Thursday, January 22, 2015

Philosophy through Technology

There is so much that can be learnt everyday. How is there so much knowledge? What is the source of this knowledge which is exponentially increasing as the days are going by?

Each brain is at work to produce new knowledge and rest are busy acquiring it. Well, at least some are. So why not take a closer look at the source. The Brain. Everyone has got one (?). What is this part which is so powerful, its running this whole world. Why humans got command of running the world? Why not dogs? Imagine a world where dogs are forming the government and humans are slaughtered in China to serve rich dogs.

So coming to the topic, how is it that our technologies are no match for our brain? It has got THE most powerful pattern recognition engine. And we are trying hard to replicate it, but getting nowhere closer to it. As one of my Prof. says, “There is no FFT in brain”. Hmm...So our brain has got a super-perfect all-powerful all-knowing neural network. Our computational neuroscience guys are trying to study small parts of it and coming up with different models. These models can be programmed and a new type of neural net is born. Everyone attacks it to solve their problems. Somewhere they perform exceptionally well and somewhere they fail miserably. But how come a human brain with billions and trillions of interconnecting neurons is capable of performing exceptionally well in all situations. Or is it just our perception. A flawed human perception created by the master, the all-knowing “brain”.

How can we really understand the philosophy of all this? Certainly not just by being a Doctor of Philosophy. Aristotle, Plato, Kant and my favorite, Nietzsche, were all philosophers. But some of them were exceptional scientists too. They were real Doctors of Philosophy. Today, philosophy has a whole different meaning. Probably you are a lunatic if you have interest in it. It has lost its lustre. Well, if I have to connect the dots between philosophy and science today, then I would go deep into the brain, rather than searching it outside.

What if we are all subjects of a grand experiment where we all possess slightly different tweaked version of same network. Running around, playing, working, creating softwares, testing them, studying ourselves, making more like us, falling in love, writing poems, blogs, observing nature, yada yada yada. A perfect machine doing its work. Achieving high performance, failing hard, maybe this is the way to find ourselves. Maybe this is how we learn the Philosophy.