April 20, 2002

April 20, 2002 8:20 PM

“Intensifying knowledge will enhance the appreciation of any art form. We need knowledge to appreciate an artistic expression. Otherwise, we don’t understand the vocabulary and the allusions.”

“Downloading knowledge (feasible by the middle of the twenty-first century) will be one of the benefits of the neural-implant technology. We’ll have implants (electronic extensions of our brains) that extend our capacity for retaining knowledge, for enhancing memory.”

“Humans are far more skilled at recognizing patterns than in thinking through logical combinations, so we rely on this aptitude for almost all of our mental processes. Indeed, pattern recognition comprises the bulk of our neural circuitry. The reset time on neural firing is about five milliseconds, permitting only about two hundred calculations per second in each neural connection. We don’t have time to think too many thoughts when we are pressed to make a decision. The human brain relies on precomputing its analyses and storing them for future reference. We then use our pattern-recognition capability to recognize a situation as comparable to one we have thought about and then draw upon our previously considered conclusions. We are , therefore, unable to think about matters that we have not thought through many times before.”

“Machines can readily share all of their accumulated knowledge so only one machine has to do the learning. We humans can’t do that. That’s one reason – that when computers reach the level of human intelligence, they will necessarily roar past it.”

from : The Age Of Spiritual Machines – Ray Kurzweil