Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Artificial and Biological Intelligence

The complexity of the thought process has not been fully understood, and perhaps will not be understood for thousands of years, if ever. Thought has been historically perceived to be either analytical/logical or abstract. Abstract thought has been romanticized, perhaps deservingly. However, it is unclear to me if the abstract thought process has been understood. The underlying similarities between quantum physics and abstract thought are intriguing, wherein the minute you try to analyze a thought, it collapses. So here arises the question of the utility of AI from the point of view of trying to generate serendipity, as opposed to focused and cold computational power. I have not understood the mechanisms by which serendipity manifests itself.

The question now arises if AI attempts to create an environment where serendipity can manifest itself in a synthetic, ¿artificial¿ manner, or to utilize the intelligence of machines to carry out tasks in a focused analytical manner that is rarely seen in humans. This prompts me to question the goals of AI, and wonder if the goals are to understand the human thought process, or to create an environment that creates and sustains productive thought.

The concept of neural networks is intricately woven with AI. Neural networks provide us with the basis of AI because it looks at a wide variety of models that is roughly similar to the way the human brain works. A perception of biological intelligence as evidenced by the examples of experiments conducted on non humans is very intriguing but it can be mimicked to some extent by the use of neural networks. Training algorithms are being constantly developed to achieve a higher level of pattern recognition by having multi layered networks although still based on traditional computing methods. The question of whether or not this AI will emulate the complex and massive parallelism employed by the human brain is a thought provoking one. The closest that might come to explaining certain biological process just might be quantum computing, as suggested by the author.

Having stated the above points, I agree with the view point that biological intelligence is multi-layered and complex. The idea of a universal consciousness has been dealt with in Jungian philosophy and to a large extent in eastern, particularly, Hindu mysticism. While this provides a rich, complex and intelligent view of consciousness, to extend this to AI would require an understanding of the philosophy that transcends the philosophy itself, into the physical realm.

Therefore, the conclusions that ensue would be to define the goals of AI in the first place, and to place an increased emphasis on understanding the human thought process. I strongly feel that the goal of computation and thought itself is to find order in chaos¿or rather to organize and analyze logic, to arrive at conclusions that are practical to the sustenance and advancement of civilization, and to maybe someday understand the abstract.

Srikanth & Arvind

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Out of the many things we respect in people, humility and humbleness is something that I consider very high. We are bound to have experiences that happen to us during the time we exist in this world and this is inevitable. I do not know for sure what determines a person to have a certain experience. It could be the parents and the family he/she is born in, the community, time, place, luck, chance, etc. But we as humans tend to think that what we have seen in our little life is the greatest experience of them all. Do we necessarily have to talk about our lives to let other people know what we have done and does talking about it really help. Psychologically it can be said that it helps create a reputation among the people we interact with but sub-consciously it starts to eat away away the little bit of humbleness left in us when it shouldn't even be a factor that should account for anything. This is not to say that we should not share our experiences with others, had Buddha not shared the knowledge that he attained during his nirvana or enlightenment we would never had known so many concepts about life that we believe in. All of us, at some point in our lives, have done things that we may not be too proud of and we may sometimes even be ashamed of. This is definitely not something that only an idealist thinks of but something that we all know and have it in us but just choose to ignore. To be humble is the greatest quality that one can cultivate. We must realize that we have all had our experiences that has allowed us to be where we are right now and in its own way every experience that one has is the greatest experience for that person and it does not accentuate what we have done by talking about it.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Please watch this video - ZEITGEIST

Please watch this video. It is not meant to be political or a religious satire. It is just a point of view that we all need to be aware of.


Saturday, July 7, 2007


there are times when I feel
that life's such an empty journey
through which I am traveling
unaware of who I am
or where I am heading
where people around me
change as the seasons
and situations arise
without any reasons

there are times when I feel lonely
lonelier than the leaf that
whithers off the tree
trying hard to believe that
I am not the only one
but ending up feeling
god has been unfair to me

there are times when I think
think about my past
not waiting for a miracle
but wishing I'd be a kid again
and hoping against hope
that this time it would last
forever and ever

there are times when I feel
that growing up is such a sin
a sin that is bestowed upon us by god
a sin that everyone has to commit
there are times when I question myself
who is more purer than god
who can love us without anything in return
who can be loved
more than we could love ourselves
whose smile can last in our memories forever
whose touch can make you feel closer to god
and I hear a voice
the voice of my conscience
shouting out aloud
a child
a child is the answer to your question..


just a poem that I wrote a long time ago

I remember those days,
when I used to wake up
early in the the morning
and look at the world
with those tiny eyes
gleaming in the first
rays of sunshine
with intense love and great hope,
listening to the birds sing
the song of love
wondering what would be in store for me
not having the slightest idea
that every moment of my life
would become history
just like the ones gone by
and I remember seeing
the sun and the sky
the same old tree
with me passing by
I knew that just as nothing has changed them
so woudn' t I
little did i know
that I was a cocoon
at the mercy of time
which would turn me into a butterfly
with wings made of hate
and a heart full of pain and lie
a lie that was told the day I was born
a lie that still lives with me
from dusk to dawn...


Too many times have I come across some very interesting facts that enforces my opinion that humans are by far the luckiest creatures to have lived/are living on this planet. We have so many imperfections in us which the typical animal kingdom is very unforgiving of. The old adage "Only the fittest will survive" is given an entirely new definition in our dictionary. Irrespective of how strong/weak we are, how smart/stupid we can be, we are still living and competing against each other, largely in a healthy way. I have very high hopes for the survival of our species and have no words to explain the intricacies of a system that we have established, if not perfected. A system where we still live together, most importantly, being aware of the differences in us.

There seems to be little reason in discrediting the fact that we are very similar to animals in so many ways and it would not be too preposterous to use that as a excuse to explain the way we do certain things. Some may call it the "animal instinct", but whatever the name, it exists in all of us, irrespective of where we are from. It's more or less like the involuntary ability in a new born to start breathing the minute it enters this world. It is not something that is taught and yet this process continues until the end of its life.

I may be contradicting myself but being such imperfect creatures, we have also perfected many things both as individuals and together as humans. This makes me question myself if we have evolved in our social interactions with others and have we perfected it or are we still in the process of learning? Just like the other questions that I have put before, the answer is pretty ambiguous. All living things have an innate ability to follow an adaptive pattern to learn/improve the various social as well as psychological complexities existing in our society. We learn from our mistakes to attain a balance, maybe even perfection as seen in some cases. This is the same principle behind a child learning not to touch something hot, possibly from its prior experience. Each experience may be entirely different from the other and so will the lesson learnt from that experience. This is strikingly similar to a bird that perfects the art of making a nest or a leopard performing an flawlessly orchestrated act of hunting down its prey.

So all it takes is our effort to be open to experiencing different things and most importantly learning from those experiences/relationships/
events that occur in our lives and we will make less mistakes and be more forgiving of other's just by realizing how imperfect we truly are.

science and religion

I have always wondered how science and religion, having been diametrically opposing concepts, have survived over such a long period of time and still continues to grow as well as coexist. It is interesting to note that what can't be explained by one is often deemed to be clarified by the other. One explains in the concept of god while the other believes in nature. If one were to carefully observe they are not so different after all.

I'd like to believe that religion was probably an institution that was established to quell the fears of the unknown, the things which were inexplicable to human intelligence. It has always been in human nature to fear something that it does not understand just as it is innate to try and attribute this unknown as someone or something that is real. So what if, religion was something that was created to play an important part in the evolving society, a part that was to quell the doubts and fears of our existence and innumerable other questions that might have intrigued people in that society? Well then it is very unfortunate that this very religion may have curtailed many human minds from thinking. The idea behind the true spirit of god seems to have been forgotten while the rigidity with which it is being practiced, further enforced.

