On Brain Stimulation

(1) We have no fucking clue how to simulate a brain.

We can’t simulate the brain of C. Elegans, a very well studied roundworm (first animal to have its genome sequenced) in which every animal has exactly the same 302-neuron brain (out of 959 total cells) and we know the wiring diagram and we have tons of data on how the animal behaves, including how it behaves if you kill this neuron or that neuron. Pretty much whatever data you want, we can generate it. And yet we don’t know how this brain works. Simply put, data does not equal understanding. You might see a talk in which someone argues for some theory for a subnetwork of 6 or 8 neurons in this animal. Our state of understanding is that bad.

More here. I suppose I’m a bit if a ‘strong AI’ skeptic. I look at my kids and see how long a road it is to train a real live human supercomputer and think: can we even manage a project that takes decades did reach iteration to mature to see how we’ve done?

In other words, can the development of something like human intelligence, which took billions of years to make the first time be created faster than, what, thousands of years?

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