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avgprogamerjoe
08-24-2007, 04:17 PM
I find the human brain one of the most fascinating things in the world. It communicates to the body by electrical waves, and chemical reactions. Do you think that the human brain at all resembles programing, be it a structual, OOP, or the many other, known or unknown methods of programing? And more importantly do you think we can turn the "brain code" into readable code, then reproduce it? I'm not to sure on how accurate this, but I did see a show in the science channel where a paralyzed man had a probe in his head which he used to draw a circle on a computer screen.

I'm planning on doing a bit of research in this, so any articles would be helpful, but don't forget to voice your opinion and theories.


Joe

swgh
08-24-2007, 04:57 PM
If anything and if it was at all possible.. you would have a base class called brain then have may other smaller classes interherited from that. Sort of a memory class, thought class, sense class, touch class etc etc..

Just one very small way of looking at it. It proberly possible to design a large console program that runs and operates like the human brain does. Just my two cents buts its a good suggestion and somthing I may attempt as an abitous side project ;)

matsp
08-24-2007, 05:00 PM
There's something called "neural networks", which is a programming model. It is based on the principles of the neural network in the brain.

But in general, the brain does not work like a computer program. It's much less structured and more able to "sort through large number of options and select the important ones".

--
Mats

zacs7
08-24-2007, 08:39 PM
Speaking of the human brain, apparently it can store 6TB of data? If so, what format are the images stored as? Is text compressed? :)

I would assume it's jpg or something - something lossy.

Rashakil Fol
08-24-2007, 09:33 PM
I would assume it's jpg or something - something lossy.

It's not jpg.

maxorator
08-25-2007, 01:40 AM
struct BRAIN_DATACELL{
int data;
BRAIN_DATACELL* connections[50];
};

BRAIN_DATACELL brain[0x80000000];

The functions to handle the braincells are beyond my knowledge.

@nthony
08-25-2007, 03:58 AM
Well I believe that for all intents and purposes the human brain is a machine, albeit a highly complex though ineffecient biological one. A computer (also a machine, which can be further reduced to a set of algorithms) today has a very ennumerable set of inputs, and thus the algorithms it employs to handle these inputs have heuristics that can also be logically ennumerated, making the outputs largely predictable. In contrast, a human brain has an incredibly large and complex set of inputs which, as of current cannot be ennumerated and thus a complete set of heuristics or algorithms for the brain are not yet known, making outputs anticipatable at best, but can never yet be fully predicted.

At the moment, the state of computers, AI and the set of inputs they can compute is barely able to approach that of lab mice, let alone humans. Input from sensory nerves such as optical, motor, and auditory common to even the most primitive of animals/mammals still greatly overshadow in number the amount of input a computer may receive at a time from its inputs such as its network and user. Even if all inputs from a mammal such as a mouse were to be replicated and fed into a computer, and a "mouse algorithm" existed that computed the appropriate output for each set of inputs, our technology today is not advanced enough to compute these outputs in an appropriate amount of time (even half the time of that mammal's natural brain).

As for true brain-computer interfacing, I would imagine that given about 200-400 more years of analysis, neuro-biological scientists and engineers will have discovered the role and function of every synaptic network in the brain and body and the sources of inputs for each network of each nerve in the brain, as well as what is needed to simulate them and how. Following this, what I like to call a "Synaptic Interface" will be developed, a device which splices inputs to major neural networks between their original sources of input and fabricated/emulated/foreign sources. This will give us the ability to interface directly with the brain, but before we will be able to employ this technology we will need to know how the brain stores its information and how to stimulate in such a way as to retrieve and/or supply information from/to it. This will be a task once again for neuro-biological scientists, and Computer and Informatic Engineers to figure out a way to relate the standard information format of the time to that of the our brain's (note that information of the future may not necessarily be binary).

