Art of the possible rules imitations of the mind

May 19, 1995

David Salt falls into the same trap as Roger Penrose when attempting to understand connectionist software, when he suggests that the algorithms are a limitation to computer systems simulating the brain (THES, April 28).

The biochemical "algorithms" that dictate the internal behaviour of the human mind are the analogue of these limitations. Neural networks and the no doubt, more complex models that follow them, will better and better model these "biochemical algorithms". The art of computing is modelling and simulating the underlying behaviour of any system. What makes the new network algorithms special, is that they can change with experience.

Whether all processes of the human mind can be modelled, is debatable but I would hypothesise that consciousness and intelligence have some underlying behaviour that can be modelled at certain levels. No one can state they will produce, or understand fully, human intelligence or human consciousness but there will be similar models which may give insights into understanding these concepts. Only bigots have the audacity to suggest that we shall never achieve any scientific goal, they do not see that no one can predict what developments the future may bring.

Though the philosophical debate is interesting, the real work is the development of evaluation of better and better models. That evaluation must include comparisons with human consciousness and intelligence. The philosophers would be better trying to identify consciousness or intelligence before they can decide whether they are achievable. The question for those developing intelligent systems is not whether we will achieve but what we can achieve.


Department of applied computing and electronics

Bournemouth University

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Professor of Military Technology THE SWEDISH DEFENCE UNIVERSITY
Director of Digital Services STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY
Technician for Psychology Programmes ST MARYS UNIVERSITY, TWICKENHAM

Most Commented

Home secretary says government will support 'best' universities

Man handing microphone to audience member

Academic attainment of disadvantaged students can be improved if they can decide how they are assessed, study claims

Woman drinking tea from saucer

Plugging a multibillion-pound deficit exacerbated by June’s poll result may require ‘drastic measures’, analysts have warned

PhD lettered on book spine

Billy Bryan and Furaha Asani look at how to get the most out of your doctoral studies

Italy's gold medallist

New measures to ensure universities are ‘not penalised’ for taking poorer students also outlined for next stage of TEF