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I keep hearing about the limits of PC architecture and its instruction set etc, my answer, I'm not stupid, I know that witches are not the only people, to use hex editors? The hardware isn't the really important thing, this is about software or more to the point, information and how it is manipulated, so think on a higher level. The MNN or web of the future, won't be hardware limited as such, it will be a massive virtual machine, capable of interpreting information in much the same way we do. As I said, if you asked the average brain cell a question, then what do you think it knows, but once networked in the right way with lots of other little brain cells, then?

The internet is a network, it is currently wired together in a dumb way, gotten the point yet?

Millions and potentially billions of individual memory and processing elements working in unison, sound familiar?

Also think of it in application terms, I don't know how to circum navigate the globe, using just the stars, a couple of charts, a watch and a sextant, I see this as an application I never got around to learning. As I see it, if I do learn this skill, then this could be classed as just another application or program my mind / software can run, then think of the net of the future running millions of applications all at once. Will it compare to human intelligence or will it remain just a bunch of on and off pulses, it is hard to know for sure, but as I said, at a higher level the mind does seem to develop beyond its hardware constraints. In reality this may mean that eventually, information manipulation by machines, may lead them to true machine thinking, rather than just well understood algorithmic processes?

The planet of the apes evolved into the planet of the humans over millions of years, it is believed that as forests grew into savannas, then some apes adapted to this new found environment and eventually into us. Adapting to suit the environment is a key to evolutionary change in any species or as I like to view it, organisms adapt and change because of feedback. In other words if you don't catch any food for a while because your environment changes, then you either adapt or die. This is feedback and change in action, the question for me is this, will an MNN type system also adapt and evolve, beyond are ability to control and understand it?

Human thinking as we currently understand it, is thought to have evolved over hundreds of thousands of years, one of the precursors to thinking, is thought to have been the development of art and language, from the first grunt used to describe something, to cave paintings. In machine terms this can be likened to higher level languages being developed, the question is, when does the mind become capable of thought and is thought a strictly human activity? My hunch is, that the mind and software as we currently understand both, can be seen as comparable in nature to some degree, its just that humans have had an evolutionary head start. But keep in mind, that if 100,000 humans work each for a year on evolving a piece of software, then some smart results are sure to occur. Now multiply that into the net of the future, with millions of monitored and measured interactions taking place every second of everyday, equals lots of feedback, this could lead to evolution, macroevolution or just maybe, revolution?

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Author Alan Keeling