A classic interview where Ray Kurzweil interviews Marvin Minsky on the human brain, artificial intelligence and whether the singularity is near or not. Most interestingly, Minsky’s approach of trying to make sense of the brain reminds me very much of my upcoming interview with Danko Nikolic and his fascinating theory of Practopoiesis.
My 2 favorite quotes from this interview are this:
“Many people think that the way to understand the brain is to understand how the parts work and then how the combinations of them work and so forth. And that’s been successful in physics. But you can’t understand a computer by knowing how the transistors work. So people have it upside down – the way to understand the brain is to understand how thinking works and once you have a theory of that then you can look at that immensely complicated brain and say “Well, I think this area does this and that…” You can’t do it from the bottom up because you don’t know what to look for…”
“The fact is that a scientist is no better and possibly worse than the average person at deciding what’s good and what’s bad. […] So someone has to decide and I don’t know what the best way is but I certainly don’t think that asking scientists to tell you their ethics will help.”