> Date: Thu, 23 Feb 1995 13:12:43 +0000 (GMT)
> From: "Susan Haigh" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Will it ever be possible to get AI to perfectly emulate a mind and
> brain? I cannot see how it can be, given the often irrational behaviour
> of humans when, for example, making decisions. Surely a machine will
> only operate in a purely rational manner and since it will always be
> programmed by a fallible human being in the first place, perfection
> seems unattainable.
Machines can certainly malfunction, just as people can; machines can
also have random (hence unpredictable) components; and why can't
fallible humans write programmes that are as fallible as themselves?
> >From reading recent articles in the media, animals (more specifically
> dogs) appear to have a far greater developed `sixth sense' than we do,
> or is it simply that we have not yet learned how to utilise that part
> of our brain\mind sufficiently? Susan Haigh
There is no 6th sense. Seeing, Hearing, Touch, Taste, and Smell is as
far as it goes (unless you add the inner "touch" senses of
proprioception and kinaesthesia).
I'm afraid the "6th sense" terminology, like "common sense," is just a
popular figure of speech.
The belief that we "underutilise" our brains -- which is not to be
confused with the correct observation that we are mostly lazy and idle
and hence do indeed underutilise our brains (and bodies) in that sense
-- is a myth based on wishful thinking plus a misunderstanding of the
old research on localisation of brain function and Lashley's attempts to
localise the "engram." Many areas of the brain (e.g., the frontal
regions) were "silent" when they were subjected to stimulation, and
produced no obvious deficit when they were removed. The conclusion from
that (and from the recovery of function after brain injury) was that
the brain had a lot of untapped reserve potential.
Yes it does, perhaps to protect against the eventuality of a kick in the
head; but the real underutilisation of the brain has to do with how we
choose to spend the hours of our days on earth...
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