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

No comments: