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Russians Closer To Artificial Consciousness

Scientists from the Ural University of Physics and Technology have developed components required for artificial consciousness according to the “consciousness electromagnetic information field” theory of Johnjoe McFadden. This theory states that the electromagnetic field induced by the neurons in the brain carries human consciousness.

Russia IC reports in somewhat broken English that the Russian think tank “created a model of neural network on neurons with additional channels for information exchange via electromagnetic field.” Apparently the artificial neurons they created are very similar to the EM neuron concept from McFadden.

It is not really clear from the article exactly how powerful or useful their hardware is, however, for the Russian scientists it seemed good enough to patent it. So far, I haven’t seen a single convincing use of artificial neural networks apart from academic toy problems. There are implementations here and there that use them, but almost everywhere it is easier and faster to just use other, more predictable and understandable techniques. Universities hype them in AI lectures (which is ok, they are relatively easy and have a nice theory behind them), and I believe that’s why many try to apply them everywhere they can (which is also ok, but only as long as they have good reasons to do so — which they usually don’t).

Therefore I doubt they will achieve their goals of an artificial consciousness, especially as they themselves don’t know how or if spontaneous generation of consciousness in this kind of networks works at all. It is not impossible though, therefore I’ll rise the AI Panic Level by +0.1%. After all, the Flying Spaghetti Monster must have had some motivation to endow us with a natural neural network …

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You can find translation of Russian’s paper into English here http://epd.ustu.ru/bionet/publications_eng.html
This is web-site of the scientific group which is working on the EM neural network. I think after reading of the original paper the AI Panic Level will be severely risen.

Alex / February 14th, 2008, 8:41 / #

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