We must consider ourselves lucky that we do live in a time where independent thought is encouraged and our freedom of expression nurtured. On the other hand, it is sad to see that most of us do not want to think anymore. We are contented to living a mundane life day after day, without ever questioning anything. Often, we justify this indifference by believing that it is beyond our intelligence to worry about something that may or may not exist! It is not to say that it is wrong for us to be happy and satisfied with what we have or to follow the rules that have been defined and established by other people. Not to digress from the topic, one must always question both science and religion, not deny or accept them blindly. We could not have formed fundamental concepts in science or religious beliefs if someone decided not to question what existed at that time. Religions that do not impose its ideas on people i.e., against their free will, that which evolves along with the ever changing society will continue to thrive for generations to come. Similarly, science will continue to grow and influence the society as long as we continue to challenge existing concepts and make an effort to come up with new ideas.

Questions of conflict

Many of us, at various instances of time might have been faced by questions that we may not have answers to. Is love being able to forgive? what is conscience? do mistakes need to be forgiven? what is fear?

We have all learnt to perceive life in our own ways. Our childhood, family, friends, experiences have all gone into becoming the person that we are. It is rather an accumulation of our experiences and thoughts over a long period that actually help us make decisions, rationalize our behavior, criticize another person etc. We all have different experiences in our lives and this is what makes us react differently to different situations that we may face. Just as there needs to be a control over desire, food, work etc, our mind needs some form of a control too.

When we are about to commit a mistake the voice inside us that holds us back from committing that mistake or the voice that urges us to admit and apologize for a mistake already committed, is the voice of conscience. We must learn to listen to this voice. What after the action is committed, do we forgive ourselves/others and move on? The answer is yes and no. The best way to find out is by asking yourself and listening to your heart and again by questioning your own conscience. It cannot be denied that it takes a lot of courage to accept ones mistake and take responsibility just as it takes a person full of love and a big heart to forgive.

J Krishnamurti, a great philosopher once said "Love is intelligence and intelligence means sensitivity i.e., to be sensitive to the situation. And the situation, if you are sensitive, will tell you what to do. But if you are insensitive, if you are already determined what to do, if you are hurt by what you have done, then insensitive action takes place".. Sometimes it is only much later that we realize how much something means to us and thats when we develop regret, grief and fear. "Fear can exist only in relationship of something else". The understanding of fear is the first step towards freedom from it. To understand fear, we must come directly in contact with it, face it and not run away from it and when you do this, you will realize how calm your mind gets". Do not get attached to anything so much that the fear of losing it, takes over you. Realize that love born from giving is far greater than love itself.


How long ago was it that we really truly enjoyed the nature in its real splender? when was the last time we had the time and intent to listen to the rain pouring down or smell the earth before and after it rains, hear the early morning birds chirping or felt the warmth of sun seep through our body on a cold day. Isnt life really about enjoying such little and simple things of beauty without pretense or judgement? We have surrounded ourselves with objects that we think will give us happiness but in reality it only leads to a greater desire and accumulation of more things. Life is as much about simple pleasures as it is about those grandoise things. Realizing to appreciate our existence in this world will go a long way in making our lives more meaningful. Do not deny urself of this joy by taking anything/anyone for granted. We must enjoy life the way its meant to be enjoyed, without being opinionated, conceited or egotistic. It is in us to transform an ordinary and simple moment into a wonderful memory or even an exhilarating experience by just living it to the fullest..


Achievement is security, the self-protective certainty of the known. To seek security in that which is nameless is to deny it. The security that may be found is only in the projection of the past, of the known. For this reason the mind must be entirely and deeply silent; but this silence cannot be purchased through sacrifice, sublimation or suppression. This silence comes when the mind is no longer seeking, no longer caught in the process of becoming. This silence is not cumulative, it may not be built up through practice. The silence must be as unknown to the mind as the timeless; for if the mind experiences the silence, then there is the experiencer who is the result of past experiences, who is cognizant of a past silence; and what is experienced by the experiencer is merely a self-projected repetition. - JIDDU KRISHNAMURTI