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The best evidence to show that we all learn from our environment is language; the majority of people learn to speak the language of the country in which they were born. This can be used to show that the brain is just a processor of large amounts of relevant information in real time, consciousness could be classed as the result of that processing behavior. If this is the case, then there is no reason to think that a computer given enough processing power and relevant information or data, couldn’t perform a similar task. To go beyond this rational, is, I believe, to over state the case when comparing a computer system with the brains processing behavior. The processing of relevant information in real-time, is I feel the key to consciousness. The proposed A.I. system was seen as being given a similar ability, as in the processing of relevant information in real time through the use of an always-on grid set-up.
Humans learn to speak and write by the implementation of concepts to experience, the technical term for this is transivity. Once we have experienced something then we can apply a concept to that experience, this is how writing and language work. We can all communicate because we all agree to the standardisation of certain patterns. This ability is not unique to us, computers can also apply rules based on their experiences, thus allowing them to build up their own form of interpretation, the Macroscopic Neural Network (MNN), in this way, was seen as being a massive interpreter. (I will explain the MNN concept as you read on).
Just remember once a certain level of interpretation is reached by humans, then self learning becomes possible, this was also seen as analogous to how the MNN would work. I.e. it would become better and better at interpreting all of the data (see DAML), it had access to.
All forms of communication, can be seen as agreed upon standards.
The MNN was seen as eventually being able to understand all these standards.
This included all of the standards used by humans, in their efforts to communicate with one another.
A laymen's explanation.
If you watched somebody who was standing on one leg and waving their arms in the air, then what would you think that person was trying to say and the answer is, nothing, because those actions in effect, do not conform to any known communication standard. If somebody on the other hand waves at you, then in just about any language this usually means "Hi", as I said communication is all about the common agreement of standardised patterns, without common agreement communication can not take place.
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