[ExI] few bits per second

Giulio Prisco giulio at gmail.com
Sun Jun 27 08:56:06 UTC 2010

On the basis of (my knowledge and understanding of) current knowledge,
I tend to think the brain is explainable a classical system, that is,
quantum effects can be neglected in practice and the thinking mind can
be derived from a classical approximation to brain's physics.

At the same time, like Ben, I don't rule out the possibility that (yet
undiscovered) quantum properties of the brain may play a central role.
If this is the case, artificial minds will require a substrate that
exhibits similar quantum properties.


2010/6/27 Ben Goertzel <ben at goertzel.org>:
> Hmmm...
> There is no real evidence that quantum physical phenomena underlie human
> consciousness, but IMO it's a credible hypothesis
> OTOH Penrose goes further, and suggests that **quantum gravity** phenomena,
> inexplicable by current quantum physics, underlie human consciousness and
> render human intelligent problem-solving fundamentally uncomputable...
> The latter is a lot more of a stretch than the "mere" quantum physics /
> consciousness connection....  The latter really does reek of wishful
> thinking, because none of the current theories of quantum gravity (including
> Penrose's twistor theory) *are* uncomputable...
> -- Ben G
> On Sat, Jun 26, 2010 at 8:03 PM, Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com>
> wrote:
>> On 6/26/2010 6:40 PM, Ross Evans wrote:
>> [Broderick:]
>> >>    You might well be right, but how do you know this? You're a
>> >>    neuroscientist, I take it? Or perhaps a quantum specialist on the
>> >>    order of Roger Penrose?
>>> Is being either a requisite to dismiss a theory on the basis of lack of
>>> evidence? The consensus in the scientific community is that the idea is
>>> bunkum.
>> It's tricky. Obviously Penrose and his scientist supporters, for example,
>> are not *without evidence*--they have the same evidence everyone else does,
>> and happen to be paying special attention to certain aspects of it.
>> Besides, are their suggestions theories or hypotheses? I'd have thought
>> the latter.
>> Is appealing to Penrose's expertise, over (what I assume is, for lack of
>> any evidence offered otherwise) your thirdhand magazine gossip, nothing
>> better than the fallacy of appeal to authority? But of course you are
>> appealing to the alleged authority of a larger group, "the scientific
>> community." This can only be that small part of the community of scientists
>> actually engaged in neuroscience and related work, plus some informed
>> philosophers trying to make meta-sense of their findings.
>> But then we run into the partial blindness of experts with a stake in
>> their own programs; the consensus in the medical community for decades if
>> not centuries was that ulcers are caused by stress and the notion that they
>> were usually caused by infection was dismissed as bunkum. Granted, the key
>> to accepting that idea was evidence gathered by dangerous self-experiments,
>> but it's possible that solving consciousness might be a little bit more
>> difficult. People make it that much more difficult to solve by shouting
>> "bunkum" in a crowded room.
>> Damien Broderick
>> [not a Penrosian]
> --
> Ben Goertzel, PhD
> CEO, Novamente LLC and Biomind LLC
> CTO, Genescient Corp
> Vice Chairman, Humanity+
> Advisor, Singularity University and Singularity Institute
> External Research Professor, Xiamen University, China
> ben at goertzel.org
> "
> “When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at
> his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it.
> Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was
> not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”
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