A leading neuroscientist says Kurzweil’s Singularity isn’t going to happen. Instead, humans will assimilate machines.
Miguel Nicolelis, a top neuroscientist at Duke University, says computers will never replicate the human brain and that the technological Singularity is “a bunch of hot air.”
“The brain is not computable and no engineering can reproduce it,” says Nicolelis, author of several pioneering papers on brain-machine interfaces.
The Singularity, of course, is that moment when a computer super-intelligence emerges and changes the world in ways beyond our comprehension.
Among the idea’s promoters are futurist Ray Kurzweil, recently hired on at Google as a director of engineering and who has been predicting that not only will machine intelligence exceed our own but that people will be able to download their thoughts and memories into computers (see “Ray Kurzweil Plans to Create a Mind at Google—and Have It Serve You”).
Nicolelis calls that idea sheer bunk. “Downloads will never happen,” Nicolelis said during remarks made at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston on Sunday. “There are a lot of people selling the idea that you can mimic the brain with a computer.”
The debate over whether the brain is a kind of computer has been running for decades. Many scientists think it’s possible, in theory, for a computer to equal the brain given sufficient computer power and an understanding of how the brain works.
Kurzweil delves into the idea of “reverse-engineering” the brain in his latest book, How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed, in which he says even though the brain may be immensely complex, “the fact that it contains many billions of cells and trillions of connections does not necessarily make its primary method complex.”
But Nicolelis is in a camp that thinks that human consciousness (and if you believe in it, the soul) simply can’t be replicated in silicon. That’s because its most important features are the result of unpredictable, non-linear interactions amongst billions of cells, Nicolelis says.
“You can’t predict whether the stock market will go up or down because you can’t compute it,” he says. “You could have all the computer chips ever in the world and you won’t create a consciousness.”
Interesante nota. Concuerdo con el autor que el cerebro humano es imposible duplicarlo. Hoy en día existen "sistemas inteligentes" o I.A. pero como me dijo hace no mucho tiempo un TOP TEN mundial de la ingenieria del software con el cual tengo la oportinidad de hablar con cierta regularidad me confirmo mi idea, "a las computadoras no se les cae una idea" para resumirlo podemos decir que la "inteligencia artificial" es procesamiento por fuerza bruta. Las computadoras son tán rapidas y manejan increibles volumenes de información que parecen inteligentes, pero al final de todo no hubo otra cosa que procesamiento, jamas un razonamiento, idea o creación.
An important part of education is student's learning. Good quality Education is based mainly on how well student attain the knowledge. One way to achieve that is to simplify the content and make it as intuitive as possible. This can be challenging especially for introductory computer science courses for non-computer science students. Such courses are supposed to cover a wide range of complex computer concepts such as networking, computer internal hardware, databases, operating systems and others. In this paper we are presenting the results of a study done on the use of YouTube videos to enhance students' learning. We have evaluated the student's performance in an introduction to computers course for non-computer science students by comparing two groups of students, The first one is a test group in which we have supplied the students with a set of videos from YouTube to illustrate different concepts such as multiple core versus single core processor, hard disk internal components, using fiber optic cables to connect continents under water. ect. The second is a control group in which we have only used the traditional resources, such as the textbook, in class lectures and handouts. The results of the study have shown that students understand and can remember the complex concepts much better when they are exposed to a visual explanation video. We found that most of the students if not all watched the short videos, which is not the case with textual content. One of the main advantages of YouTube is that it is a free web based service that contains short contents about specific concepts taught in schools. Educators can easily search and review videos related to a specific concept or knowledge, and then provide the students with the link. In our case the videos were downloaded using RealPlayer plugin, which allowed us to download any video streaming content on the web. Then we have uploaded the videos in our LMS (learning management system). We have opted to include th- videos in the LMS so that we can track the number of students who have downloaded the videos and keep track of the number of downloads. In this study we have found that using YouTube videos encouraged students to look for similar videos, and get a habit of using YouTube as an educational resource. The only challenge is the evaluation of the reliability of the content, for that reason content selection has to done by the instructor. Lastly, YouTube videos have been a useful source of educational content, it is a free web based tool, and the impact has been important based on our study on students' performance. Educators have used YouTube videos in other fields such as nursing in  and have proven to be an effective tool to enhance students learning and engagement.
Mi experiencia personal conicide con el artículo. Los videos son buenos soportes para la educación. Estimo que el hecho de escuchar y ver imágenes asociadas a los conceptos que se queren enseñar facilitan la comprensión reduciendo los tiempos necesarios para asimilar la información. En él podemos encontrar los Tips que destraban y agilizan el entendimiento del tema. Como aclara la nota un punto central está en la selección del material. Parte del nuievo rol docente es la creación de contenido amigable para la comprensión como por ejemplo los videos y/o también la busqueda de los mismos.
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