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FRANKENSTEINS CREATURE OR COMMANDER DATA?

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Gerald Edelmans theory and several others ascribe consciousness and the power of thought to those complex interactions among the brains substructures.This points to the true importance of giving an artificial brain internal interactions such as arise between rational and emotional subsystems; namely, to copy the tangled webthat seems to make human thought what it is. If this can be done, the next generation of artificial minds might surpass computer-bound think- ing by using different types of electronic brainsbe they systems that carry out parallel processing or neuromorphic chips, adaptive chips, or other architectures that follow the brains peculiar nature.

GROWING UP DIGITAL

In addition to new designs for electronic brains, we might need some- thing morenamely, a new philosophyto create fully capable syn- thetic beings. At present, an artificial brain consists of processor and memory chips whose capabilities are firmly defined and fixed, and softwarealso fixedthat guides the hardware. But this is not how the human mind works.Although a newborn baby has limited abili- ties it has one crucial set of capacities: It can observe, interact, remem- ber, and learn about the world.These efforts change the babys brain through the plasticity of its neurons, and over time, the child matures into full intelligence and personhood. The childs interaction with adults plays a large role in this because it encourages adults to react to the child and teach it, and the social contact itself is necessary for selfhood to develop. Physical interaction is equally important. Just watch a tot experiment with reality as it learns to walk or carries out the experiment of throwing food onto the floor.

Brain plasticity could be emulated by appropriate hardware, such as adaptive chips. But knowledge of the world must be fed into those chips, and so artificial beings might actually need to grow into full consciousness and personhoodor to put it another way, to develop their varied intelligencesby engaging reality and socializing with people.From the psychological viewpoint,the social part of the inter- action is essential. Howard Gardner writes that highly intelligent

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