Machine Brains.

(In the future) Machine Brains will come in many forms.

There might be accurate models of actual human brains. See: Building a Machine Brain.

Machinery will help us (our brains) explore new 3d worlds. Real, augmented and virtual.
And, surely, we, the Cyborgs, will be a step close to our Homo Sapiens Cyborgensis future with this new 3d gear.
See: 3d worlds. Real, augmented and virtual.

And machinery will increasingly help us with cognitive tasks.
Also complex things, like dealing with our social world. See: Chatbots.

And it is all necessary, as our world gets ever bigger, and the cognitive load ever larger.
I.e. imagine all the worlds we might find out there in the future....
See: Searching for intelligence. Its a big ocean out there.


Simon Laub

Building a Machine Brain.

The June 2012 issue of Scientific American has an interesting article about vast digital simulations of the brain.

According to Henry Markram, humanity could be running the first simulations of the human brain by the end of this decade, when supercomputers will be powerful enough to support the massive number of calculations needed:
The instrument (simulation) will not require that all mysteries of the brain be unravelled first. Instead it will furnish a framework to accommodate what we do know, while enabling us to make predictions about what we do not.
Markram continues:
The knowledge we generate will be integrated with existing knowledge, and the ''holes'' in the framework will be filled in with increasingly realistic detail until, eventually, we will have a unified working model of the brain - one that reproduces it accurately from the whole brain down to the level of molecules.
Our effort will depend heavily on a discipline called neuroinformatics. Vast quantities of brain-related data from all over the world need to be brought together in a coherent way, then mined for patterns or rules that describe how the brain is organized.
The predictions of how the brain operates offered up by neuroinformatics - and refined by new data - will accelerate our understanding of brain function without measuring every aspect of it. We can make predictions based on the rules we are uncovering, and then test those predictions against reality.
With the in silico brain researchers will be able to knock out a virtual gene, and see the results in ''human'' brains that are different ages and that function in distinctive ways.
Brainlike computer chips will be used to build so-called neuromorphic computers. The HBP (Human Brain Project) will print brain circuits on silicon chips, building on technology developed in the European Union project BrainscaleS and SpiNNaker.
The litmus test of the virtual brain will come when we connect it up to a virtual software representation of a body and place it in a realistic virtual environment.
Then the in silico brain will be capable of receiving information from its environment and act on it. Only after this achievement will we be able to teach it skills and judge if it is truly intelligent.
Exciting times ahead ! :-)

More to explore:
Human Brain project.

For a comment to all of this, goto my Connectome post for more.


Simon Laub

3d worlds. Real, augmented and virtual.

Back in january 2010 there was much speculation about 3d TV.
I joined in with my ''How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Eye Candy'' report.
But, now 3d video and 3d recording is actually here:
I tried it out in the Sony Building in Tokyo, august 2012. And saw myself for the first time in 3d.

Surely, great fun to reach out to your virtual arm with your real arm....
Did Michelangelo ever think of this?

Certainly, makes it clear that our brains build models of the world that we experience as reality.
Absolute reality, out there, we know very little about.

More Tokyo impressions: Video, Pics.


Simon Laub

A (chat)bot to post on your behalf on Facebook and Twitter?

If you don't have time to make posts on Facebook - Now, here is a solution for you: can take over your Facebook and Twitter accounts and post on your behalf....

You just prime it with such information as your location, age, and topics that interest you. It then analyses what you have already posted on your various social networks. Armed with this knowledge it then posts on your behalf.

Along with a bot, from e.g. Cyber Twin, you should be able to gain a lot of free time for important work. Time you would otherwise have spent on social networks such as Facebook .... :-)

Starting the Replicants Bot.

I installed the replicants bot in February 2013 (On Facebook profile: Simon in Skejby).
On the homepage one reads:
The bot attempts to simulate the activity of the user...
The bot can be seen as a virtual prothesis added to an user's account, with the aim to build him a greater social reputation.
I primed it with keywords (TV, News, Aarhus, Justin Bieber, Danish PM and more), logged off and asked my friend Jan to tell me what my new enhanced virtual self was up to...

It quickly emerged that the bot was pretty industrious...
On its wall it was complaining about all the TV it was watching...
And it was quite eager to chat. E.g. had told Jan about my new ''taste'' in music (Justin B.).
So, he asked the bot about Bieber (See: Red Arrow)
It courteously gave a ''I Like'' back.

Facebook Timeline

And, obviously, it was sharing links about everything remotely connected to its keywords.
As a good Facebook friend, Jan would go ''I Like'' to all of its shared links (Red Arrows on the Facebook page below).
But for some unknown reason it didn't really return the favor, by clicking ''I Like'' on Jans shared links.
Except... when Jans birthday was somehow involved in the conversation...

Replicants Bot Sharing Links on Facebook

According to Behaviorism:
Psychology should concern itself with the observable behavior of people and animals, not with unobservable events that take place in their minds.
And, behaviour can be explained without the need to consider internal mental states or consciousness...
Luckily (?), not many believe in behaviorism these days.
Still, you might soon be able to replicate Facebook chat without modelling deep internal mental states in the human mind...
(See: Turing Test, Nasslli 2012).

Especially, if humans on Facebook are doing nothing more than just:
a) Sharing links (containing words from a list of keywords).
b) Clicking ''I like'' on pictures and links (containing words from a list of keywords).

Certainly, my new (no-internal-states) Replicants (Facebook) Bot page looks like a genuine Facebook page...

Posted on Posterous Aug. 18th 2012.
Blogspot: [1].


Simon Laub

Searching for intelligence. Its a big ocean out there...

SETI astronomer Jill Tarter is retiring after a 35-year alien hunt. In the June 30th issue, NewScientist asks her:
SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, has been going on for 50 years. What fraction of the universe has been searched so far?
She answers:
I think a pretty accurate comparison is to consider the searchable space as being like the oceans of the Earth. We have scooped one 8-ounce glass out of the ocean, starred at it and said, is there a fish here? Well, gee, no fish?

Does this mean there are no fish in the ocean, or does that mean we haven't sampled it very well yet? I certainly think it is the latter.
On the CBS site she hints at things to come:
The ATA, for example, has been listening for signals from the many alien planet candidates discovered by NASA's Kepler space telescope. To date, Kepler has flagged more than 2,300 such potential planets. While only a small fraction have been confirmed so far, the Kepler team estimates that at least 80 percent of them will end up being the real deal [2].
And btw: In the film version of Contact the protagonist Ellie Arroway is played by Jodie Foster. Tarter conversed with the actress for months before and during filming, and Arroway was ''largely based'' on Tarter's work...[3].

Posted on Posterous July 18th 2012.


Simon Laub


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