, you don’t have to pay attention to what he says.

  25. @ Briggs,

    “swowrdfish is also not an expert; therefore, according to him, you don’t have to pay attention to what he says.”

    I don’t claim to be an expert, that’s why I cite the scientific concensus rather than that of hopelessly biased individual “experts”. Also, “Tour doesn’t claim that abiogenesis cannot happen”.

    @ Yonason,

    “It shows”

    Whatever.

  26. Some thoughts coupled with some medical facts that are rarely taken on board. Maybe not reading it in a book yet, means, for some, that it’s not true. Medicine is not a pure science or a hard science. It’s just the nature of the field.

    There is excellent, clinically reliable and useful correlation between brain areas and associated function. This news is extremely old. So those denying it are objecting to medical fact and those claiming its new or revelatory are behind.

    BUT:

    Tissue healing does not necessarily correlate with symptom resolution. Nor do symptoms correlate with tissue damage, necessarily. This is the argument, quite old now, that physios have about the mechanical versos the BIO psycho, social model of understanding the person in trouble or pain. The latter approach is more successful, as it happens. Mechanical or chemical explanations alone aren’t always enough. In other words purely physical.

    Symptoms can be described as what an individual is experiencing, as opposed to signs, (which are objective/observable/measured by another). Subjective and objective are the clinical terms. In computing and science that seeks to prove, there is no subjective element. With humans there is. Every junior learns this the hard way. People aren’t computers and haven’t read the book regarding presentation and all the rest.

    it’s easy to see why there’s argument about consciousness and the ‘brain mapping’ of functional areas.

    The analogy is clear enough and fair enough about a computer at least as far as the subconscious, automatic, autonomic parts are concerned and denying that seems silly. That the brain ‘computes’.
    Machines compute because brains showed them how and designed them to do so. That is not all the human body does.

    The question always asked about why is the brain the only known thing that can interact with the immaterial?

    For something else to communicate with the consciousness it must be two directional. Not just observation of the individual, like ‘reading of the stars’, or patterns, but something interactive. A questioning, or a prediction that then can be ‘answered’ by things in the physical world and recognised by more than one individual that makes it ‘less’ subjective. It will always be considered coincidence, confirmation bias, or some other thing by someone looking for purely objective evidence. I don’t see anything wrong with that any more. People view the world differently.

    The brain does not function like wires in a ‘fixed track” of networks, kind of way. It responds to chemicals and is linked with processes all over the body. It’s not a stand alone, (obviously) but people argue as if it is. Most of the cells in the brain are immune cells associated with synapses. Cells are more complex the closer you look at the biochemistry. I’d say definitely more complex than a computer. It depends how close you look.

    There is an analogy with a computer that does make a lot of sense and probably because it came from a human brain’s consciousness in the first place. It is biomimicry of thought. That is what I understand by AI’s intent. I think something similar can be achieved or approached but my prediction is that human consciousness is a feature of the genetics which make humans. So really to make a ‘human consciousness’ you do actually need the right ingredients. Otherwise it is an approximation, good or bad. Hence it is artificial.

    For some reason there is a kind of complacency that MRI has
    somehow altered the basic problem with this kind of discussion regarding…the soul? consciousness? the mind?
    People argue at cross purposes.

  27. @Joy
    That the brain ‘computes’. Machines compute because brains showed them how and designed them to do so.

    If by ‘computes’ you mean ‘does digital arithmetic’ then no. But at least some neurons are the equivalent of analog rate integrators. The artificial neurons in an artificial neural network use a simplified model of such neurons. The following is a brief description:
    https://towardsdatascience.com/deep-learning-versus-biological-neurons-floating-point-numbers-spikes-and-neurotransmitters-6eebfa3390e9
    Ignore the “deep” in “deep learning”. What is being said applies to “not-so-deep” as well.

    More on this:
    https://towardsdatascience.com/the-differences-between-artificial-and-biological-neural-networks-a8b46db828b7

    The brain does not function like wires in a ‘fixed track” of networks, kind of way. It responds to chemicals and is linked with processes all over the body.

    “Wires” in this context is meant to be “connections”.
    If there are connections then there is a network.

    Using “wires” is likely the result of seeing the similarities between electrical and neurological connections. Don’t read too much into that.

    [biomimicry of thought] is what I understand by AI’s intent.

    Not so much mimicry as demonstrating concepts/hypotheses of workings of the mind. At least originally. It’s unfortunate that AI has come to mean pretty much “something done by computer”. Even the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence has fallen into this silliness.

    The question always asked about why is the brain the only known thing that can interact with the immaterial? For something else to communicate with the consciousness it must be two directional. … something interactive.

    A couple of things:
    1) Consciousness is a mind state. Equating the mind with consciousness is strange.
    1a) Does equating them mean one is mindless when unconscious?
    1b) Animals also can be conscious or unconscious. Do animals have minds when conscious?

    2) Being “two directional” doesn’t actually answer the question. It’s more of a characterization of the interaction than explaining how and why it occurs. One would (should?) think that the immaterial can’t interact at all with the material. At the very least, there is no evidence that it can. Yet there is the claim that the brain can interact with an immaterial mind which runs counter to all experience.

    There is an analogy with a computer that does make a lot of sense and probably because it came from a human brain’s consciousness

    Actually, no one who really understands computers thinks they are analogous to the brain. Computers are general purpose devices while the brain is not — an important distinction. What is being said (and lost in translation) is that computers theoretically can be configured (via programming) to be functionally equivalent to an operating brain and theoretically can have functioning minds assuming the mind is a product of the brain.

    It should be understood that ‘functional’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘mimics’. An attitude control system can be built using either analog or digital implementations. Two different ways of achieving the same result. One isn’t a ‘mimic’ or ‘simulation’ of the other in the sense that one of the ways is “real” or “correct” and the other is not. A functional mind in a computer would just be another mind with an alternate implementation.

  28. Thank you Dav,
    I haven’t forgotten but as before want to take time to think before answering.
    Thank you also for the links.

  29. Hmmm … about 3/4 of the way through the video he more or less says we don’t know what the experiments tell us yet spends the entire video telling us what they do. Huh???

    Yes, there is much to learn but going to the supernatural should be the last resort. There is absolutely no evidence that the immaterial exists let alone can interact with the material. “It’s just gotta be” is not evidence.

    Even if the mind is truly immaterial, what needs to be explained is why only the brain can do this supposed interaction. That apparently the brain, and only the brain, can interact implies there is some special quality of the brain allowing this. That quality would have to be physical at some point. So, what’s to stop us from duplicating this physical aspect and allow us to make “Uploading Ourselves Into Machines Is Impossible” possible?

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