Once a safe and proper translation method has been developed and worked into the design of the Synaptic Interface, assuming that every bit of information wanting to be expressed to the brain can be expressed in the standard information format of the time, we will be able to effectively interface directly with the brain. This will have marked a huge step in development such that any further hurdles in communication will probably be able to be overcome by brain modification. For example, multiple Synaptic Interfaces can be installed to facilitate higher transfer speeds of information (of course there would need to be checks and balances to prevent interference and accessing of networks at the same time (mutex's anyone?)). As another example, the capacity of the brain may be expanded by inserting a Synpatic Interface into the neural-network responsible for memory retrieval that is instead connected to a storage device. The possibilities are endless, which leads me to the next point.

As I mentioned previously, from its function, form, and previous discoveries, I think it is concludable that (even though today it may be better than a computer) the human brain is ineffecient for its weight-to-size ratio, as is agreeable with many discoveries in biology that biological structures in general tend to lack effeciency (i.e. there are many components in biological structures that have little or no practical function or are grossly under- or over-sized, etc). Based on this, it is forseeable that as in the scenerio described above, people will slowly replace parts of their brain with more effecient and capable implementations. It is then not unfathomable to imagine a "human" without a "human brain", a human who has been completely digitized (not necessarily binary though) so as to increase his/her ("its" see below as to why) overall effeciency and capabilites.

Why did I use "it" above? Well in tandum and perhaps well before all of the aforementioned developments in brain interfacing, we will have done so already with the body (as the body is an infinitely less complex structure). Even today, there are machines capable of emulating human body parts (albeit poorly), so it is reasonable to forsee that in the future very little to none of our bodies may still be composed of organic (weak/ineffecient) materials. Thus, if you have a "body" and a brain that are no longer "human", are you still really "human"?. From here on, the line has been "fuzzed".

I won't complete the rest of my theories here otherwise it will quickly become a t;dr if it is not already... but suffice to say from this, you may see where I draw the conclusion that in the distant future the existance of humanity will be as a single entity:
If everyone is digitized, their representative information can be transfered across networks and submitted to a globally accessible repertoire; thus everyone will be able to acquire everyone else's information. To minimize dispersion across individuals, a "collective" will be maintained that is the representation of all information known by the entirety of humanity. Since the only thing that makes us definatively unique is the information we posess, if everyone has access to this collective, everyone will have access to everyone else's information, resulting in esentially a large amount of copies of the same individual. It follows then that for effeciency, you will only need the one copy: the singular collective consciousness of humanity.

maxorator
08-25-2007, 05:01 AM
People should never ever try to connect to brain or try to program a duplicate of it. I don't think they'll ever succeed it either.

psychopath
08-25-2007, 06:04 AM
People should never ever try to connect to brain or try to program a duplicate of it. I don't think they'll ever succeed it either.
Mhmm. Good, forward thinking. :rolleyes:

What about paralyzed people? I'm pretty sure they think being connected to a computer that they could make do stuff their body can't anymore would be awesome.

maxorator
08-25-2007, 06:14 AM
Or put microchips into people which solve complex mathemathical expressions for the brain... :D

DavidP
08-25-2007, 10:04 AM
I am interested in research in this area, but there is one thing that I am most interested at this current point in time: the image format that the eye sends to the brain.

Now, I am not interested in what goes on in the brain once the electrical impulses reach the brain that come from the eye...I just interested in analyzing the actual electrical impulses that move through the optic nerve from the eye to the brain, and then interpreting them. They are not anything like digital signals...but they are still electrical signals with a waveform...spikes...troughs...crests...etc.

I would like to analyze these waveforms, interpret them, and try to figure out how the eye sends image data to the brain. If we can figure this out, then we could replicate it...a technology that would be useful to many different things - such as helping those who are now blind to see through a computer-operate eye that sends those same electrical impulses to the brain. (It would not cure blindness in everybody because some people are blind as a result of a problem in the brain, and not in the eye, but it would help out some people).

