Memory doesn’t exist

Understanding the cognitive process of human being is the first step before trying to connect the brain to artificial systems.

Memory doesn’t exist in itself. There is no information store in the brain. The brain is a processor, not a hard drive. The brain is triggered with two kinds of stimuli. An external one and an internal one. An external stimulus is an information coming from outside and processed by our sense that transform the external information into an internal signal. An internal stimulus is a signal coming from our body and its billions of cellular interactions that come to the brain and is processed back to the body, we call that homeostasis.

The point is that when I “remember” something, it is an internal stimulus (whatever it is) that come to the brain and activate a path of neurones equivalent or partially equivalent to the one activated by an external stimulus. We can say in this case that our brain is rebuilding an external information, not on purpose but because it is the result of our homeostasis. People call that “The internal representation of the world” which is not stored but constantly rebuild and adapted in real time.

Saying “I remember” is a mistake. It is more relevant to say something like: “my brain is processing a signal whose source is an internal stimulus which is equivalent to an external stimulus already experimented.

We can see that connecting an artificial system to our brain to improve for example memory is not relevant, as we don’t know the meaning of our internal stimuli (we know the big pictures but not the all the detailed interactions and the original cause). When we are remembering something, there is a cause based on the result of all our cellular interactions, we have no “real free will power” on what we are thinking.

Defining this internal process is almost impossible due to the number of interactions, their interdependences and the fact that it is a continuous process having begun the first day of our conception. It is like trying to compute billions of billions of interactions where the difference between a 65456236 and a 65456237 is like jumping from the cliff or not jumping from the cliff. Don’t forget any molecule because the cliff is high.

The good news, is that there is still a way to improve our “not existing memory”. As the internal process is too complex (and not relevant) to be used, we can play on the external process. We can “augment” the information coming from outside in order to strengthen the plasticity of our brain. The attention point is, in this case, that augmented information’s can lead our thinking in limited direction drive by the “what and how” of the augmentation. We can this way miss some understanding of our surrounding environment with all the implied issues.  It is the same as a painter having a white paper or having a pre-formatted paper in front of him. Pre-formatting helps but it also limits the potential. Being linked to a Wikipedia or using Google Glass is a “quick win” efficient improvement solution.

What about artificial intelligence? An artificial intelligent system will have, not only a processor, but also a hard drive. This mean that imitation of the brain process is not the direction we need to take. On the other hand, an artificial system doesn’t have an internal complex process of homeostasis. What will then drive the “memory” and thinking process?

GRDprocess is doing research on the thinking process and its implementation for artificial general intelligence to propose track for solution.

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