Friday, December 9, 2011

367: The Connectionist Brain

A last look at the mind as a computer. In the previous lecture we discussed the Computational Theory of Mind, the theory also known as computationalism.

The basic idea is, of course, that a computer apparently seems to operate exactly like the brain and thence the computationalists focused on the reasoning capability of the mind.

Allow me to oversimplify, for this can become very technical otherwise. The computationalists saw the mind as using a kind of language of thought with its own rules and syntax.

However, there were others who had a closer look at the brain itself. What they saw was not some logic machine, but networks of neurons and synapses. Whole networks of them.

In the picure behind me you see a schematic representation of a neural network. As I said , I simplify, but you could read it as such. When you look at all the lines you may understand why this theory is called connectionism.

You get a multitude of input, this is evaluated in that 'hidden layer' and leads to an output. Example: the sonar of a submarine tries to identify mines underwater.

The sonar receives a sound (Is if from a rock or a mine?), a spectrum of frequencies. All the nodes in the hidden layer have learnt what frequency what mean and all hidden layer nodes inform the output nodes about their findings.

And when you take all these output data together you get the answer: "Sorry guys, that is a rock." Such a neural network doesn't know that by itself. You tell it, these are the frequencies, you receive when it is a mine, That has to be your output.

It gets an sonar input to practice with. It knows to what output it should lead and then it starts adjusting the settings in the hidden layer in such a way that it finally obtains the desired output.

It may sound like a simple process but it isn't. To "teach" a neural network (I mean a computer), it can needs hundreds of thousands of trails for learning a simple task. It learns by trail and error.

Is that similar to the mind? We sometimes only need a few trails to learn new things. Young children seem to master new words every two hours, where a neural network needs millions of trails.

Advocats of connectionism often emphasize that digital computers are poor at perceptual recognition but amazingly good at mathematical tasks and data crunching.

In other words,whilst connectionist networks are good at what we are good at and bad at what we are bad at, digital computers are bad at what we are good at and good at what we are bad at!

This is taken as evidence for connectionism and against the computational theory of mind . A nice try, but there are still so many problems left, that I think, that computers are just simplistic representations of some of our functions of the mind.

Take for instance rationality, logic. For example, there is a causal relationship between my thought (mental state) that Mr. X is dumb and my thought that someone is dumb.

The first thought caused the second, and there is a rational relationship between'Mr. X is dumb' and 'Someone is dumb'. Matter of simple logic.

Take this argument, for example: If Joann dyes her hair, John will laugh. Joann dyed her hair, therefore John laughed. A valid reasoning.

Now this one; If Joann dyes her hair, John will laugh. Joann did not dye her hair. John did not laugh. Hold on, not true, John did laugh. Oh sorry. Yes because Joann suggested to dye her hair. Therefore an invalid reasoning.

We need not much training to understand this simple logic. An experiment by Bechtel and Abrahamsen in 1991showed that a neural network could discover the difference between a valid and invalid reasoning.

However, we need to proceed with caution. To begin with, the neural network needed over half a million training trials to obtain an accuracy of only 76 percent.

Even with a further two million training trials the network was still only 84 percent accurate. This is hardly a triumphant result.

My conclusion? Despite all exciting futuristic science fiction computers from HAL to Data, never expect to find a mind in your computer, as the machine is defined as it is now.