BobMcGee123
08-25-2007, 02:49 PM
human brain at all resembles programing


No, not in the slightest. The human brain transmits signals slowly (about 120 m per second) along nerve fibers across relatively large distances, but this occurs asynchronously amongst billions of neurons. All programming of which you speak is linear, non organic, and signals transmit at, roughly, the speed of light.

Human brain != 'programming'



And more importantly do you think we can turn the "brain code" into readable code, then reproduce it?


No, there would be no 'C' equivalent



I'm not to sure on how accurate this, but I did see a show in the science channel where a paralyzed man had a probe in his head which he used to draw a circle on a computer screen.


You should read 'Age of Spiritual Machines' by Ray Kurzweil...whilst powerful scanning techniques and brain-wave detection hardware and experiments exist, they are not approaching turning 'brain code' into readable code. I also saw, on the discovery science channel, where a user was able to play a driving type game simply by 'thinking.' The computer car was connected to a device which measured brain-waves, and based on this input, was able to steer the car left or right.



It is based on the principles of the neural network in the brain.


But, they still ultimately process the network linearly...to establish a programming model which attempts to simulate an asynchronous neural network, such as the human brain, you need to update the entire network as often as the fastest-updating neural, and make the assumption that the entire network is not interrupted whilst you are evaluating the values present amongst all of the neurons. The reality is that the human brain behaves in an asynchronous manner with 'recursive interrupts,' not in a linear fashion, which is why the linear-processing computers today cannot possibly even begin to run a reliable model of the human brain, generate 'brain code' or the like, etc.

avgprogamerjoe
08-25-2007, 03:54 PM
I am interested in research in this area, but there is one thing that I am most interested at this current point in time: the image format that the eye sends to the brain.
Another show I saw on the science channel, was a camera that sent an image to the human brain. Though the image was only 16 pixels, you could tell if something was moving, and the color of something. You could recognize big from small, etc. but not one person from another. I thought you might be interested in that.

BTW That would make video game maps able to hold a lot more data, thus having cooler maps :)

indigo0086
08-25-2007, 03:57 PM
BTW That would make video game maps able to hold a lot more data, thus having cooler maps :)

Yeah, why bother with disks and memory when you can just clear out some poor sap's brain for your enjoyment. I love it.

Yarin
08-25-2007, 04:54 PM
Well I believe that for all intents and purposes the human brain is a machine, albeit a highly complex though ineffecient biological one. A computer (also a machine, which can be further reduced to a set of algorithms) today has a very ennumerable set of inputs, and thus the algorithms it employs to handle these inputs have heuristics that can also be logically ennumerated, making the outputs largely predictable. In contrast, a human brain has an incredibly large and complex set of inputs which, as of current cannot be ennumerated and thus a complete set of heuristics or algorithms for the brain are not yet known, making outputs anticipatable at best, but can never yet be fully predicted.

At the moment, the state of computers, AI and the set of inputs they can compute is barely able to approach that of lab mice, let alone humans. Input from sensory nerves such as optical, motor, and auditory common to even the most primitive of animals/mammals still greatly overshadow in number the amount of input a computer may receive at a time from its inputs such as its network and user. Even if all inputs from a mammal such as a mouse were to be replicated and fed into a computer, and a "mouse algorithm" existed that computed the appropriate output for each set of inputs, our technology today is not advanced enough to compute these outputs in an appropriate amount of time (even half the time of that mammal's natural brain).

As for true brain-computer interfacing, I would imagine that given about 200-400 more years of analysis, neuro-biological scientists and engineers will have discovered the role and function of every synaptic network in the brain and body and the sources of inputs for each network of each nerve in the brain, as well as what is needed to simulate them and how. Following this, what I like to call a "Synaptic Interface" will be developed, a device which splices inputs to major neural networks between their original sources of input and fabricated/emulated/foreign sources. This will give us the ability to interface directly with the brain, but before we will be able to employ this technology we will need to know how the brain stores its information and how to stimulate in such a way as to retrieve and/or supply information from/to it. This will be a task once again for neuro-biological scientists, and Computer and Informatic Engineers to figure out a way to relate the standard information format of the time to that of the our brain's (note that information of the future may not necessarily be binary).

