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whoneedscience 03-14-2006 06:38 PM

Okay, so this is not the argument I thought I would get into, but off and on for the past few weeks I've found myself discussing the nature of the human brain with a computer scientist. Today, he made me listen to Beethoven and then proceeded to argue that no computer could ever come up with something so complicated. Not just that humans are better at it, or that modern computers don't have enough power or the right programming to compose a symphony, but that they fundamentally cannot. The brain is not a "meat machine", he insists.

My argument is that it is clearly possible for some physical device to create art, because clearly humans can, and that computers still follow the same laws of nature, just differently. He pretty much ignored this, and pointed back to Beethoven, emphasizing that it is so complicated, and look at how he put these parts in to have this effect and that it was such a bold movement and couldn't possibly be just a new step in cultural evolution. I told him that's not an argument at all, and it's no better than a creationist pointing at the human eye, but he guffawed and pointed back to Beethoven.

Now, it may well be that he is, in some sense, right, or that I'm misunderstanding him (I don't know enough about how neurons make connections or how they could be modeled in another medium, particularly silicon) but the thing that really struck me is that he's trying to make a philosophical claim that there is some human essence that is not contained in the brain: a Cartesian Soul, although he again refuses to address it. The man has a P.h.D in mathematics and studies biological systems modeling, so I'm simply baffled by this.

Does anyone have any resources or opinions on this? I'll probably see him again on Thursday. Rhinoq? Scathach? Judge?

IMightAdd 03-14-2006 06:53 PM

Disclaimer: I know jack shit about the science of this matter, just the logic.

It seems to me that his only pseudo-logical argument agaist a computer having the capacity to produce art is that art is simply too complicated. Is he somehow suggesting that computers are at their maximum level of complexity, or that there exists such a boundary, or that the human brain is well above this boundary? As far as I care, the brain is a computer; so there is clear proof that computers are capable of art.

Rhinoqulous 03-14-2006 06:56 PM

Your friend seems to assume that the "beauty" or "art" of Beet-hoven's music exists in the music itself, and not from his conscious experience of the music. Have him listen to Autechre (damn-it, won't link to the song; just search for Autechre on the BLEEP site, and take a listen to the song Gantz_Graf for this reference) and see if he considers it to be "art" or "beautiful". If he doesn't think it is a "beautiful" song, I can fill pages on why that song blows Beethoven out of the water (well, maybe not Beet-hoven, he's da bomb, but definitely that chump Mozart). The point is it doesn't matter how complex the system is, the individual imposes the “art” of the system/object on the object. Run to the library and find a book of post-modern art or found-art, and see how art can come from the description alone of the object, regardless of the complexity or origin of the object.

So yes, a machine can produce "art". Whether or not that same machine can "appreciate" said art is a different question entirely.

Choobus 03-14-2006 07:00 PM

Imagine if computers did become sentient. That would make wanking off to internet porn really awkward.

Rhinoqulous 03-14-2006 07:19 PM

Quote:

Choobus wrote
Imagine if computers did become sentient. That would make wanking off to internet porn really awkward.

:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

You better not get any in my keyboard this time, Dave.
:lol:

peepnklown 03-14-2006 07:30 PM

Quote:

whoneed wrote
Today, he made me listen to Beethoven and then proceeded to argue that no computer could ever come up with something so complicated.

Point him to DNA computers.

whoneedscience 03-14-2006 07:32 PM

Quote:

Rhinoqulous wrote
Have him listen to Autechre (damn-it, won't link to the song; just search for Autechre on the BLEEP site, and take a listen to the song Gantz_Graf for this reference) and see if he considers it to be "art" or "beautiful". If he doesn't think it is a "beautiful" song, I can fill pages on why that song blows Beethoven out of the water (well, maybe not Beet-hoven, he's da bomb, but definitely that chump Mozart).

So that is computer generated? Do they have any more that you know are 100% computer generated? Something tells me that wouldn't convince him.

Quote:

Rhinoqulous wrote
The point is it doesn't matter how complex the system is, the individual imposes the “art” of the system/object on the object. Run to the library and find a book of post-modern art or found-art, and see how art can come from the description alone of the object, regardless of the complexity or origin of the object.

So yes, a machine can produce "art". Whether or not that same machine can "appreciate" said art is a different question entirely.

