Can an artificial device match the intelligence of the human brain? | Gray matter | Science

The developments and new possibilities that artificial intelligence offers us every day never cease to surprise us. Among the most relevant today for Grey matter We can highlight the creation of algorithms capable of following the neuroimages and the genetic and physiological data of numerous individuals to extract biological markers capable of correctly predicting the evolution of neurological and mental illnesses. like Alzheimer’s disease. Without a doubt, it is something that can help design or perfect treatments to combat neurodegeneration or its progression.

Another type of this development is the already very popular ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer), a large IT consultancy that today we can access for free to ask things that were previously unthinkable, like writing a report on a legal matter. cases, which write a journalistic article on a certain topic or solve a complex problem, even of an emotional nature, proposing a variety of solutions. As I am allergic to pollen, I just asked my ChatGPT where I should go on vacation to avoid suffering from this allergy and his answer is absolutely correct.

But, as is often the case with significant scientific advances, artificial intelligence is not without criticism. In the particular case of ChatGPT, which already has more than a hundred million users worldwide, its creator, the company OpenAI, receives criticism ranging from copying information from the Internet and its statistical rather than cognitive processing to invention of data. or facts as well as malicious uses of technology, which, in turn, plunges ChatGPT into the moral conflict that great scientific and technological advances almost always provoke.

New, more powerful versions of the gadgets developed so far (e.g. a ChatGPT-turbo) are in the works. It therefore seems that artificial intelligence is called upon to replace, or even replace surpass many human activities, including in particular those linked to ingenuity and creativity. Its possibilities today are as extraordinary as they are unpredictable and continue to challenge the biological and inherent possibilities of its creator, which is none other than the human brain.

This challenge leads us to ask the question of this article and to also consider that everything that involves developing simulations of the functioning of the brain can also be a way of knowing it more and better. But, to begin with, we encounter the obstacle that we do not yet know all the functional secrets of the human brain, an organ which contains the impressive number of 85,000 million neurons interconnected in a very complex way by some 1,014 synapses, so the ‘artificial intelligence intelligence, its algorithms and its learning programs (machine learning) will always try to reproduce or simulate something that we only know to a limited extent.

It is true that we are now in possession of the abundance of anatomical, physiological and genetic data, as well as the structural connectome of the human brain, which means that we can learn a lot from it. the way your neurons connect. But even if we managed to simulate all this data in a complex artificial intelligence program, we would still be far from guaranteeing a faithful reproduction of what the human brain does or can do.

This is why Viren Jain, Californian specialist in computer science and cognitive sciences, leader in the study of brain connectivity, that is to say the connection between neurons, considers a recent article in Nature Whether we can actually use a learning machine to build models simulating brain activity, or whether we can train artificial intelligence programs on connectomes and other data to reproduce the same brain activity. neurons than we would expect to find in biological systems, or whether a system like the human brain can be understood when mathematics or a computer apparently reproduces its behavior.

Viren Jain also believes that although the main problem facing multiple studies such as the already abandoned one European Human Brain Project Despite the limited knowledge of detailed anatomical and functional maps of the brain, it remains very difficult to assess the extent to which artificially developed simulation systems could accurately capture what is happening in biological systems. An additional problem would be how an artificial intelligence device should be expressed so that we can consider it comparable to the human brain.

On the other hand, it is not even certain that we are capable of artificially constructing something as complex as the human brain, an organ also endowed with emerging functional capacities, such as phenomenological consciousness, the nature of which we still do not know. . The functional integration hypothesis of scientists such as Giulio Tononi or Christof Koch This assumes that consciousness arises spontaneously from complex systems such as the human brain, that is, it comes to us, so to speak, as a standard at birth. This means that if artificial intelligence were ever able to build a system as complex as our brain, its higher emergent capabilities could also arise spontaneously from that system, even if we still do not understand its true nature, i.e. -say the way in which what made it possible.

The topic is sure to raise the fascinating, centuries-old debate over whether the intelligence of an artificial system could match, let alone surpass, that of its own creator. Today, that doesn’t seem possible.

Grey matter It is a space that attempts to explain, in an accessible way, how the brain creates the mind and controls behavior. The senses, motivations and feelings, sleep, learning and memory, language and consciousness, as well as their main disorders, will be analyzed with the conviction that knowing their functioning is equivalent to knowing ourselves better and increasing our well-being. -being and our relationships with other people.

You can follow THE MATERIAL In Facebook, X And Instagramor sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.