Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Computers vs. Brains, round 3

An excellent essay from the New York Times about why computers might never outperform the human brain.

... a brain’s success is not measured by its ability to process information in precisely repeatable ways. Instead, it has evolved to guide behaviors that allow us to survive and reproduce, which often requires fast responses to complex situations. As a result, we constantly make approximations and find “good-enough” solutions. This leads to mistakes and biases. We think that when two events occur at the same time, one must have caused the other. We make inaccurate snap judgments such as racial prejudice. We fail to plan rationally for the future, as explored in the field of neuroeconomics.

Still, engineers could learn a thing or two from brain strategies. For example, even the most advanced computers have difficulty telling a dog from a cat, something that can be done at a glance by a toddler — or a cat.

Check out the whole piece - linked above.

1 comment:

-A said...

Does the cat do it at a "glance"? It's likely that the vomeronasal organ can perform better at recognizing conspecifics. Those crazy primates are so visuo-centric!