The Discussion

[13:31] herman Bergson: Thank you.... ㋡
[13:31] Lizzy Pleides: Thank you Herman!
[13:31] herman Bergson: The floor is yours..
[[13:32] herman Bergson: I guess you all have to reset? ㋡
[13:33] Mistyowl Warrhol: LOL, resetting process starting.
[13:33] Sybyle Perdide: maybe overloaded
[13:33] Lizzy Pleides: yes it was a lot of information
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: reebooting my saiyan drives
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: but i think i got the most
[13:33] herman Bergson: take your time to reread it...
[13:34] herman Bergson: we'll wait a few minutes
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: seems fairly logical, that even after so many tries it cant get better results
[13:34] Mick Nerido: I have to go rescue a bird
[13:34] Mick Nerido: Bye
[13:34] Sybyle Perdide: may I ask..
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: the computer just program itself and then fiollows this new instructions but still don't understand what its actually doing
[13:34] herman Bergson: ok Mick
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: like we do
[13:34] Mistyowl Warrhol: So we have the best computers already.. and the best brains?
[13:35] Lizzy Pleides: both can improve i guess
[13:35] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): we have the best computers till now...they are going to be better and better..
[13:35] Sybyle Perdide: you told us, a digital system is not good enough for a
[13:35] herman Bergson: Our brains are better than computers....or better..our mind is
[13:36] herman Bergson: There was the believe to create artificial intelligence...
[13:36] Sybyle Perdide: the trails
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: yes cause we understand what we are doing, computers are much faster but they cant understand at all what they do and thus "training " a computer is very hard
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: cause as i said it cant understand at all what it actually does
[13:37] herman Bergson: and to some extend it was achieved...but not in the way our mind works, but how computers work
[13:37] Mistyowl Warrhol: Maybe what I mean is ...our brains and computers are basic.. It is how we learn to use them in the future that will be improved.
[13:37] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): why do we want a computer that works like our brain?
[13:37] herman Bergson: and what these AI computers do LOOKs like how our mind works...
[13:37] Lizzy Pleides: the computer is a tool i think
[13:38] Sybyle Perdide: good question Beertje
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:38] herman Bergson: but only in limited areas
[13:38] herman Bergson: Ok Beertje...
[13:38] Mistyowl Warrhol: I think our goal should be a melding of brain and computer.. When our brains can effect a computer directly.. and get feed back from the computer.
[13:38] herman Bergson: What we want is to understand the mind....
[13:39] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): yes..but why do we want a computer that works like our brain?
[13:39] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): what is the use of that?
[13:39] herman Bergson: when we can recreate in a computer what a mind leads to some understanding
[13:39] Mistyowl Warrhol: Not like a computer, but with a computer.
[13:40] herman Bergson: take it into absurdum....
[13:40] Mistyowl Warrhol: Example, computer for stroke patients. in which the eye looks at the screen and makes changes.
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: a yes and you blink to click
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: i've seen a such one
[13:40] herman Bergson: if we create a computer that can take over all our htinking....we could go on vacation....
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: haha but how fun would that be after a while
[13:41] Mistyowl Warrhol: We would not need a keyboard, just our brain to operate one.
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: lol
[13:41] herman Bergson: in a way that is the basic idea behind those movies
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: aaa
[13:41] herman Bergson: cyborgs...
[13:41] herman Bergson: the ones with Schwarzengegger...
[13:41] herman Bergson: ah
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: but remember how hard it is to even make a computer operate on speech
[13:41] Mistyowl Warrhol: Naww, I want one to work along side my brain..
[13:41] herman Bergson: Terminator
[13:41] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): i don't want such a computer..i'd rather think for myself
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: i saw they did it successfully in 84 even
[13:42] herman Bergson: Yes Beertje..that is the battle in Terminator...
[13:42] Sybyle Perdide: our mind is not rational all the time, so a computer who had a mind, would be so too?
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: but still i cant get my machine to understand much of what i say with different programs
[13:42] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): never seen the Terminator
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: and now its 2011
