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Thread: OT: semi update re my work

  1. #1
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    Default OT: semi update re my work

    Time for a bit of an update. As of now my work is closing in on completion. It has taken this long because the professor is a workaholic and constantly overloads himself with things to do. I was very surprised when he gave me a full hour of his time for the recent lab meetings and demonstration.

    I now must wait for a more accurate brain model that he would like me to use in my software. In the meantime I have been finding models from other universities that will work just fine but that will depend on his approval. Until I have that I won't be making any videos that I can show off anywhere. We are also discussing just who owns what and I must decide if I want to make this open source, or not. It may have some financial value if I continue to own it. If I decide to keep it I will licence it locally only.

    The system works very nicely with all channels displayed at once. I keep finding ways to up the speed to a point that looks like it is written in C++.

    Also, something else is happening in the computer world. When I was studying at Berkeley it was my intent to create an artificial intelligence. But, it didn't take me long to decide that it simply was not possible to do that using a binary computer. I quickly saw that the brain is not a digital computer and any attempt to treat as that in order to create an AI was doomed to failure. That was about 60 years ago. It now seems that what I saw has now been vindicated.

    I just wonder what took everybody else so long to see what I saw back then.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0309150634.htm

    Scientists have generally believed that dendrites meekly sent currents they received from the cell's synapse (the junction between two neurons) to the soma, which in turn generated an electrical impulse. Those short electrical bursts, known as somatic spikes, were thought to be at the heart of neural computation and learning. But the new study demonstrated that dendrites generate their own spikes 10 times more often than the somas.

    The researchers also found that dendrites generate large fluctuations in voltage in addition to the spikes; the spikes are binary, all-or-nothing events. The somas generated only all-or-nothing spikes, much like digital computers do. In addition to producing similar spikes, the dendrites also generated large, slowly varying voltages that were even bigger than the spikes, which suggests that the dendrites execute analog computation.

    "We found that dendrites are hybrids that do both analog and digital computations, which are therefore fundamentally different from purely digital computers, but somewhat similar to quantum computers that are analog," said Mehta, a UCLA professor of physics and astronomy, of neurology and of neurobiology. "A fundamental belief in neuroscience has been that neurons are digital devices. They either generate a spike or not. These results show that the dendrites do not behave purely like a digital device. Dendrites do generate digital, all-or-none spikes, but they also show large analog fluctuations that are not all or none. This is a major departure from what neuroscientists have believed for about 60 years."

    -----------------------------------------

    Looking at the soma to understand how the brain works has provided a framework for numerous medical and scientific questions -- from diagnosing and treating diseases to how to build computers. But, Mehta said, that framework was based on the understanding that the cell body makes the decisions, and that the process is digital.

    "What we found indicates that such decisions are made in the dendrites far more often than in the cell body, and that such computations are not just digital, but also analog," Mehta said. "Due to technological difficulties, research in brain function has largely focused on the cell body. But we have discovered the secret lives of neurons, especially in the extensive neuronal branches. Our results substantially change our understanding of how neurons compute.
    "
    I mentioned this to the professor when I first started my current work. I explained why I think that AI just isn't possible with a digital computer. This may well have a direct impact on his research because his research is all about how we learn to make decisions. It is all about how the brain learns and that includes how it forms long term memories. It will be very interesting to see where this goes now. I almost feel like I should be writing a paper on this. In the lab they are big on using digital emulations of the neurons. I may well have some more work to do.
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  2. #2
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    How ironic, the future of computing is in analog...

  3. #3
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    just try to squeeze it in between sittings for the statue.
    Last edited by Mcgyver; 03-18-2017 at 04:15 PM.
    .

  4. #4
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    Sqishy moog synthesiser?
    Mark

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcgyver View Post
    just try to squeeze it in between sittings for the statue.
    I incorrectly stated that the part of the brain that evan said was 50% larger than normal must be the location for perverted toughts. It is obviously for the ego!
    How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

  6. #6
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    just try to squeeze it in between sittings for the statue.
    My father has his bust in the Livermore rad lab. Not something many people can go see though.

    My father:

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  7. #7
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    Amazing piece of sculpture Evan, if you don't mind me asking, who was your father, and what did he do? Phil
    UK

  8. #8
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    My father was officially a science teacher in high school. But it goes much further than that. He also taught teachers at UC Berkeley. But he also worked on fusion power at the Berkeley Rad Lab and I worked with him there for a couple of summers. But it goes further than that. He was a military officer in WWII and he did some work about which he never talks about. It is how he met my mother in Denmark just after the war because he did not return home right away. One of my great grandfathers was involved in research in Germany when they were trying to develop certain weapons. It is a good explanation for my various mutations in my system. My father appears to have been some sort of spy. He speaks Russian and most likely worked behind the lines.

    He is still alive, just, and lives in a house in Berkeley that has very nice rental rooms upstairs. He sometimes in the past had "guests" that were visiting the US incognito from the very high end of certain governments around the world. Much of that is something I should not talk about, even now I presume and that very much includes some of the books that he had on hand when I still lived at home. One in particular was highly classified regarding things that glow in the dark and go boom. There is a lot that he doesn't talk about but he has let some things slip over the years. That is all I will say.

    I come from a very unusual family. On the other end of things all you need to do is put this in Google: It is my great uncle. He taught me a lot.

    Dr. Roger J. Williams
    Last edited by Evan; 03-19-2017 at 06:34 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    ... I come from a very unusual family. On the other end of things all you need to do is put this in Google: It is my great uncle. He taught me a lot.

    Dr. Roger J. Williams
    Was your grandfather Robert R. Williams, or was this another great uncle? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_R._Williams
    Allan Ostling

  10. #10
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    That is my other great uncle. My grandfather was an engineer and helped build the hospital for Albert Schweitzer in the Congo. My grandmother worked there as a surgical nurse.
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