01 December 2012

Brainy Computer

I have recently listened to a computer engineering guru discuss the efforts to build computers that emulate the human brain. If one stops to think about it, this is a terrifying idea. Considering how the average human brain works, or doesn't, depending upon your point of view. Why would you want to build one like it? Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Idi Amin are not too far behind us to understand that there are on this planet brains that should not be allowed to exist. So if we build a computer that is equivalent to a human brain, will it be Nero's or Jesus's. This doesn't seem to be a very good idea and maybe we should rethink it. Representing people charged with crimes, having lived some time on the planet, and personally viewing the efficacy of the human brain in action, it would appear to me that we should limit our endeavors to building computers that purposefully do not emulate the human brain. From my experience, most brains do not act in a rational manner; any form of logic is absent. I know, let's build a computer on crack or one that is intoxicated. This would be lovely-your residence being operated by a drunk computer or one high on meth. It would be interesting, I will say that. IBM had the correct idea in building Big Blue to play chess. Build a computer that does one thing. If you want a computer that is good at Trivial Pursuit, okay. Let us stop there though. I'm not really interested in a computer in my car telling me how fast I should be driving or when to pass or not. I can see now one of those traffic camera's on I-235 sending a signal to the computer in my car automatically slowing my speed to conform to the speed limit or sending a message to the constabulary that I'm texting while driving. Can you imagine a computer with emotion? Just think what it would be like dealing with a pissed-off computer; the lights in your house start blinking on and off because you are up past your bedtime; your shower water turns ice cold because you have been in there too long; or, suddenly your house key won't work. So rather than just assuming we want smart computers, let's think about it.