Correlated Neural Substrates

April 8, 2019

This is a brief meditation on some conceptual issues in AI pertinent to my recent posts.

All biological neurology must evolve on a substrate.
From an evolutionary point of view, form follows function.

By contrast, computers are forged by mortal design, top-down & bottom-up. Function follows form. Mega-aggregations of linear transistor-metropoli populated upon silicon-substrate.

I once made the mistake of stating that the human brain must have very little redundancy. A neuro-physiologist corrected me. The brain, is in fact, possessed of massive redundancy. Redundancy then is a term, like entropy, easily inverted by the unwitting.

My contention was couched in an understanding that, despite the near infinitude of experience processed in our daily lives, there remains preserved in our subconscious, minutely observed experiences from across a lifetime. Selective as those engrams may be, there is good neurological evidence they are lain down in all their associative glory, with a level of detail & sensory association well beyond that available through conscious voluntary recall. A phenomenon most famously elicited in Proust’s, ‘madelaine-cake’ episode, as detailed in Remembrance of Things Past.

So how exactly does that scale of information compression and associative recall occur?

Perhaps one of the most profound things I’ve read in my time on this planet, was a quote to the effect that; ‘G.O.D* designed the universe with infinite complexity, but it was built on a budget.’ I apologise for lack of attribution, the source escapes both myself & Google. Likely, in one of the selected readings from the bibliograph listed on this blog…
The point being, that the universe is mostly space. What matter exists, combines in repetitive form and non-random regularity, across space, time, and scale. The universe is physics. It is mathematics, and it is fractal. Information, ipso facto, follows the same laws governing energy & entropy.

So why then, do we expect emergent AI to pop out of linear substrates or, why should we expect any tractable efficiency from laboriously constructing and emulating any such physical ‘model’ of neural function? *the distinction here, being between a function-process from which structure emerges, versus a substrate constructed to perform a specific function ie; neural nets.

Sir Roger Penrose proposed, ‘because-Quantum’ in his dissertation on consciousness, ‘The Emperor’s New Mind’. But is the Emporer’s new mind cloaked in quantum spooky-ness, or is there a more mundane classical explanation? In my recent postings on this blog, I believe I’ve pointed towards the fundamental correlations of fractal economy from which practicable intelligence, and perhaps even consciousness, might one day emerge. Sometime, in the not-too-remotely distant future.

Thanks for your consideration.

Phill Somerville. April 8th., 2019.

*Great Organising Design (Deity if you prefer.)

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