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Section 4 / Page 141
Humans / Computers And The Basic Model
The ability to model ones environment is not purely based on our ability to see and hear (etc), it is a combination of information overlaid onto a basic model. This model is determined by many factors, but mostly it is based upon our personal notion of reality, in times gone by, many people thought the sky was made from a collection of glass balls, donít laugh this was actually thought to be true. The point is, that the basic model that is currently accepted by the masses, is that the Universe was created in some type of big bang, it then expanded outwards, this then led to the formation of the Universe. Even though as we all know?, we now live within a space time bubble, floating within an eleven dimensional multiverse?
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The basic model is forever changing as we learn and acquire new information; this information is then fitted into the basic model a bit like a jigsaw piece, so usually helping each of us to define the basic model or reality just that little bit better. Occasionally somebody will come along and totally upset the basic model, Galileo, Newton, Einstein or one of my favourites, Heisenberg, all these people managed to see or work out a different basic model. All these people in effect came up with new ways to help define the Universe, from the Principia to a book I suspect, has yet to be written?
The ability to adjust ones basic model so as to help define the Universe in new terms, is an ability that I believe computers will eventually beat us at. My reasoning behind this is straightforward, I maybe wrong but my basic model is telling me Iím right (probably because Iíve exposed myself to some faulty data or not enough data). The acquisition and processing of data for humans is a reasonably slow and cumbersome procedure, anybody who has ever had to study for a test knows this to be true, the truth is, it is usually a pain in the neck. This is because our brains are not really designed for the task. After all it took millions of years for Mother Nature to evolve us, and Iím pretty sure she didnít expect any of us to be taking a test on Quantum physics just after breakfast. It was much more likely that we would have to go and catch breakfast, so relatively speaking, human evolution has still to catch up with modern society.
The problem is that in the modern world, being a hunter-gatherer doesnít really equate to good social behaviour. Anyway the brains information input devices are somewhat limited, along with the speed at which the brain is capable of storing and processing that input, the standardisation of speech along with reading and writing, means that we all have an inbuilt speed limit when it comes to learning certain types of information. Computers do not have this problem, the rate at which they can share and process information is not limited, the only question is, will they ever have the ability to truly comprehend that information.
Anyway the point is, that the human race is now having the basic model stretched to its limits. The amount of available information, means that it is now becoming almost impossible for anybody to produce a totally accurate basic model, so the basic model for everybody is becoming somewhat distorted. At one time you were pretty safe saying that the speed of light was absolute and constant throughout the universe, recent evidence suggests this may longer be the case. This is another one of those situations, where new knowledge, uproots old knowledge, so forcing us all to re-evaluate and change the basic model once again. The problem is, that the speed at which this is happening at least for most humans, is making it almost impossible, for most people to keep up. In the last 100 years we have seen technology and therefore civilization evolve faster than most of the human races ability, to fully comprehend it. From the model T to the space shuttle and all within the life span of the average human.
The basic model concept is about the fact that we all have our own version of reality somewhat hardwired into our heads and once that reality is established, then it becomes very difficult for most people to change it. The basic model is usually established reasonably early on in life, with minor alterations made to it, throughout ones life. My personal belief, is that my basic model is never completely right or right at all, itís just the best model I can come up with, based on my current understanding of the information I have exposed myself to. This premise, as in., I'm only as smart as the information I have exposed myself to and I am capable of processing, has led me to believe that a computer system with almost unlimited processing power and programmed in the right way, whilst having access to something like the net, could very likely, outstrip any human intelligence.
The A.I. scientistís main worry is I believe the same as mine, which is, once these machines have the ability to correlate all that data, then machines should be able to produce a basic model which would be far larger, more complex and more accurate than any individual human could ever hope to comprehend. Machines are designed to be very good and efficient information processors, humans on the other hand are not, although we manage some information processing tasks very well, other tasks humans seem to be diabolically slow and inept at. Machines will eventually catch up with us, and in all respects they should very rapidly overtake us. This is why we will either manage and control machines or as I believe, they will eventually manage and control us.
How we interpret the universe, is the key to the basic model concept, each persons universe is slightly different, not physically maybe, but definitely in how each of us, interprets it. For another take on the basic model concept, see world view.
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