Eclectic Curiosity

Posted on March 1st, 2004, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Uncategorized. No Comments

Scary to some, intriguing to others, artificial intelligence is developing at a quick pace. It’s even, according to this article – The machine that invents, learning from its own mistakes. In this case, the AI is the aptly named Creativity Machine, a computer program by Imagination Engines president and CEO Stephen Thaler that is credited with having written more music than any composer in the world, invented the Oral-B CrossAction toothbrush, discovered substances harder than diamonds, and coined 1.5 million new English words. The secret: tickle the program with random activity to effectively establish new network connections, new ideas.

“Creativity cannot be derived in a logical way, in a step-by-step fashion.” You need a little noise to come up with good ideas, he said. Human brains are also noisy places, said Dr. Walter J. Freeman, a neurobiologist at the University of California at Berkeley. A debate has raged for half a century about what the brain does with noise.

Many biologists see noise as just a nuisance or a necessary evil, Freeman said. The brain devotes many neurons to the same task so it can swamp out that random activity, those scientists argue. But Freeman subscribes to an alternative theory – that noise is essential for the brain to function properly. Noise provides variability that allows organisms to adapt to new situations, he said.

(via Pure Content)

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