[13:42] herman Bergson: Good point Sybyle....
[13:42] Sybyle Perdide: and if so, a computer is a logical working machine.. so it would get into trouble with itself
[13:42] Sybyle Perdide: and would never be able to be like us
[13:42] herman Bergson: that is the quintessential point of my doubts about all beliefs in Artificial intelligence
[13:43] Mistyowl Warrhol: well, then it is like our brains.. our brains get into trouble all the time.
[13:43] Mistyowl Warrhol: Ok, mine does anyway.
[13:44] Lizzy Pleides: some people don't have that, lol
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: hahaha
[13:44] herman Bergson: It is interesting to see how cognitive scinece canmodel parts of our mind into computer models..
[13:44] herman Bergson: but it is only a small part of the mind
[13:44] Mistyowl Warrhol: But think of a computer, that could work with a brain, helping paraplegics to walk again.. People with brain damage to relearn..
[13:45] herman Bergson: what about desires, expectations, feelings, emotions, needs, despair?
[13:45] herman Bergson: In fact...Artificial intelligence already gives us a clue...
[13:45] Sybyle Perdide: oh goddess, I have enough despair for my own
[13:45] herman Bergson: computers are related to intelligent behavior..
[13:46] herman Bergson: and indeed...computers can display intelligent behavior
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: a computer can be made to act as if it feels when given an input but still it stritly then only follows dumb instructions exactly how it should respond
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: only what we have told it
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: and it cant understand or feel them
[13:46] herman Bergson: no...
[13:47] herman Bergson: Our next station is the phenomenon of consciousness....
[13:47] herman Bergson: a mental state not a ingle computer has achieved except in Science fiction movies
[13:48] herman Bergson: That is the hard part for all theories of mind....
[13:48] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): the hard part is yet to come..?
[13:48] herman Bergson: oh yes Beertje....
[13:48] Mistyowl Warrhol: yes, staying conscious :-)
[13:48] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): omg..
[13:48] herman Bergson: smiles
[13:49] herman Bergson: Mick is trying to save a bird while he looks like a dead bird himself :-)
[13:49] herman Bergson: We have seen all attempts to formulate a thery of mind now
[13:49] Mistyowl Warrhol: Mick is unconscious on here so he can be consious in RL
[13:50] herman Bergson: from dualism to connectionism...
[13:50] herman Bergson: and all can't explain consciousness...
[13:50] herman Bergson: the first person experience we have of our selves
[13:51] herman Bergson: That will be our final chapter of this project
[13:52] herman Bergson: the quintessential question is: Are we our brain?
[13:52] Qwark Allen: ::::::::: * E * X * C * E * L * L * E * N * T * ::::::::::
[13:52] Lizzy Pleides: and if we are not, ... what are we?
[13:52] herman Bergson: or is the mind something more than just the working of the brain
[13:53] Qwark Allen: i think we answer that question weeks ago
[13:53] herman Bergson: Yes Lizzy...indeed
[13:53] Mistyowl Warrhol: Or is the mind physical or something else. The brain being a vessel.
[13:53] herman Bergson: In what way Qwark?
[13:53] Qwark Allen: that our mind is our brain
[13:53] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): wb Mick
[13:53] herman Bergson: yes..but in what way...
[13:54] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): is the bird saved?
[13:54] Qwark Allen: when the brain is damaged, there is no mind
[13:54] herman Bergson: true...
[13:54] Qwark Allen: look at alzheimer patients
[13:54] Mick Nerido: No some people scared it away
[13:54] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): is that really true?
[13:54] Qwark Allen: they die completely oblivious to what is around them
[13:54] herman Bergson: yes ..all true Qwark
[13:54] Lizzy Pleides: alzheimer, No. they still have a personality
[13:54] Qwark Allen: they even don`t know how to eat
[13:54] Mistyowl Warrhol: The data is there, just the brain can not reach it to process it.
[13:55] Qwark Allen: in the last stages, they lost all capacities
[13:55] Qwark Allen: all
[13:55] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): but they still have a mind
[13:55] Mistyowl Warrhol: Can we teach the rest of the brain to take over control for damaged parts..
[13:55] Qwark Allen: the moments of lucid are so rare, that at a point there are no more lucid ones
[13:55] Mistyowl Warrhol: That is possible in small children.
[13:55] herman Bergson: yes Qwark...
[13:56] Qwark Allen: to see that , we are our brain, we got to see, the ones with damaged brain
[13:56] herman Bergson: and the only cause is the breakdown of the brain...
[13:56] herman Bergson: they even can point at the proteins that cause it..or the lack of those
[13:56] Qwark Allen: in alzheimer, the neurons are substituted by aluminum plates
[13:57] Qwark Allen: heehhe in a joke, we can say, in the end we can recycle them