Once a safe and proper translation method has been developed and worked into the design of the Synaptic Interface, assuming that every bit of information wanting to be expressed to the brain can be expressed in the standard information format of the time, we will be able to effectively interface directly with the brain. This will have marked a huge step in development such that any further hurdles in communication will probably be able to be overcome by brain modification. For example, multiple Synaptic Interfaces can be installed to facilitate higher transfer speeds of information (of course there would need to be checks and balances to prevent interference and accessing of networks at the same time (mutex's anyone?)). As another example, the capacity of the brain may be expanded by inserting a Synpatic Interface into the neural-network responsible for memory retrieval that is instead connected to a storage device. The possibilities are endless, which leads me to the next point.

As I mentioned previously, from its function, form, and previous discoveries, I think it is concludable that (even though today it may be better than a computer) the human brain is ineffecient for its weight-to-size ratio, as is agreeable with many discoveries in biology that biological structures in general tend to lack effeciency (i.e. there are many components in biological structures that have little or no practical function or are grossly under- or over-sized, etc). Based on this, it is forseeable that as in the scenerio described above, people will slowly replace parts of their brain with more effecient and capable implementations. It is then not unfathomable to imagine a "human" without a "human brain", a human who has been completely digitized (not necessarily binary though) so as to increase his/her ("its" see below as to why) overall effeciency and capabilites.

Why did I use "it" above? Well in tandum and perhaps well before all of the aforementioned developments in brain interfacing, we will have done so already with the body (as the body is an infinitely less complex structure). Even today, there are machines capable of emulating human body parts (albeit poorly), so it is reasonable to forsee that in the future very little to none of our bodies may still be composed of organic (weak/ineffecient) materials. Thus, if you have a "body" and a brain that are no longer "human", are you still really "human"?. From here on, the line has been "fuzzed".

I won't complete the rest of my theories here otherwise it will quickly become a t;dr if it is not already... but suffice to say from this, you may see where I draw the conclusion that in the distant future the existance of humanity will be as a single entity:
If everyone is digitized, their representative information can be transfered across networks and submitted to a globally accessible repertoire; thus everyone will be able to acquire everyone else's information. To minimize dispersion across individuals, a "collective" will be maintained that is the representation of all information known by the entirety of humanity. Since the only thing that makes us definatively unique is the information we posess, if everyone has access to this collective, everyone will have access to everyone else's information, resulting in esentially a large amount of copies of the same individual. It follows then that for effeciency, you will only need the one copy: the singular collective consciousness of humanity.
Thus the dawn of The Matrix and Borg.

Unless you belive that we where created rather than "evolved", your making your self look stupid by saying "the human brain is a machine". Webster's definition of machine is "any mechanical or electrical device that transmits or modifies energy to perform or assist in the performance of human tasks". Device is the subject word here, and it's defenition is "an instrumentality invented for a particular purpose". As you can see, a machine must be invented, it can't evolve.

Yarin
08-25-2007, 04:58 PM
>> I would assume it's jpg or something - something lossy.

We don't remember images like that. We remeber objects in the picture, like that mug, laptop, key, fan, 3 books, ect. And when we recall the images, we just put those objects in the right location to form our somewhat complete image.

h_howee
08-25-2007, 05:35 PM
and how do we remember how those objects look like?

whiteflags
08-25-2007, 08:11 PM
and how do we remember how those objects look like?
Mostly through sensory memory. All five senses are in on it, and it pretty much can kick in on contact.

The encoding step of human memory is still quite a mystery. In fact I don't think that they even have any proof that the brain encodes anything in the cryptographic sense (like a jpeg) or like ticks in your back pocket, but it's the simplest model we have to explain things like working memory and forgetfulness.

It really has to do with what parts of your brain do what, how healthy the brain is, and how often you use that knowledge. Your brain is essentially a ball of tangled wires that can only prune or rewire its parts. And it's quite lazy, it only remembers what you need or want to know.

