A lot of people have asked me lately if I love technology that much, why did I chose neruoscience. Why not choose engineering? In my previous videos at the SciPhiLab, I've often compared the brain and consciousness to a computer and software. But it is far from the truth that there is such an analogy to be made. The brain has computational power, and that power is housed in a physical hardware, but that's where the similarities end!
Unlike a computer, the brain is not HARD WIRED to do anything, at any particular place, and the function of one part can be adapted by another part.
In fact, there is no other computational machine that is physically altered by its software the way information processing alters our brain pathology.
Sleep deprivation changes the way your brain function and looks. A software update will not change the wires in your computer. That my friends is why the brain has always intrigued me more.. The cortex is wireless, unpredictable and, in a strange paradox, very predictable at the same time. The more answers we have, the more questions come with those answers.
And that is where technology comes in to play.. Technology can one day bridge the gap of understanding conciousness, and do what our flawed minds can't. Imagine a technology that can replicate the functionality of the brain. Imagine a software, that can alter it's hardware to become better, to create new functions, and purposes. A hardware without hardwiring.
I believe that the next generation AI will transcend the notion of hardware and software and much like terminators become a self transitioning object with the ability to compute information on multiple levels. In fact, the best way to end the terminator agenda, would have been to integrate their technology in to the surviving humans, thus altering their mission. Making the human species far more interesting in the process, because let's face it, I'd much rather spend time with terminators.
The fear might be that we, as a species, might not survive if self aware technology becomes reality. This fear mongering is based on our notion of what consciousness of these AI/Cyborg like creatures would be like, i.e. a replika of our. We know that humans are cruel and competitive but can the same be said about an entity that possess our ability to compute, but not our cultural or biological values? A lot of individuals assume that it would eliminate us the way we eliminated the Neanderthals. I doubt that scenario, particularly since it seems that we didn't extinct the Neanderthals, but rather integrated them through copulating (and the proof seems to be in our genes).
Kevin Warwick ones said that to an advanced AI, or cyborgs, we would become as unintelligible and harmless as ants are to us. Advanced enteties which would have integrated technology in to their biological system, would not need traditional resources, thus they would have no reason to compete with us. Enslaving us would be worthless, as we would require more resources to be kept alive than we produce. In fact, that entity might just bypass us, and leave for a planet or region much more rich in energy.
Either way. I think that the future is a lot brighter than we can imagine, and the brain is just a start of us understanding and potentially aiding the creation of something greater.
Even though I have difficulty understanding exactly how a consciousness could monitor itself.
Let's leave that long debate for another day.