Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Technolosophy = Technology + Philosophy

Thinking about the title? Even I did, when Harsha told me he wanted to start a blog about philosophy and technology. I always knew there was something between philosophy and technology. But that was just a gut feeling. But then Harsha told me they're both the different sides of the same coin! And this was THE sentence thats been keeping me thinking

I believe philosophy paves way for new technology. For example, there are lots of different philosophies about how we "think"... one of them being something to do with souls. I won't go into the details... You probably have your own beliefs and views on this. Now if you know a bit of biology, you know all "thinking" occurs in the neurons in your brain. Philosophy says they're all directed by some soul, some superior power thats around with you, everywhere, all the time.

Now, the tech people did something. They tried to mimic these neurons on computers. They created something called neural networks. And these things actually can "think".

I'll give you an example of how you would do something, and how these artificial neural networks would do. Say both are given a list of patterns and a unique number associated with each pattern.

Whenever you are shown a pattern from that list, you can easily state that this is pattern number #. When you are given a pattern that doesn't match any in the list... you'd say "the given pattern doesn't match with anyone... but is quite similar to this one."

Neural network:
When given a pattern from the list... the neural network would give the answer as the number of the pattern (like Patter number 5). But when the given pattern doesn't match any in the list... it would produce a result like 5.47. Meaning its quite similar to pattern
number 5.

The above artificial neural network has no more than 10 "neurons". Our human brain has billions of billions of neurons.

So once we have enough processing power, we'll be able to create networks of billions of neurons. And those systems would be highly dynamic. They would do (almost) everything we can do.

But thats quite distant.. even with the current pace of development of processors. But, the question is... when we create this "thinking machine", does the computer all of a sudden get a soul? Or are we getting closer to creating a soul? Are we getting closer to being the Supreme being that can create life? I leave that to you to decide, and that my friend is technolosophy.


Harsha Vardhan M.V said...

ulti post..
great start to the blog....
really nice

Harsha Vardhan M.V said...

"I believe philosophy paves way for new technology"
wonderful line...
indeed most of the inventions have come out because people had the audacity to question things that are other wise taken for granted and that is one of the foundation for philosohpy.questioning.

RaSh said...

Yeah i agree... Philosophy & Technology go hand in hand..
But when we talk about making a artificial brain, i think there's a lot more than making one that can "calculate". Algorithms can be "taught" to the brain, but is that it? What about creativity? The way we can think, dream, imagine... can the artificial brain ever do that??

Lets see..

Oh & btw nice idea of a blog.. was hardly coming online so couldn't reply earlier..

Keep bloggin!