IBM has developed a microprocessor capable of figuratively “rewiring” its connections as it encounters new information, similar to how biological synapses work, thereby emulating the human brain. That is how the system could learn, rather than be programmed.
Synaptic connections between brain cells physically connect themselves depending on experiences. The process of learning is essentially the forming and strengthening of these connections. A computer can simulate such a system by paying more “attention” to important inputs, and paying less attention to others.
Also, the human brain can perform complex tasks rapidly and accurately using “as much energy as a 20 watt light bulb in a space equivalent to a 2 liter soda bottle”.
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I’m pretty sure most of you have already read this piece on how our memory is adapting to technology as we tend to remember things that we believe will not be readily available on the ubiquitous Net and tend not store in memory, stuff we know will be readily accessible.
However, the argument seems an extension/ reinforcement of this piece from back in 2007, where the author discusses our reliance on external memory, namely the Net. His article differs from this other author’s article, in that the former actually likes it, while the latter finds it disconcerting, even damaging. In fact, the last article goes on to talk about other side effects, including our diminishing attention span.
Where do I stand? I kind of agree with the notion that the Net is making us too reliant on the “wired word”; I’d rather we stored more in our brains, actual stuff, not just info on where would be able to find that actual stuff! I just think it’d keep our brains sharp.
Did I remember reading all these articles? Nah! I just googled them. :)