Originally Posted by Vagrant Storm
That's true I guess...but in terms of math mathematical calculations a human brain cannot even come close to even a 20 year old computer. That's why we invented them in the first place. Because we couldn't think fast enough on our own. We write it out and then do the math and then do a boolean check to see if it is correct. The computer will just calculate it. So I don't get how there can be all these medical studies making statements about how powerful the human brain is compared to computers.
Not quite true, we just don't have many who train well in that. Shakuntala Devi comes to mind (there is a man who is devilishly good too). The real issue with the human brain and mathematics is the fact that a computer can dedicated it's entire resources to the task. More below.
Originally Posted by Vagrant Storm
I just think it is good at true/false Basically, can I eat that sandwich? Yes I can. No process involved other than recalling the experience that sandwiches are good.
If the same question was posed to a computer with a optical scanner to "see" the sandwich would have to launch a massive search for images to find a match, once the object was identified it would then run logic to determine if the object is in a list of edible objects and then run more logic to decide if it was edible to the species just to come back with the answer, "No, I am a computer...I don't eat sandwiches." Granted that happens fast, but not as fast as a human can draw upon memories and experience...though I suppose that depends on the human and computer in question.
Everything you described the computer doing, we do. The difference is, a huge portion of our brain goes to our senses. During consciousness, this happens with every sense the entire time you are awake.
Not only do we "scan" the image, but the way we see things is extremely unique. We don't really see an image, we see a canvas of color which our brain finds patterns and then divides the canvas up into images. This is an interesting concept, as we really can't conceive the idea of a canvas of color. Finding patterns is part of the Visual Cortex's job, it happens instantly to us. You see, your brain tells you "these are objects".
Honestly, it isn't hard to figure out why the brain isn't fast at things. First off the Motor, Visual, and Tourch are huge sections of the human brain. The Cerebellum doesn't do any "thinking", it's instinctive. Taking that listed leaves you around 2/3 a brain left. That's how important those sections are to us. An entire computer as we know it would be dedicated to our senses, probably even more given how many nerves there are covering the entire body. Every second of every day giving input that the brain has to understand. While doing all of this, we are capturing and recording the important information. Granted our brains naturally filter, so not everything goes through. Even still, the magnitude of data that does go through is pretty large.
There is so much, to explain what the brain has to do and compute let alone get external problems. It's utterly exausting.
So if we were to build a robot like, oh lets say Data, the power of that "computer" would have to be magnitudes faster than what we are today. Depth perception itself, it isn't calculated exactly but rather learned. However, we have to calculate (with decent precision) how to deal with that. If you throw a ball, how much power goes into that throw. Where your arm is, what's the best way to do that power. That's even a conscious thought process as well as an added strain of unconscious mechanics. With everything you consciously do, there is equally the same amount of stuff going on per action. Sometimes more.
 Added thought/bonus. Our entire nevus system computes in ways too. It filters out signals that are more important, so essentially everything connected to our brain processes something.Edited by mushroomboy - 10/31/13 at 4:00pm