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View Diary: Computerized Brain To Be Completed by 2020 (180 comments)

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  •  these robots aren't programmed by anyone (2+ / 0-)
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    AoT, Rob in Vermont

    These little analog insect robots are not executing a program written by humans.  They don't have a hard drive or flash memory.  There's no USB cable running back to a computer "brain".  There's no software telling them to move towards the light or calculating angles and vectors to climb over an obstacle.  Their behavior is an apparently inevitable product of the physical existence of a nervous net.

    These robots are not extensions of a human's will.  There's no part of their design methodology that allows for human control of their actions.  Their behavior is to a remarkable extent unpredictable; battery-operated ones can and do roam freely, with no obvious motive except something inside them that says "Move."  Perhaps the simple fact of being capable of movement demands movement by giving the electrons someplace to go, while light and pressure sensors alter the analog signals running through the net again just by being there, generating an inner drive to either push forward or ease off.

    To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

    by Visceral on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 08:08:13 AM PST

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    •  thanks (0+ / 0-)

      I wasn't aware of how these worked.  Googled around on this subject. I'm not sure I'd agree that just because they're behavior isn't entirely predictable, they are "not extensions of a human's will".  For example, consider a weather balloon. It's actions are not entirely predictable, since of course the weather is  not entirely predictable.  But its existance and utility are entirely the result of human will.  It's got no will of its own, no purpose of its own.  

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