20th June 2014
Further proof that the biological processes must use quantum mechanical effects
Further to my speculative ramblings here, further proof that no ordinary computer could POSSIBLY do what the brain does. The previous arguments remain – and should be added to this list.
1. With all its grunt power, IBM's computer could barely defeat humans on Jeopardy. But the humans who got defeated walked into the studio, laughed (had emotions), enjoyed being defeated, in a wry way (computers don't 'enjoy'). And they went home and did whatever it is they do (watch TV, etc.). The brain is an EXISTENTIAL computer. It has evolved to ruthlessly eliminate unnecessary qualities and focus on EXISTENCE and survival as a first priority. Therefore it can be compared with a simple computer that merely calculates. It has to bootstrap and adapt, survive. It is not JUST going to do jeopardy, it is going to a TRILLION other things. It is a general purpose computer. Computers don't watch TV. The brain does. Computers don't have empathy for other computers. Computers don't enjoy being with pets. So this is the GENERAL PURPOSE argument for quantum effects (since ordinary density of calculations can't cope with the variety).
2. When we recall a sunset (aka Deepak Chopra) we not only recall one sunset in HIGH RESOLUTION but can effortlessly recall tens of sunsets, including from photographs and paintings. I can effortlessly flit through my mind over 100s of paintings I've enjoyed, and each of these is in quite high resolution. There is not even a micro-second pause between my 'slide-show' of sunsets. And all the while I am typing, sitting, watching the computer screen with my eyes, managing my heart beat and bodily functions, etc. etc. The very speed of retrieval and virtually infinite storage capacity (some people's memories never erase), is proof of a level of computing deeper than any 'connectedness' can create.
3. Brain waves are a part of our thought process. Vibrations among INFINITE 'on-off' switches at the quantum level are perhaps involved in creating these brain waves and in helping us 'decide' what to store in hard data (biological connections) and what to ignore. This they've only discovered recently. The very existence of MEANINGFUL brain waves (which almost certainly represent a form of consciousness) demonstrates this is not entirely electrical/chemical. It involves quantum level effects, with some of the infinite combinations of thought being generated through this process.
4. I suspect quantum effects are at work even within DNA. I don't see how an entire human body and brain can be coded at merely a protein level. There has to be something more happening, for the information requirements for our body and brain are simply too much for a mere protein to hold.
And, of course, all previous arguments should be added to this.
If this is true, it implies that quantum computing CAN be conducted at room temperature. Just like superconductivity has been now see to work in some cases at room temperature, there is no doubt in my mind that quantum computing will ultimately be found to work at room temperature.
What I'm saying, though, is that the complexity of the human brain is FAR greater than what Kurzweil imagines. It will take thousands of years to replicate any self-aware computer.
I do not agree with James D Miller that there is ANY risk that the first 'intelligent' computer we create can put our very existence to risk.