MadSci Network: Neuroscience

Subject: stanislaw lem's 'formula lymphatera'

Date: Fri Jun 22 16:35:52 2001
Posted by Leo
Grade level: undergrad School: No school entered.
City: No city entered. State/Province: No state entered. Country: No country entered.
Area of science: Neuroscience
ID: 993242152.Ns

Having recently read the short story, I wondered if this was a realistic way of 
thinking. So as not to force you to read the story, I will summarize it:
A scientist has the idea of introducing a new type of artificial intelligence, 
not based on the schematics of the human brain (the road all theothers follow in 
the story), but use the "blueprints" of the neural system of a certain species 
of ants (that does not exist AFAIK) which are able to adapt to changes 
immediately without having to wade through the evolutionary "fresh tar" that 
takes a lot of time (in the story, some of them are accidentally moved from a 
desert to a plateau a few kilometers higher than their normal habitat, but they 
start right from the beginning to use a new and for their species totally 
incommon kind of trap to capture certain bugs).
So the man uses these and, heureka, it works. The author then contemplates the 
dangers of an AI capable of adjusting itself to drastic and unforeseen changes 
within split-seconds, thus rendering the human race obsolete, the new dinosaurs.
Now my question: is this a real theory (the plausibility of which maybe has been 
already falsified or rectified) or just a very subtile way to warn the readers?

Re: stanislaw lem's 'formula lymphatera'

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