Can neurons and synapses communicate? Could we do with a bit more math?
One answer is no—there’s absolutely nothing “brain” about computers. Computers take an immense, deep, and sophisticated intellectual journey all the way down to the fundamental particles and circuits all the way along to the end. So, yes, brains are very good at doing the same thing. Computers, in contrast, are just very good at making very good choices.
But let’s turn to one of those “simple” things like algebra. When you want to solve an equation, can humans do it? Maybe we could, if we had minds with similar patterns of thinking. But the best we can do with an ordinary computer is get its answer. For instance, when the human brain is asked for any problem that it can solve—for which the computer cannot solve—the answer is a string of letters. But it’s just not the way a computer thinks.
It seems like there’s a limit—how much of the whole can be accomplished with a computer’s computational power on a human. After all, the computer is just a little bit better than our human brain at doing things. But we don’t really have a good answer for how much of what the computer can compute, in essence, can be done on its own.
In an experiment at the University of California, Berkeley, Professor Mark Zuckerberg decided he wanted a way to try to get around this problem, which would allow the humans to do much more with computers. The idea was that the computer would do the hard part. It would find its answer by trying all available formulas, some of which would involve thinking and some of which would require just one input.
So Zuckerberg wanted to see what would happen if it did something with the human, to test what he called “computational intent.” He had two conditions to get a computer to make a decision for him, one simple and one more challenging. If it tried to do the challenge, it failed. If it tried to do the simple one, it succeeded. It made a decision by figuring out that the simple one was better than the simple one.
In an online video that Zuckerberg recorded, he asks a computer to choose between four colors, and the computer chooses a third that’s pink, and then it says “It wants to play chess with you.” What happens when the computer does want to play chess with the human?
First, for about 20 seconds, the computer plays
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