Yeah, he said a lot about how a computer couldn't design a piece of art to have an effect on people, so I assume he meant more that a machine cannot appreciate it. My argument is that the brain is a computer, programmed by evolution to find and appreciate patterns, and the fact that we can describe our feelings on the matter in no way means that we are not programmed, or that we can't, potentially, build a machine that does exactly what our brain does.

Mog 03-14-2006 07:54 PM

I'd have to agree with Whoneedsscience on that Autechre piece. That is not convincing. If I was to attempt to make a computer that will generate complex artistic sounding music that is pleasing to the human ear, I'd probably build a database of popular melodies and create a program that derives music roughly out of those melodies. I suspect that many so called creative humans do something like that subconsciously, anyway. I'm not a musician, but I can recognize thousands of popular songs within 5 seconds of hearing it. So, I think the real question of study is why do we perceive some things as being beautiful and other things as being ugly? If we can crack this, then we can insert the proper amount of prejudice to the randomly generated melodies of computers.

Eva 03-14-2006 08:41 PM

...huh huh......meat machine....huh huh huh.....

sounds like the title for a blaxsploitation (sp?) porn flick......

Rhinoqulous 03-14-2006 09:27 PM

Mog, Who, you seem to have missed my point. I used the Autechre song as it's not "traditional" music (I'm sorry that I made it appear that it was completely computer generated, it's not; it's "non-repetitive music, where each measure is distinct from every other measure in the song), something most people wouldn't find "aesthetic pleasure" in. My point was more about "art" than AI. A computer can generate art because pretty much anything can be "defined" as art.

As for a computer intentionally generating art, it seems odd that your friend would insist that it can never happen. His insistence that our brains are not "meat machines" is absurd. If he wants to say current computers are nothing like the human brain, well, of course they're not. By why he thinks that it would not be logically possible to generate something equable to human consciousness (and all that would imply) from something other than the human brain is narrow-minded.

a different tim 03-15-2006 03:53 AM

Turing dealt with most of these claims in his original paper proposing AI (and also disposes of the entire Penrose "computer's can't be sentient because they can't do Godel questions" book in one economical sentence, 40 years before Penrose wrote it.....).

Well worth reading. I linked to it before in one of the free will arguments but it's one of the posts that got lost.

Tenspace 03-15-2006 11:31 AM

Your friend needs to read Deutsch.

schemanista 03-15-2006 11:45 AM

Quote:

Rhinoqulous wrote
Your friend seems to assume that the "beauty" or "art" of Beet-hoven's music exists in the music itself, and not from his conscious experience of the music.

Touche. I'm reminded of things like the pomo generator which produces essays which are disturbingly like the "real things".

And what about Wave DNA which in the words of a local geek blogger: "is a "music reverse engineering tool" whose purpose is to analyse music for patterns. It breaks down music into fundamental units of pitch, duration and "feel" and perfoms analysis on those elements and their arrangement. The potential uses for this application are vast and interesting, ranging from analysing what makes a good commercial jingle (by analysing the most-remembered ones and seeing what their common qualities are) to a Ph.D. thesis project in which a researcher is trying to determine what makes a song a lullaby. "

Doesnt' seem too big a stretch from that to computer-generated music which is indistinguishable from that created by humans.

whoneedscience 03-15-2006 12:45 PM

Quote:

Tenspace wrote
Your friend needs to read Deutsch.

this?

a different tim 03-15-2006 03:00 PM

Or possibly this.

Wolfram tones. Good for a laugh.....the "signalling" ones can turn out quite haunting. Eno has also done a fair amount of generative music. You can even go back to Reich and co using physical processes to make music. I do "pendulum music" with my music tech students every year just to try and break them out of the idea that they have to control every aspect of music making.....

On the other hand, Sloboda (Cognitive Psychology of Music, 1985) gives some examples of music generated by Sundberg and Lindblom according to a generative schema drawing on Chomsky, and you can tell from the score, without even listening (and I'm not a fluent score reader) which ones are generated and which ones aren't. Mind you that is a pretty old example and you could argue that there is something wrong with the schema, or something hard to duplicate about the genre (Swedish nursery tunes!) instead of it being a problem with generative processes per se. Ah, yes, it's all coming back to me now. It's a while since I looked at that stuff.

