[ExI] Vermis ex machina

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Sun Mar 1 22:01:30 UTC 2015

On Sun, Mar 1, 2015 at 4:36 PM, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:
> But this is cell failure. Synapses fail at proper transmission *nearly all
> the time*!
> http://www.pnas.org/content/91/22/10380.full.pdf
> http://zadorlab.cshl.edu/PDF/zador-jn-mi.pdf
> Basically, there is a great deal of noise and variability introduced in
> synaptic transmission. The system is reliable since it uses many synapses
> and neurons, which are individually misbehaving a lot of the time.

### Exactly - while neurons may be somewhat reliable survivors, the closer
analogue of the transistor is a synapse (give or take on order of magnitude
in complexity), and synapses are much less reliable than whole neurons.

Of course, this implies that the network structure of the human brain has
to have evolved while taking into account this unreliability - so there is
a humongous amount of structure devoted to error-correction. The challenge
for designers of simulations who want to port the brain into silicon by
mimicking the behavior of scanned neural circuits will be to separate the
unneeded error-correction features and code only the necessary
information-processing elements.

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