Computers Mimic The Human Mind

Computers

Mimic The Human Mind

The mind-body problem has captivated the
minds of philosophers for centuries. The problem is how the body
and mind can interact with each other if they are separate and distinct.

One solution to the problem is to replace any mental term with a more accurate
physical description. Eliminative Materialists take this idea to
the extreme by stating that everything that is believed to be mental will
someday be explained in terms of the physical world. One way that
people try to prove Eliminative Materialism to be true is through technology.

Certainly if we are able to create computers and software that mimic the
human mind, then Eliminative Materialism is a sound solution to the mind-body
problem. In order to examine if computers actually do mimic the human
mind then we must first look at the capabilities of the human mind.

If one looks closely at the capabilities of the human mind and compares
them to the most recent technological advances, then it would be obvious
that computers and software are beginning to mimic even the most advanced
mental states. In the future, computers will be able to do anything
the human mind is capable of thus proving Eliminative Materialism to be
a sound solution to the mind-body problem.

Most of the day the human mind is taking
in information, analyzing it, storing it accordingly, and recalling past
knowledge to solve problems logically. This is similar to the life
of any computer. Humans gain information through the senses.

Computers gain similar information through a video camera, a microphone,
a touch pad or screen, and it is even possible for computers to analyze
scent and chemicals. Humans also gain information through books,
other people, and even computers, all of which computers can access through
software, interfacing, and modems. For the past year speech recognition
software products have become mainstream(Lyons,176). All of the ways
that humans gain information are mimicked by computers. Humans then
proceed to analyze and store the information accordingly. This is
a computer's main function in today's society. Humans then take all
of this information and solve problems logically. This is where things
get complex. There are expert systems that can solve complex problems
that humans train their whole lives for. In 1997, IBM's Deep Blue
defeated the world champion in a game of chess(Karlgaard, p43). Expert
systems design buildings, configure airplanes, and diagnose breathing problems.

NASA's Deep Space One probe left with software that lets the probe diagnose
problems and fix itself(Lyons). All of this shows that computers
are capable of taking information and solving complex problems. This
is where current technology put obstacles in the way of Artificial Intelligence.

The human mind is a complex system of brain
cells or neurons which accomplishes all of these tasks. Silicon chips,
the hardware a computer, is extremely similar to the human brain.

The human brain has over ten billion cells, and the largest cell has 200,000
inputs(Levin,30). Neurons run in parallel which adds up to trillions
of connections per second. Most PC's run about thirty million connections
per second. This is a far cry from the capabilities of the human
mind but as technology advances neural technology will begin to close the
gap between the two.

This is the major obstacle to tackle in
order to build a machine that thinks the same way that a human brain does.

Think of it this way. The human mind has had thousands of years to
evolve into what we understand of it today. The field of Artificial

Intelligence roots started in 1965. As we learn more about the human
mind and neural network technology improves we will be able to hurdle all
obstacles to mimicking the human mind.

There are computer scientists, engineers,
and neurologists researching solutions for these obstacles as you read.

The human brain is capable of creativity, learning and emotions.

These are the areas where computers lack the technology to compete with
humans but they are working on it. Take creativity for example.

"Aaron", an invention of Harold Cohen, produces artwork that Cohen
has no way of predicting what Aaron is going to do(Boden). Not only
is the artwork an original painting but it is also pleasant to look at.

Paul Hodgson's program Improviser is a music composer that plays a unique
performance in real time(Boden). This does not prove that a computer
has creativity in the same sense that humans do but it is a start.

Human creativity springs from association. One has spontaneous thoughts
or actions that are a result of many different past experiences that are
related by this new thought. "Copycat", the brain child of Hofstadter,
is