I rather like generative stuff myself although I tend to prefer stuff like Reich phase pieces (which I think are related as they again use physical processes - in this case tape speed - to generate novel melodies). In fact I really like Reich phase pieces. They're great. I urge you all to listen to lots of Steve Reich. When I were a lad we didn't have computers etc etc.....

Facehammer 03-15-2006 03:06 PM

If it's any help, here's a post I made in another forum for a chap who was arguing that consciousness is somehow seperate from the physical brain.


"OK, neurons 101. The 'electrochemical energy' is produced by ions and their movement.
When a neuron isn't sending a signal, it has a potential difference (voltage) of about -70 mV lower than its outside surface. This is called the resting potential. This is because proteins in the cell's membrane allow a net movement of positive sodium ions out of the cell (positive potassium ions move in, but I'll not go into that). When the neuron detects an impulse at its recieving synapse (more on synapses in a minute) other proteins - sodium channels, they're called - in the cell membrane open, allowing the sodium ions to move in. Once inside the cell, they diffuse out around where they came in, increasing the potential difference in that area, which causes more sodium channels in these other areas to open and allow sodium ions in. The inside of the cell becomes more positively-charged than the outside. This is called depolarisation.

When part of the inside of the cell has become sufficiently positively-charged, the sodium channels close again and the first protein I mentioned starts moving the sodium ions out again. The inside of the cell becomes more negatively-charged than the outside again. This is called repolarisation. Repolarisation will make the cell a bit more negatively-charged than the resting potential, so that the sodium channels cannot open again until all of the sodium ions inside the cell have been pumped out. Once the sodium ions have moved out the cell is restored to its resting potential and the sodium channels are free to open again. This mechanism prevents a nerve impulse going the wrong way, and ensures that nerve impulses remain distinct from each other.

But enough of that. A synapse is a junction between two neurons, through which a depolarisation may be transmitted. There is a tiny gap between the two neurons. In the pre-synaptic neuron are a bunch of little sacs containing proteins called neurotransmitters (which neurotransmitter depends on what part of the nervous system the neuron is part of). When a depolarisation reaches these sacs, they move to the surface of the neuron and release the neurotransmitter molecules inro the synapse. The neurotransmitter molecules diffuse across the synaptic gap to the post-synaptic neuron, where they are detected by protein receptors. Part of the structure of these receptors is of a shape that allows the neurotransmitter molecule to fit inside it. When a neurotransmitter molecule attaches itself to that part of a receptor, the receptor causes the sodium channels in th post-synaptic neuron to open, and hence a depolarisation to occur.

So. How would the ions (or neurotransmitters for that matter) being dispersed into the environment allow for consciousness to survive after death? And where is there any need in all of that for an independent, non-physical consciousness?

Edit: what consciousness is doesn't matter here, as you said that it's seperate from the body and I'm saying it's not."

Here's the thread.

a different tim 03-15-2006 03:32 PM

You'd have liked scathach's "illusion of consciousness" thread, which I think got regrettably eaten by the evil thread eating server monster. She's a pretty hardcore materialist neuroscientist. Ask her about dendrites sometime.....

There's some stuff on the "wonder bone" thread starting about post 109 (actually carrying on from an earlier conversation about sound illusions) which is relevant, especially scat's post on the Libet experiments, and some other stuff scattered about the threads as well. Then we all went off and read Ramchandram on neuropsychology. No-one in neuroscience, as far as I can tell, thinks consciousness is separate from the body, you'll be pleased to hear, not even the ones who are a bit religious on the side.

Steve Reich! Don't forget!

Rhinoqulous 03-15-2006 03:46 PM

Quote:

a different tim wrote
Steve Reich! Don't forget!

Steve Reich is the bomb! My favorite is Music For 18 Musicians.

Tenspace 03-15-2006 03:52 PM

Quote:

whoneedscience wrote
Quote:

Tenspace wrote
Your friend needs to read Deutsch.

this?

Yep.

Tenspace 03-15-2006 03:52 PM

Quote:

whoneedscience wrote
Quote:

Tenspace wrote
Your friend needs to read Deutsch.

this?

Yep.

whoneedscience 03-15-2006 11:25 PM

Quote:

a different tim wrote
No-one in neuroscience, as far as I can tell, thinks consciousness is separate from the body, you'll be pleased to hear, not even the ones who are a bit religious on the side.

