This Is Your Brain in the Cloud
We are going to create synthetic neocortexes in order to extend our own neocortexes.
What's the Big Idea?
In his new book, How To Create a Mind, Ray Kurzweil looks at the “pattern recognition” theory of the human mind, arguing that all higher-order thinking is based on a consistent pattern-recognition algorithm.
"The neocortex is a metaphor machine," Kurzweil tells Big Think. "That's why humans are creative." The difference, for instance, between humans and other primates is we have a large neocortex. Our big forehead "was an enabling factor that permitted the evolution of language and technology and art and science."
So can computers replicate this high level of human intelligence? Can a computer make a joke? Recognize beauty? Write a poem? Fall in love? If high level brain activity can be replicated computers would not necessarily be replacing human agents, but would expand our own cognitive abilities further, Kurzweil says.
"We are going to create synthetic neocortexes," Kurzweil assures us, and "we'll be able to extend that and think in the cloud."
Watch the video here:
Universities claim to prepare students for the world. How many actually do it?
- Many university mission statements do not live up to their promise, writes Ben Nelson, founder of Minerva, a university designed to develop intellect over content memorization.
- The core competencies that students need for success—critical thinking, communication, problem solving, and cross-cultural understanding, for example—should be intentionally taught, not left to chance.
- These competencies can be summed up with one word: wisdom. True wisdom is the ability to apply one's knowledge appropriately when faced with novel situations.
This is what the world will look like, 250 million years from now
To us humans, the shape and location of oceans and continents seems fixed. But that's only because our lives are so short.
As a doctor, I am reminded every day of the fragility of the human body, how closely mortality lurks just around the corner.
Tyson dives into the search for alien life, dark matter, and the physics of football.
- Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson joins us to talk about one of our favorite subjects: space.
- In the three-chaptered video, Tyson speaks about the search for alien life inside and outside of the Goldilocks Zone, why the term "dark matter" should really be called "dark gravity," and how the rotation of the Earth may have been the deciding factor in a football game.
- These fascinating space facts, as well as others shared in Tyson's books, make it easier for everyone to grasp complex ideas that are literally out of this world.
SpaceX's momentous Crew Dragon launch is a sign of things to come for the space industry, and humanity's future.