I remember an example from a class textbook. London cab drivers have learned and recalled so many parts of the city that when they compared their brains with other people using imaging technology, the area that was stimulated by things like maps or giving directions was so much larger and more active than the others. So, and this is probably a bit more than specualtion on my part, but in the case of London's cab drivers, the neurons probably wired and rewired that area very effectively a few times to streamline brainwave activity to that area from the senses.

@nthony
08-26-2007, 02:05 AM
Thus the dawn of The Matrix and Borg.

Unless you belive that we where created rather than "evolved", your making your self look stupid by saying "the human brain is a machine". Webster's definition of machine is "any mechanical or electrical device that transmits or modifies energy to perform or assist in the performance of human tasks". Device is the subject word here, and it's defenition is "an instrumentality invented for a particular purpose". As you can see, a machine must be invented, it can't evolve.
You completely missed the whole point of that post and instead got wrapped up in semantics. Be it a "machine", "heuristic" or "algorithm", the human brain takes a set of inputs, processes them, and creates a set of outputs; that process is the general definition of a "machine" or "computer". Call it what you (or Webster) may, the fact of the matter is the human brain still does exactly what any other machine, computer, program, algorithm, heuristic, set of functions, does: for each set of inputs it uniquely maps to them a set of outputs.

p.s. even if we go by your definition, you still appear to be foolishly grasping at straws since it can be trivially argued that the brain is an electrical device that assists in human tasks and has indeed been invented, by a biological process known as evolution.

Rashakil Fol
08-26-2007, 09:34 AM
for each set of inputs it uniquely maps to them a set of outputs.

You can say this about any physical system.


I think it is concludable that (even though today it may be better than a computer) the human brain is ineffecient for its weight-to-size ratio

Maybe your brain is. Weight-to-size ratio? Maybe you mean density? You shouldn't declare something to be inefficient without first deciding what would constitute an 'efficient' brain. Otherwise, you're manipulating symbols without any meaning, but hey, that sums up your entire post.

@nthony
08-26-2007, 10:08 PM
My point exactly, the brain is no more "mystical" than any other system, mechanical, electrical, biologicial or other.

The firing of neurons rely on a chemical process which is no where near as fast as electrical transferral. It has been shown in the past that larger amounts of brain matter oft equals greater intelligence. Even if the human brain were to remain at size continually, following the trend of microelectronics soon to become nanoelectronics, you can clearly see a reduction of mass/weight/size with an increase in capability. If this trend is to continue into the times of which I speak, technologically enhanced or replaced "brains" will have more effeciency of biological ones.

As I said within my first post, that was but a rough outline of some theories so it may appear that I am jumping to conclusions, but I am assuming they you are aware of the relative research and/or facts that pertain to the "conclusions" I draw. If/when I complete my final paper you can request a full copy with every claim accredited.

p.s. Weight-to-size in the context of Earth is nothing more than a constant multiple of density. If you'd like to hear my thoeries on intelligence in space, you can wait for the paper, in the meantime, maybe you should apply the same concepts on "symbol manipulation" to your own post.

sea_4_ever
08-26-2007, 10:45 PM
In my personal opinion,
Humans have come as far as possible in evolution, and technology is the only thing that continues to evolve in this world, with the exception of animals(not humans), therefore, the only way for humans to continue evolving, is to become one with the technology.
Example : The Borg of Star Trek.
So therefore, we should all support the cybernetic research group (if there is one).
I think, that at one time, there will be a device created that will link directly to the human brain, and, using the cellular phone network, will be able to relay thoughts to other people wearing this device, creating actual telepathy!
Actually I had a pretty good story about this...hm, I lost it. anyway, this will continue for as long as technology continues to advance, until the famous paradox :