[13:57] Lizzy Pleides: when there is an interaction between the brain and another structure and the brain don't work anymore
[13:57] herman Bergson: And Beertje said..they still have a mind....
[13:57] herman Bergson: and that is true too
[13:58] Qwark Allen: i have to go, was really nice lecture herman, one more step to realize what are we, and where are we going
[13:58] Mistyowl Warrhol: Just need to find a way to get around the block.
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes ㋡
[13:58] herman Bergson: yes Qwark...
[13:58] Lizzy Pleides: TC Qwark
[13:58] Sybyle Perdide: bye Qwark
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: really great once again
[13:58] Mistyowl Warrhol: TC Qwark.. Tell Gemma hi and give her a hug plz
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:58] Qwark Allen: i think in the end, we`ll be half human, half computer
[13:58] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:58] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: hahah ok
[13:59] Qwark Allen: ok hun
[13:59] Bejiita Imako: cyborgs
[13:59] herman Bergson: Resistance is futile..........
[13:59] Qwark Allen: something like that
[13:59] Qwark Allen: ¸¸.☆´ ¯¨☆.¸¸`☆** **☆´ ¸¸.☆¨¯`☆ H E R MA N ☆´ ¯¨☆.¸¸`☆** **☆´ ¸¸.☆¨¯`
[13:59] Qwark Allen: ahahahh lol
[13:59] Bejiita Imako: hehe was just thinking about the BORG
[13:59] Bejiita Imako: you will be assimilated, resistance is futile!
[13:59] Mistyowl Warrhol: I just want to see through the universe..
[13:59] herman Bergson: We all belong in the hyve..
[13:59] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[14:00] herman Bergson: But there is one problem....
[14:00] herman Bergson: philosophically...
[14:00] herman Bergson: also with the BORG...
[14:00] Bejiita Imako: but the borg seems to be more machines then intelligent beings
[14:00] herman Bergson: They had that Queen..she had a MIND of her own????!!!!!!!
[14:00] Mistyowl Warrhol: NO comment !!!!
[14:00] herman Bergson: so why was HER mind different from the borg mind???
[14:01] herman Bergson: How could that be?
[14:01] Bejiita Imako: and 7 of 9 too
[14:01] herman Bergson: She had a mind filled with desires and goals
[14:01] Mistyowl Warrhol: She was a woman.. and her mind was more complex for them to grasp..
[14:01] Bejiita Imako: ah
[14:01] herman Bergson: no...7 of 9 was just released from the bog and regained her human mind
[14:02] Bejiita Imako: aa yes she readapted to her usual self
[14:02] Bejiita Imako: thats how it was
[14:02] herman Bergson: yes ..
[14:02] Bejiita Imako: all borg implants was removed sort of
[14:02] Bejiita Imako: so she became human again
[14:02] Bejiita Imako: human
[14:02] herman Bergson: The philosophical problem is the Queen of the Borg Hyve...
[14:02] Bejiita Imako: cause in the beginning she wasn't cooperative at all
[14:03] Bejiita Imako: aaa the collective mind
[14:03] herman Bergson: She was as human as every individual human mind
[14:03] Bejiita Imako: and the queen like the master cpu with the borg as slave machines or clients
[14:03] Bejiita Imako: all thinking like a grid
[14:04] herman Bergson: no Bejiita..that queen had a will of her own...and the hyve just had to follow her will
[14:04] Bejiita Imako: yes she has but the rest are like one big mind taking instructions from her
[14:04] Mistyowl Warrhol: She took in input and reprocessed it out.
[14:05] Bejiita Imako: its a bit like the LHC grid at cern, takes instructions from an operator
[14:05] Bejiita Imako: then use millions of computers to act like one big supercomputer
[14:05] Bejiita Imako: a collective mind
[14:05] Mistyowl Warrhol: Ok, bit my tongue long enough.. The rest were just not wired the same.
[14:06] herman Bergson: Again Bejiita.....the philosophical problem in the Borg issue is that that Queen had an individual mind....where did it come from ..where was it going to?
[14:06] Bejiita Imako: aa indeed
[14:06] herman Bergson: ok...
[14:07] herman Bergson: Resistance is class is nextThursday.
[14:07] herman Bergson: class dismissed
[14:07] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[14:07] herman Bergson: and Thank you all :-)
[14:07] Bejiita Imako: this is awesome
[14:07] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[14:07] Bejiita Imako: thx herman
[14:07] Sybyle Perdide: it was really great, Herman
[14:07] Mistyowl Warrhol: Very good class. much to think about.. Ty human, Herman
[14:07] Rodney Handrick: thanks Herman
[14:07] herman Bergson: thank you Sybyle ㋡
[14:07] Bejiita Imako: o time for Qs party
[14:08] Bejiita Imako: co soon all
[14:08] Bejiita Imako: hugs
[14:08] Bejiita Imako: cu
[14:08] herman Bergson: have fun Bejiita
[14:08] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[14:08] Bejiita Imako: i will
[14:08] Mistyowl Warrhol: yes, just got my tp, but need to do something first.
[14:08] Mick Nerido: Thanks Herman
[14:08] :: Beertje :: (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman:)
[14:08] Mick Nerido: I will read this later
[14:08] herman Bergson: did you save the bird Mick?
[14:09] Mick Nerido: It go away
[14:09] Sybyle Perdide: bye Misty
[14:09] Mick Nerido: Maybe tomorrow it will come back
[14:10] herman Bergson: Bye Misty...
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