Yeah, that's what has me so confused. This guy is very intelligent, and he works in a related field. I'm just wondering if there's some part of the human brain that is beyond the capacity of any other method to replicate. For instance, I remember reading an article a couple years ago where people discovered that glial cells actually played a role in processing information, and they seemed to be completely shocked that they'd missed it for so long. Alas, I don't know anything more about it, and sciam, my other-field lifeblood, is a license nazi (I believe the article was something like "the other half of the brain").

whoneedscience 03-15-2006 11:25 PM

Quote:

a different tim wrote
No-one in neuroscience, as far as I can tell, thinks consciousness is separate from the body, you'll be pleased to hear, not even the ones who are a bit religious on the side.

Yeah, that's what has me so confused. This guy is very intelligent, and he works in a related field. I'm just wondering if there's some part of the human brain that is beyond the capacity of any other method to replicate. For instance, I remember reading an article a couple years ago where people discovered that glial cells actually played a role in processing information, and they seemed to be completely shocked that they'd missed it for so long. Alas, I don't know anything more about it, and sciam, my other-field lifeblood, is a license nazi (I believe the article was something like "the other half of the brain").

a different tim 03-16-2006 03:07 AM

There may be some part of the brain and its processing that is impossible to replicate with current knowledge, in fact probably quite a lot of it. But he is essentially arguing from irreducible comlexity, same as the ID guys (and you're right to call him on that). Basically he's offering proof by assertion ("Beethoven is too complex to be produced by a machine because I say so"). It's no defence against the lucidity of the Turing paper.

Now it is possible to make a case that computing systems, even if they replicate behaviour (i.e. actually produce the composition) miss some important aspect of consciousness - for example, Searle's Chinese room argument - but your friend doesn't seem to be bothering to actually make that case. Even Searle doesn't argue that there is something separate from the body, just something that can't be captured using a functionalist (computational) model of consciousness.

a different tim 03-16-2006 03:07 AM

There may be some part of the brain and its processing that is impossible to replicate with current knowledge, in fact probably quite a lot of it. But he is essentially arguing from irreducible comlexity, same as the ID guys (and you're right to call him on that). Basically he's offering proof by assertion ("Beethoven is too complex to be produced by a machine because I say so"). It's no defence against the lucidity of the Turing paper.

Now it is possible to make a case that computing systems, even if they replicate behaviour (i.e. actually produce the composition) miss some important aspect of consciousness - for example, Searle's Chinese room argument - but your friend doesn't seem to be bothering to actually make that case. Even Searle doesn't argue that there is something separate from the body, just something that can't be captured using a functionalist (computational) model of consciousness.

Bighead 03-16-2006 08:35 AM

Quote:

whoneedscience wrote
Now, it may well be that he is, in some sense, right, or that I'm misunderstanding him (I don't know enough about how neurons make connections or how they could be modeled in another medium, particularly silicon) but the thing that really struck me is that he's trying to make a philosophical claim that there is some human essence that is not contained in the brain: a Cartesian Soul, although he again refuses to address it. The man has a P.h.D in mathematics and studies biological systems modeling, so I'm simply baffled by this.

Does anyone have any resources or opinions on this? I'll probably see him again on Thursday. Rhinoq? Scathach? Judge?

I'm not completely sure if I am addressing what you are talking about here in regards to neuron connections or being bodeled in another medium, however a few years ago, I was watching something about scientists who have actually grown brain cells on microchips. I am trying to find some information on the study right now. I will post when I find it, or if this has absolutely nothing to do with what you are saying, I'll just stop looking...

Also, about whether or not computers can make art, that is appreciable to human standards, just take a look at fractals. I've seen some pretty amazing pictures that were done completely with computers (albeit with the input of the mathematical formulas by humans)

Bighead 03-16-2006 08:35 AM

Quote:

whoneedscience wrote
Now, it may well be that he is, in some sense, right, or that I'm misunderstanding him (I don't know enough about how neurons make connections or how they could be modeled in another medium, particularly silicon) but the thing that really struck me is that he's trying to make a philosophical claim that there is some human essence that is not contained in the brain: a Cartesian Soul, although he again refuses to address it. The man has a P.h.D in mathematics and studies biological systems modeling, so I'm simply baffled by this.

Does anyone have any resources or opinions on this? I'll probably see him again on Thursday. Rhinoq? Scathach? Judge?