"If necessity is the mother of invention, what will power our ingenuity when all our needs have been satisfied."
The sensible part of the post ends here
____________________________
Then, the Earth itself will retaliate, as the lifestream churns out WEAPONs, massive monsters which purpose is to cleanse the Earth of the "cancer"(this relates to Humans, as said in The Matrix)
However, war will be LONG GONE, and the new missiles will be untested, therefore, a masive Terraton bomb will annihaliate a massive portion of the surface of the Earth, revealing the Gaia within.
The Lifestream will be forced to summon Omega, and it will fuse with the Gaia, the life of the Earth will depart into the cosmos, being tricked that the Earth is doomed, leaving a desolate and lifeless planet, AND ONLY THEN WILL THE FEW HUMANS REMAINING LEARN TO RESPECT FINAL FANTASY! Which, for the second time, will truly be "final". Then then cloud of nuclear radiation created by the bomb will begin to pass across the Earth, seconds before the planet breaks into 3 parts, with no living tree roots to hold it together. The atmosphere will dissipate, as the gravity has long gone with the splitting of the Earth, the moon's now superior-to Earth's gravity draws the Earth(s) and the moon together and, in a massive crunch, the mon colony is obliterated by the collision.
Here ends the retardedness, along with the human race.
__________________________________________________ __
erhm, off topic am I?
sorry.

whiteflags
08-26-2007, 11:38 PM
> Humans have come as far as possible in evolution

I get the feeling that people are only saying this out of haste. Mutations still occur in newborns. Some would state that these types of things aren't helpful (a sixth finger, a tail), so that is why nature attempts to eradicate them, but it does experiment from time to time. Just because humans can't mutate something new and useful as fast as we can make something useful doesn't mean nature forgot about biological change.You won't see it in life often (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Polydactyly_01_Lhand_AP.jpg) because doctors take the time to surgically remove these things early in their lives, mostly due to concern for the child's social development, I believe.

If you want an example of biological change that you can see, have you had your wisdom teeth removed? They were useful once upon a time, but our mouths have become smaller than they used to be, because our bodies are adjusting to how we eat.

I guess I can only say I'm proud to see such enthusiasm for advancement in neuroscience, or supporting applications of technology in medicine, but lets not get ahead of ourselves. Be somewhat serious. I'd hate for people to support these things for stupid reasons, e.g. basking in science fiction as if it were the next science fact. What is so fascinating about the borg?

CornedBee
08-27-2007, 05:30 AM
A sixth finger is removed for several reasons. There's social status, of course - it's just weird. Often, however, the finger doesn't work properly anyway. A class mate of mine was born with two thumbs on one hand, but only one worked. The other was merely a nuisance. So they removed the working one and "rewired" nerves and sinews so that the other one worked. (That was due to the placement of the fingers.)
Or just imagine all the small inconveniences. Try buying gloves ...

brewbuck
08-27-2007, 12:17 PM
I get the feeling that people are only saying this out of haste. Mutations still occur in newborns. Some would state that these types of things aren't helpful (a sixth finger, a tail), so that is why nature attempts to eradicate them

Nature hates it when you anthropomorphize her ;)

GanglyLamb
08-27-2007, 04:37 PM
It's funny most people will see things like a sixth finger abnormal and a problem to being socially accepted (thus having it removed).
While others have a perfect body (as in 2 feet, 2 hands etc...) and decide to have surgery to make them feel better (for example transexuals...), causing them to be rejected from society (or at least a huge part of society).

I wonder how the world would look like if animals could do the same (for example a duck that underwent surgery to get huge wings so it could compete with vultures...).

Of course the duck would go to a duck doctor (duh!)

CornedBee
08-27-2007, 04:48 PM
Humans have always seen that which they are not used to as abnormal. Consider the first reaction whenever one race encountered another. They considered them either less worthy or supernatural.

And I hate to say it, but six fingers are abnormal. They're a genetic or development defect, a very visible one. Since at our most basic instinct level we still strive for survival of the fittest and therefore association with the fittest (be it companionship or breeding), we will have an instinctive reaction against those with such obvious defects.

That's not to say that such a reaction is right. It just is.