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A Robot with a Biological Brain

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posted on Sep, 2 2008 @ 09:31 AM
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What price the ghost in the machine now?

A multidisciplinary team at the University of Reading has developed a robot which is controlled by a biological brain formed from cultured neurons.



The thing moves and makes decisions on its own, without any external direction. It can learn. It has a will of its own.

Belief in the existence of a nonphysical entity called 'mind' or 'spirit' takes another hit. How long now, before it's holed below the waterline and sinks without trace?




posted on Sep, 2 2008 @ 01:40 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
What price the ghost in the machine now?

The thing moves and makes decisions on its own, without any external direction. It can learn. It has a will of its own.

Belief in the existence of a nonphysical entity called 'mind' or 'spirit' takes another hit. How long now, before it's holed below the waterline and sinks without trace?




:-)

don't know

when it starts asking where it came from - we might have to pull "mind" out of it's hole - and revisit the concept of consciousness - one more time

I can't really tell - does it make you even just a little bit sad? or are you that anxious to be rid of it?

meantime - we should discuss the meaning of the word "will"



posted on Sep, 2 2008 @ 01:46 PM
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Interesting. I don't know how he keeps them alive, or if he does hormones (like a pituitary gland), but in principle it can't be bad, progress even....



posted on Sep, 3 2008 @ 01:39 AM
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reply to post by Spiramirabilis
 


does it make you even just a little bit sad?

No, Spriamirabilis, it doesn't. The world is overflowing with beauty, complexity and awe-inspiring wonder just as it is. There is no need to gild the lily by importing nonexistent magical entities into it.


or are you that anxious to be rid of it?

Yes, actually I am. The sooner we boot out this nonsensical palaver of gods and souls, the sooner we shall be able to get properly to grips with our real problems and potentials.


meantime - we should discuss the meaning of the word "will"

Another nonexistent magical entity. I posted this on a nother thread today. Go and have a look.



posted on Sep, 3 2008 @ 02:01 AM
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At this point according to the video, this robot has about as much free will as an incect. I don't think were that close to throwing away the idea of a soul quite yet.


It is interesting that it is cognitive enough to avoid objects at this point. it's progress, and progress is good.



posted on Sep, 3 2008 @ 09:57 AM
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Apart from its lack of agreement with reality, yours is a superb intellectual performance - Albert Einstein


nice

well, I didn't make the long, arduous journey from Candyland to the Science forum to give you grief

I meant to congratulate you - in my own way

there must be much rejoicing in the land where you live

I'm sure there will be elephants in the scientific materialist parade, so enjoy :-)

now, back to the land of elves and faeries

all kidding aside - it really is amazing - fascinating



posted on Sep, 3 2008 @ 10:30 AM
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amazing stuff. i personally draw the line at emotion or sentience. if it starts getting feelings or becoming self-aware then we've gone too far.



posted on Sep, 3 2008 @ 06:18 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
No, Spriamirabilis, it doesn't. The world is overflowing with beauty, complexity and awe-inspiring wonder just as it is. There is no need to gild the lily by importing nonexistent magical entities into it.

How do you know that there's no such thing as a soul? Maybe there isn't, but how do you know? You don't. Nobody knows. Why deny possibilities?


Another nonexistent magical entity.

Okay... what? You don't believe in people having a will? That... just doesn't make sense.

Originally posted by an0maly33
amazing stuff. i personally draw the line at emotion or sentience. if it starts getting feelings or becoming self-aware then we've gone too far.

I disagree. We should do what we can. If we create a new cybernetic creature, then that's just amazing! I can understand your concerns though, but I just personally don't share them very strongly.



posted on Sep, 3 2008 @ 06:37 PM
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Ya know... I was JUST talking about Robocop, but for a completely different reason! This kind of disturbs me. How far ahead do you think black ops neuroscience is? It's a fair question, considering it is well proven that black ops account for a MASSIVE amount of government spending... of our money, by the way... and there's no doubt they've looked into biotech such as melding biological brains with machines. They say black ops science is about 30 to 50 years ahead of the public, on the average... and with recent decades seeing the birth of instant communication worldwide, I'm betting that black ops science is now more like 100 years or more ahead of ours.

I wonder how long before the human cops with free will will be replaced with cybernetically controlled robocops with bio-brains?



posted on Sep, 4 2008 @ 08:19 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by Spiramirabilis
 

No, Spriamirabilis, it doesn't. The world is overflowing with beauty, complexity and awe-inspiring wonder just as it is. There is no need to gild the lily by importing nonexistent magical entities into it.

