Brain-like computers

At NextBigFuture: Energy-Efficient Neuromorphic Computers

Also recently at The Economist: The machine of a new soul

Digital computers do certain types of things extremely efficiently, such as storing exact numerical data losslessly and performing predefined mathematical operations rapidly. On the other hand, many tasks that involve low signal-to-noise, incomplete data sets, and real-time data streams can be done much more efficiently by analogue or neuromorphic computers. It will be interesting to see what some of these projects bring…



An awesome post from The Rationalist Conspiracy:

Consider a self-aware computer, somewhere in the space of minds. It’s smart enough to think about itself. But it can’t have perfect self-knowledge, due to Godelian infinite recursion issues. Hence, some of its parts must remain mysterious upon self-reflection.

The computer, realizing this, needs a label to describe the parts whose behavior can be observed, but whose detailed workings are (to it) inherently mysterious. In humans, this label seems to be “consciousness”.

I grow tired of many of the pontifications on this topic. This one is a gem. If the human brain were simple, we’d be too simple-minded to understand it. I could not have said it any better.