I'm not completely sure if I am addressing what you are talking about here in regards to neuron connections or being bodeled in another medium, however a few years ago, I was watching something about scientists who have actually grown brain cells on microchips. I am trying to find some information on the study right now. I will post when I find it, or if this has absolutely nothing to do with what you are saying, I'll just stop looking...

Also, about whether or not computers can make art, that is appreciable to human standards, just take a look at fractals. I've seen some pretty amazing pictures that were done completely with computers (albeit with the input of the mathematical formulas by humans)

Bighead 03-16-2006 08:42 AM

here is a link to one study done in which they grew rat hippocampal cells on silicon chips. It's in PDF format

Rat Brains

edit: that study was from 1999

edit: here's another one from 2000

more rat brains

Bighead 03-16-2006 08:42 AM

here is a link to one study done in which they grew rat hippocampal cells on silicon chips. It's in PDF format

Rat Brains

edit: that study was from 1999

edit: here's another one from 2000

more rat brains

schemanista 03-16-2006 10:14 AM

I'm reminded of the old LISPer joke: "Will write code that writes code for food"

schemanista 03-16-2006 10:14 AM

I'm reminded of the old LISPer joke: "Will write code that writes code for food"

whoneedscience 03-16-2006 04:42 PM

Well, I just talked with him. It seems as though he's completely dropped the idea. I can't say that I had anything to do with it (or if he is just being a dick, for that matter) but we talked mostly about the implications of mixing electronics and neurology.

One interesting point was in the emerging ability for people to build artificial retinas for people who are legally blind. The potential is that such implants could respond far more quickly and with greater range of perception than the biological version (which have to "recharge" their Na/K pumps to build and action potential, etc.). Then, what if you can do the same thing for the rest of the brain? What does that do for our entire perception of reality? Rhinoq?

whoneedscience 03-16-2006 04:42 PM

Well, I just talked with him. It seems as though he's completely dropped the idea. I can't say that I had anything to do with it (or if he is just being a dick, for that matter) but we talked mostly about the implications of mixing electronics and neurology.

One interesting point was in the emerging ability for people to build artificial retinas for people who are legally blind. The potential is that such implants could respond far more quickly and with greater range of perception than the biological version (which have to "recharge" their Na/K pumps to build and action potential, etc.). Then, what if you can do the same thing for the rest of the brain? What does that do for our entire perception of reality? Rhinoq?

Rhinoqulous 03-16-2006 05:17 PM

Quote:

whoneedscience wrote
Well, I just talked with him. It seems as though he's completely dropped the idea. I can't say that I had anything to do with it (or if he is just being a dick, for that matter) but we talked mostly about the implications of mixing electronics and neurology.

One interesting point was in the emerging ability for people to build artificial retinas for people who are legally blind. The potential is that such implants could respond far more quickly and with greater range of perception than the biological version (which have to "recharge" their Na/K pumps to build and action potential, etc.). Then, what if you can do the same thing for the rest of the brain? What does that do for our entire perception of reality? Rhinoq?

Short Answer: I'm fine with the possibility of replacing the brain with an "artificial construct", as I see personal identity as an emergant from our brains "software" rather than it's "hardware".

Long Answer: No long answer for right now. It's a holiday for me! I'm on my sixth beer, and it's getting hard to hold a train of thought (not to mention typing)!

Rhinoqulous 03-16-2006 05:17 PM

Quote:

whoneedscience wrote
Well, I just talked with him. It seems as though he's completely dropped the idea. I can't say that I had anything to do with it (or if he is just being a dick, for that matter) but we talked mostly about the implications of mixing electronics and neurology.

One interesting point was in the emerging ability for people to build artificial retinas for people who are legally blind. The potential is that such implants could respond far more quickly and with greater range of perception than the biological version (which have to "recharge" their Na/K pumps to build and action potential, etc.). Then, what if you can do the same thing for the rest of the brain? What does that do for our entire perception of reality? Rhinoq?

Short Answer: I'm fine with the possibility of replacing the brain with an "artificial construct", as I see personal identity as an emergant from our brains "software" rather than it's "hardware".

Long Answer: No long answer for right now. It's a holiday for me! I'm on my sixth beer, and it's getting hard to hold a train of thought (not to mention typing)!

whoneedscience 03-16-2006 05:43 PM

Quote:

Rhinoqulous wrote
Short Answer: I'm fine with the possibility of replacing the brain with an "artificial construct", as I see personal identity as an emergant from our brains "software" rather than it's "hardware".

