Perceptronium

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yogi
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Perceptronium

Post by yogi » 25 Jul 2015, 08:31

If the term perceptronium has come up in conversation and you were too embarrassed to ask what it was, , Max Tegmark, a theoretical physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, has the answer. It's simply another state of matter, such as solids, liquids, and gasses. The interesting thing about perceptronium is that it explains consciousness.

Scientists have long been perplexed trying to explain consciousness but in essence a system demonstrating consciousness must have two traits:
  1. the system must be able to store and process large amounts of information. In other words consciousness is essentially a phenomenon of information.
  2. this information must be integrated in a unified whole so that it is impossible to divide into independent parts.
Each instance of consciousness, therefore, is a unified whole that cannot be decomposed into separate components.

Perceptronium is thus defined as the most general substance that feels subjectively self-aware.

The beauty of this explanation of consciousness is that it can be quantified in mathematical terms which in turn lends itself to scientific studies such as quantum mechanics.

https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-bl ... 7ed624986d

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Kellemora
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Re: Perceptronium

Post by Kellemora » 25 Jul 2015, 09:05

Hmm, sounds like it leaves most humans out of the equation of being self-aware.
Don't believe me? Just look around WalMart, hi hi!

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Icey
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Re: Perceptronium

Post by Icey » 25 Jul 2015, 14:55

LOOOOL Gary!!!!

That's an interesting article Yogi, although I don't understand it properly. I always wondered if consciousness is an energy, but I can't explain my reasons for thinking that!

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yogi
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Re: Perceptronium

Post by yogi » 25 Jul 2015, 19:04

Everything in the universe is either matter or energy. Consciousness didn't really fit into the physical explanation of things which is why science has more or less avoided attempting to explain how it works. Max Tegmark has attempted to explain consciousness in terms of quantum mechanics and information theory, both of which have measurable properties. Thus, if consciousness is indeed only another state of matter, it can be measured, studied, and defined. My own opinion is that self-awareness is merely a chemical reaction inside the brain. That was hard enough for me to swallow, but now it is said to rank right up there with solids, liquids, and gasses. I can't wait to see the equation explaining it all. :lol:

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Icey
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Re: Perceptronium

Post by Icey » 26 Jul 2015, 07:41

I have to agree with you; a chemical reaction inside the brain but which requires energy to be produced?

Phew .... do you REALLY want to see the equation? I go blank at the thought of one! LOL. Interesting, though. There are a lot of questions I'd like to ask, but I doubt I'd understand the answers, and I DO wonder whether it's possible to measure human consciousness, and if so, what good it'll do?

It seems to be an inherent trait of human beings that they want to find the answers to everything. We've developed the brains to at least question them, but I somehow feel that we won't quite get there. If we knew the point or reason for our existence, and indeed, the reason for how everything in the universe got there, I don't see what good it'd do us, but this way of thinking isn't going to stop others from trying. In my simple way, it still intrigues me though!

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yogi
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Re: Perceptronium

Post by yogi » 26 Jul 2015, 08:49

The theory behind Perceptronium begs to answer why we see things the way we do. Apparently there are a number of ways to perceive and recognize our environment but we chose the 3D model that is taken for granted. If you read into Max Tegmark deep enough you might get the impression that we are simply biological computers bent on replicating ourselves. Perhaps through a better understanding of consciousness we can achieve some assurance of our purpose.

One intriguing aspect of Tegmark's approach is that most of the computer based devices we know and love these days have the same properties which define perceptronium. As a form of matter, they have the same properties we self-aware creatures have. Thus, can it be implied that computers have self-awareness on some level because they are made of the same matter that we are? This line of inquiry leads to all manner of speculation. One such speculation is that we humans might be some higher being's computer. Of course they would not know about us any more than we know about them - we live in different universes after all.

I personally think that seeking a purpose for existence is asking the wrong question. There is no purpose other than to exist. We are what is happening in the universe. If we have a purpose it's to simply to be part of the action.

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Kellemora
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Re: Perceptronium

Post by Kellemora » 26 Jul 2015, 17:35

Some day we may be able to build biological computers!
Of course then we will get another group who wants biological computers to be totally organic, hi hi...

A computer stores its information in memory, either rom, ram, or storage device.

What If:

What if our brains did not have any type of storage, other than perhaps built in rom memory, which cannot be written to?

Think about our brain this way. Instead of storing in memory, it uses radio waves and transmits each thing we think we are memorizing out into an orbit around itself, or a larger area.

We forget things we don't recall often enough, because like a radio signal, it fades with each orbit. When we recall something, it gets retransmitted, so the signal is fresh again. Sometimes we can fine tune an older memory which was nearly lost, causing it to be recalled and retransmitted again. Traumatic events would be transmitted at a much higher power than what we had for dinner last night or last week or last month. In other words, the transmitting power used is directly related to the importance of the event, or if it had a traumatic affect which caused it to be transmitted at super power.

Since each person would be on their own frequency, if our brains did work this way, it could explain how twins know each others thoughts, or mothers sense things about their children, because their frequencies are so close together, only a little tuning deviation could land you on your twins frequency, or a mother to her child's frequency, or close enough to know when something traumatic is going on.

