WaPo – Human intelligence can’t be transferred to machines


  • only just beginning to understand the foundations of human intelligence and consciousness that cannot be captured in an algorithmic formula
  • neuroscientist Antonio Damasio argues in his new book, “The Strange Order of Things,” it is the feelings and emotions, which originated and dwell in that biological terrain, that are constitutive of human intelligence, consciousness and the capacity for cultural creation
  • “Our minds operate in two registers,” …
    • “In one register, we deal with perception, movement, memories, reasoning, verbal languages and mathematical languages. This register needs to be precise and can be easily described in computational terms.
    • there is a second register,” “that pertains to emotions and feelings that describes the state of life in our living body and that does not lend itself easily to a computational account
    • “Minds are not made by nervous systems alone but rather by nervous systems in cooperation with many other and far older living systems of our body, including metabolic, endocrine, immune and circulatory systems. Nervous systems are late-comers in evolution. They are useful servants of the older life systems. Nervous systems have declared a considerable degree of independence relative to the older systems they serve but they are by no means free of those older systems. They do not stand alone. Unfortunately, conventional conceptions of mind are based on the idea that nervous systems make minds by themselves.”
  • To the extent the intelligent mind is biologically embodied, few are aware of how directly these microbes and their genes affect the functioning of our bodies.
    • The human genome found in the nuclei of our cells contains roughly 20,000 genes, but the microbiome — the sum total of genetic material in the microorganisms that live in and on us — contains as many as 20 million genes, all of which are directly or indirectly interacting with and at times even controlling our genes
  • it is impossible to clearly determine where a human being ends and its microbiome begins
  • If human intelligence is grounded in biology, by definition it can’t be transferred to machines

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s