Long Answer: No long answer for right now. It's a holiday for me! I'm on my sixth beer, and it's getting hard to hold a train of thought (not to mention typing)!

:lol: Fair enough. Enjoy your day.

When you have a chance, though, where do you get the idea that there is anything even comparable to software in the human brain? I mean, it seems reasonable enough to make the assumption based off our conception of computing, but it's still an assumption as I see it. Neurons are capable of changing their synapses, so drawing a direct parallel would seem fallacious. Where would the programming even come from? Where would it reside? Couldn't that be changed just as easily?

whoneedscience 03-16-2006 05:43 PM

Quote:

Rhinoqulous wrote
Short Answer: I'm fine with the possibility of replacing the brain with an "artificial construct", as I see personal identity as an emergant from our brains "software" rather than it's "hardware".

Long Answer: No long answer for right now. It's a holiday for me! I'm on my sixth beer, and it's getting hard to hold a train of thought (not to mention typing)!

:lol: Fair enough. Enjoy your day.

When you have a chance, though, where do you get the idea that there is anything even comparable to software in the human brain? I mean, it seems reasonable enough to make the assumption based off our conception of computing, but it's still an assumption as I see it. Neurons are capable of changing their synapses, so drawing a direct parallel would seem fallacious. Where would the programming even come from? Where would it reside? Couldn't that be changed just as easily?

Sternwallow 03-16-2006 08:08 PM

Quote:

Bighead wrote
Quote:

whoneedscience wrote
Now, it may well be that he is, in some sense, right, or that I'm misunderstanding him (I don't know enough about how neurons make connections or how they could be modeled in another medium, particularly silicon) but the thing that really struck me is that he's trying to make a philosophical claim that there is some human essence that is not contained in the brain: a Cartesian Soul, although he again refuses to address it. The man has a P.h.D in mathematics and studies biological systems modeling, so I'm simply baffled by this.

Does anyone have any resources or opinions on this? I'll probably see him again on Thursday. Rhinoq? Scathach? Judge?

I'm not completely sure if I am addressing what you are talking about here in regards to neuron connections or being bodeled in another medium, however a few years ago, I was watching something about scientists who have actually grown brain cells on microchips. I am trying to find some information on the study right now. I will post when I find it, or if this has absolutely nothing to do with what you are saying, I'll just stop looking...

Also, about whether or not computers can make art, that is appreciable to human standards, just take a look at fractals. I've seen some pretty amazing pictures that were done completely with computers (albeit with the input of the mathematical formulas by humans)

You are right, they are beautiful. More than that, they are provebly infinitely complex (not just the piddling complexity of this universe of ours) and they arise from the formula "X = X^2 + c where X[0] = 0+0i, c = x+yi". That's it, the entire thing, the "mathematical formulas input by humans". (Mandelbrot set)

Sternwallow 03-16-2006 08:08 PM

Quote:

Bighead wrote
Quote:

whoneedscience wrote
Now, it may well be that he is, in some sense, right, or that I'm misunderstanding him (I don't know enough about how neurons make connections or how they could be modeled in another medium, particularly silicon) but the thing that really struck me is that he's trying to make a philosophical claim that there is some human essence that is not contained in the brain: a Cartesian Soul, although he again refuses to address it. The man has a P.h.D in mathematics and studies biological systems modeling, so I'm simply baffled by this.

Does anyone have any resources or opinions on this? I'll probably see him again on Thursday. Rhinoq? Scathach? Judge?

I'm not completely sure if I am addressing what you are talking about here in regards to neuron connections or being bodeled in another medium, however a few years ago, I was watching something about scientists who have actually grown brain cells on microchips. I am trying to find some information on the study right now. I will post when I find it, or if this has absolutely nothing to do with what you are saying, I'll just stop looking...

Also, about whether or not computers can make art, that is appreciable to human standards, just take a look at fractals. I've seen some pretty amazing pictures that were done completely with computers (albeit with the input of the mathematical formulas by humans)

You are right, they are beautiful. More than that, they are provebly infinitely complex (not just the piddling complexity of this universe of ours) and they arise from the formula "X = X^2 + c where X[0] = 0+0i, c = x+yi". That's it, the entire thing, the "mathematical formulas input by humans". (Mandelbrot set)

Bighead 03-17-2006 07:01 AM

Quote:

Rhinoqulous wrote
Short Answer: I'm fine with the possibility of replacing the brain with an "artificial construct", as I see personal identity as an emergant from our brains "software" rather than it's "hardware".