Some people may be able to drift their receiver frequency more than others, which gives them sort of an ESP which only works with some people, and at random times and intervals. Like when you get crosstalk on your telephones.

Just food for thought!

TTUL
Gary

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Icey
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Re: Perceptronium

Post by Icey » 26 Jul 2015, 19:19

Thanks Yogi. I found this interesting: http://www.livescience.com/6333-molecul ... brain.html

The thing that I can't understand, is where you say: " As a form of matter, they (computers) have the same properties we self-aware creatures have. Thus, can it be implied that computers have self-awareness on some level because they are made of the same matter that we are?"

These machines aren't made of the same matter as we are. Everything's made up of molecules, but many different ones. The human being relies on cellular proteins which inanimate objects don't possess. Perhaps I'm not grasping your point, but please continue. Just because I'm not comprehending all the points made, doesn't mean that I'm not interested in learning more.

The same goes for yourself Gary. All these ideas're possible.

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Kellemora
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Re: Perceptronium

Post by Kellemora » 27 Jul 2015, 15:31

Seems to me, anions and cations, atoms and electrons, would all move much faster in a biological form than a mineral form.
After all, electricity flows much faster through water than it does through rubber, plastic, or sand for that matter.
Silicon is sand isn't it?

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Icey
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Re: Perceptronium

Post by Icey » 27 Jul 2015, 16:05

Not quite Gary. There's now a computer which stores information and acts swifter than the human brain. However, it takes much more energy for it to be able to do so.

"For decades computer scientists have strived to build machines that can calculate faster than the human brain and store more information. The contraptions have won. The world’s most powerful supercomputer, the K from Fujitsu, computes four times faster and holds 10 times as much data. And of course, many more bits are coursing through the Internet at any moment. Yet the Internet’s servers worldwide would fill a small city, and the K sucks up enough electricity to power 10,000 homes. The incredibly efficient brain consumes less juice than a dim lightbulb and fits nicely inside our head. Biology does a lot with a little: the human genome, which grows our body and directs us through years of complex life, requires less data than a laptop operating system. Even a cat’s brain smokes the newest iPad—1,000 times more data storage and a million times quicker to act on it. "

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yogi
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Re: Perceptronium

Post by yogi » 28 Jul 2015, 11:15

The days of quantum computing are here wherein all the computing power in existence today would fit easily inside an iPhone. It's just a matter of finding economical ways to produce it. The next generation of computer components will not depend on electron flow but rather on electron spin which has virtually no propagation delays. There is a good chance Icey will see these things in her lifetime and a fair chance that Gary and I will too. Keep in mind that technology is growing at an exponential rate, not linear. Some huge changes in how we use computers are just around the corner. Along with this our concepts of perception and cognition will be challenged as never before.

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Re: Perceptronium

Post by forumadmin » 29 Jul 2015, 07:31

Some replies to this topic have been moved to a thread of their own:

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Icey
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Re: Perceptronium

Post by Icey » 29 Jul 2015, 08:12

I wonder if there'll become a time when there's nothing left for man to challenge?

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yogi
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Re: Perceptronium

Post by yogi » 29 Jul 2015, 08:23

If the theory is correct and consciousness is another form of matter, then consciousness extends to the limits of the material universe. I don't see any limit to that which we can attempt to understand and be cognizant about.

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Icey
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Re: Perceptronium

Post by Icey » 29 Jul 2015, 11:38

It'd be fab to be around to see, wouldn't it?

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Kellemora
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Re: Perceptronium

Post by Kellemora » 29 Jul 2015, 12:29

I worked with a guy for a couple of years who never needed a calculator to perform any math problem, within reason of course.
He did admit once that it was not that he worked the problem in his head, it was just that he worked the problems so often, he had all the answers without going through the mathwork to solve the problem in memory.

Eons ago when I was calculating payroll for 250+ employees each week, I only needed to look at their time card and jot down the hours worked each day in the margin, without relying on the old Victor Adder or Time Chart pages, except when they had most unusual spans of hours or several clock-in and out's.
So sorta understand where the guy was coming from, even if I could never do what he did with so many variables.

In keeping with the topic Perceptronium.
Way back (yea it was a long, long, time ago), when I was in high skewl, algebra gave me the fits, I barely squeaked by with a D-. Now, what is so different about geometry? Geometry appears to be still algebra, but it's not. I sailed through geometry averaging B+'s with a few A's tossed in for good measure. For some reason I could see the shape represented by the equation. Something I never could do in algebra. Plain geometry was like child's play, and it took solid geometry to make me think a bit. As far as algebra goes, I still don't get it, and probably never will.
How we see things, has a lot to do with how we understand them, and how we can work within those confines.
Perhaps Perceptronium comes in different flavors, hi hi...

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Icey
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Re: Perceptronium

Post by Icey » 30 Jul 2015, 09:42

Perceptronium delves into physics. As you say, there could be many forms of it. I wouldn't like to be the one working any equations out! : (

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