Yes, actually I am. The sooner we boot out this nonsensical palaver of gods and souls, the sooner we shall be able to get properly to grips with our real problems and potentials.

Another nonexistent magical entity. I posted this on a nother thread today. Go and have a look.


I have to say - I really am quite attached to my nonexistent magical entities - but you're right - nature doesn't need any decorating

this subject - this robot-brain - is amazing

and I see what you're saying - and I believe I understand how you think this will support your belief - and it may - a long, long, long time from now...

and I will eat my hat when that day comes - promise

or crow - whichever you prefer

but, I still see the mechanics of "self" as being separate from that intangible thing I'm calling consciousness

let's say this experiment actually continues long enough (however long that will take) that at some point it becomes aware - of itself - no different than where we are now - or even as much as we were in our distant past

let's leave religion, soul, spirit - all of that out of this completely - just for the sake of this particular argument

I still see it as the birth of something new - something that didn't exist previously

I don't know how to give it a name - I can't place it in a category

I just feel that knowing yourself - proves the self

even though I personally believe that the self doesn't exist - it does - before it doesn't

2 things can be true at the same time

none of this belongs here - in science - I know

but - they did create this little thinking critter - and you are trying to take away my mind

checked out the other thread - have questions there - I see the connection - but still...



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 01:19 AM
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A Bit Too Philosophical?


Originally posted by Spiramirabilis
none of this belongs here - in science - I know

Yes, I'm getting a bit uncomfortable about that myself. If the moderators feel this fits better in the Philosophy forum, I shan't object to its being moved there.


Originally posted by GrayFox
Okay... what? You don't believe in people having a will? That... just doesn't make sense.

Oh, but it does.


3.3 Do We Have Free Will?

A recent trend is to suppose that agent causation accounts capture, as well as possible, our prereflective idea of responsible, free action. But the failure of philosophers to work the account out in a fully satisfactory and intelligible form reveals that the very idea of free will (and so of responsibility) is incoherent, or at least inconsistent with a world very much like our own... Smilansky takes a more complicated position, on which there are two ‘levels’ on which we may assess freedom, ‘compatibilist’ and ‘ultimate’. On the ultimate level of evaluation, free will is indeed incoherent.

The will has also recently become a target of empirical study in neuroscience and cognitive psychology. Benjamin Libet conducted experiments designed to determine the timing of conscious willings or decisions to act in relation to brain activity associated with the physical initiation of behavior. Interpretation of the results is highly controversial. Libet himself concludes that the studies provide strong evidence that actions are already underway shortly before the agent wills to do it. As a result, we do not consciously initiate our actions, though he suggests that we might nonetheless retain the ability to veto actions that are initiated by unconscious psychological structures.

Free Will, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Also, follow the link in my earlier reply to Spiramirabilis and click through to the links you find in that post. You'll be astonished.

As for the existence of the soul, what's a soul anyway? Does it differ from a mind? Or a self? And what facts about nature cannot be explained without postulating the existence of one? A little food for thought.


Originally posted by Spiramirabilis
let's say this experiment actually continues long enough (however long that will take) that at some point it becomes aware - of itself - no different than where we are now - or even as much as we were in our distant past

How do we know it isn't aware of itself already? We know nothing about how other entities become self-aware, or even if they are. Is a cow aware of itself, and if so, in what sense? What about a fish? Or a cockroach? We have no way of telling.


I just feel that knowing yourself - proves the self

But you don't know yourself. No human being does. This is amply demonstrated in everyday life.


2 things can be true at the same time

Not if they must exist under the same frame conditions and are mutually contradictory. The very definition of 'truth' refutes this.



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 12:13 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
A Bit Too Philosophical?


Originally posted by Spiramirabilis
none of this belongs here - in science - I know

Yes, I'm getting a bit uncomfortable about that myself. If the moderators feel this fits better in the Philosophy forum, I shan't object to its being moved there.



truth be told - I think science and philosophy are twin souls - and do belong together

but - not in this forum maybe

except to say - I think science does have a responsibility to address some of the possible ramifications of it's little adventures

maybe we should take this show on the road

if I can think of an interesting way to put it together - I'll start a new thread

meantime - thanks for an exciting, amazing - and slightly disturbing chunk of news



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 01:40 AM
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Here's an article I found a while ago about this robot....
news.bbc.co.uk...

Not only could research like this lead to some kind of new cybernetic creature, but it could maybe lead to bio-computers. Could be a while though, but who knows? If technology continues developing quickly, then maybe it won't be too long. And hopefully the technology will be used in positive ways more than negative ways....



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