Then how do you explain how people who experience some traumatic brain damage, can recover completely but with completely different personalities?
Not a jab, but a serious question.

Bighead 03-17-2006 07:01 AM

Quote:

Rhinoqulous wrote
Short Answer: I'm fine with the possibility of replacing the brain with an "artificial construct", as I see personal identity as an emergant from our brains "software" rather than it's "hardware".

Then how do you explain how people who experience some traumatic brain damage, can recover completely but with completely different personalities?
Not a jab, but a serious question.

Rhinoqulous 03-17-2006 07:37 AM

Quote:

Bighead wrote
Quote:

Rhinoqulous wrote
Short Answer: I'm fine with the possibility of replacing the brain with an "artificial construct", as I see personal identity as an emergant from our brains "software" rather than it's "hardware".

Then how do you explain how people who experience some traumatic brain damage, can recover completely but with completely different personalities?
Not a jab, but a serious question.

Ow. Hurts to type. Yeah, I'm calling into work with a dead grandma today.

I should have written "drunk answer" instead of "short answer".

I've read studies of people recovering from brain trauma not only displaying different personalities, but when the hemispheres of the brain are separated, under laboratory conditions each hemisphere displays a separate consciousness. I'll have to go dig out my cognitive psych book to find the study, but I'll do that later. I'm going to lie down for a while first.

Rhinoqulous 03-17-2006 07:37 AM

Quote:

Bighead wrote
Quote:

Rhinoqulous wrote
Short Answer: I'm fine with the possibility of replacing the brain with an "artificial construct", as I see personal identity as an emergant from our brains "software" rather than it's "hardware".

Then how do you explain how people who experience some traumatic brain damage, can recover completely but with completely different personalities?
Not a jab, but a serious question.

Ow. Hurts to type. Yeah, I'm calling into work with a dead grandma today.

I should have written "drunk answer" instead of "short answer".

I've read studies of people recovering from brain trauma not only displaying different personalities, but when the hemispheres of the brain are separated, under laboratory conditions each hemisphere displays a separate consciousness. I'll have to go dig out my cognitive psych book to find the study, but I'll do that later. I'm going to lie down for a while first.

HeWhoAsks 03-17-2006 08:13 AM

Sorry I came to the thread late, but a former colleague, David Cope, has a computer program ("Experments in Musical Intelligence") that can churn out unlimited compositions in any composer's style.

Go to http://arts.ucsc.edu/faculty/cope/experiments.htm

HeWhoAsks 03-17-2006 08:13 AM

Sorry I came to the thread late, but a former colleague, David Cope, has a computer program ("Experments in Musical Intelligence") that can churn out unlimited compositions in any composer's style.

Go to http://arts.ucsc.edu/faculty/cope/experiments.htm

a different tim 03-17-2006 09:44 AM

But can you get the generative algorithms off him? Now that I would be interested in.....

Early generative music, by Mozart:

Here for the original (you can order it) and here for a MIDI version.

Sternwallow 03-18-2006 02:21 PM

Back in '61, my math prof at Clarkson had a program for their, then new, IBM (650, I think) that performed a statistical analysis on N-tuples of notes by a given composer. Another program used those stats to drive a generator. His lady-friend (who must have been a very patient person) would play the generated "music" on piano and he recorded it. To my untrained, but familiar ear, it sounded exactly like Mozart, right down to the little trill he sometimes put on repeating phrases. Only later did the prof reveal his source music was Bach ("Ahh, Bach).

Sternwallow 03-18-2006 02:21 PM

Back in '61, my math prof at Clarkson had a program for their, then new, IBM (650, I think) that performed a statistical analysis on N-tuples of notes by a given composer. Another program used those stats to drive a generator. His lady-friend (who must have been a very patient person) would play the generated "music" on piano and he recorded it. To my untrained, but familiar ear, it sounded exactly like Mozart, right down to the little trill he sometimes put on repeating phrases. Only later did the prof reveal his source music was Bach ("Ahh, Bach).


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