Over time, computers have developed and therefore proven to be faster, omnipotent and generally more able as opposed to the human brain. We think that this is true, because computers have been programmed to work faster, and calculate faster. However, little do we realize that to be able to programme a computer, you have to have the knowledge and ability to be more intelligent than a computer. Computers do not work individually; it is the human’s job to make the computer work. The more intelligent the computer appears to be, the more intelligent the human brain must be. Thus, we come to think, which one is superior – the computer or the human brain? Which one can store a larger amount of memory, which one is faster, and how much power does each need and possess?
The Human Brain The natural selection has programmed the human brain to feel, make decisions, object and reject when needed, and the human brain does not work in a logical manner, whereas computers do. The human brain is unique to one’s body, no one has mental access to your brain, and no one can mentally change your ‘’mind’’, so to say. Initially, the brain is based on a reciprocal nature of comprehending emotions, creating a so-called database of memories which repetitively appear in the visional side of the brain, which we call ‘’déjà vu’’. The brain allows us to predict, create flashbacks, foreshadow and interpret someone’s actions.
There is no evidence from the past, that our far ancestors have had the same brain capabilities as we do nowadays. It is thought, however, that brains evolve themselves over time, as the world also evolves. It is too early to say whether the brain is developing, therefore becoming more skilled, or if its evolving due to the fact that the world outside of our brain is also evolving, which allows our brain to create a bigger vision of what’s happening outside of our brain.
Alan Turing As Alan Turing said ‘’I am building a brain’’. This meant that Alan Turing was creating something out of the boundaries of the imagination of human beings; There was nothing invented such as what Turing had invented. Turing was creating a so-called artificial brain, which can either prove to be extremely intelligent, but perhaps not as intelligent as the human brain. This has been the inexplicable enigma for decades.
Alan Turing was a fascinating mathematician, who created the idea of computing and computers. Unfortunately, the ever-so challenging German Enigma machine, which was created to unlock codes of the enemy during the Second World War, brought Turing to his death, where he committed suicide by poisoning himself with cyanide. The human brain is technically divided into five parts; speed, memory, problem solving, flexibility and attention. All five areas are precisely equal in the human brain. Similarly, the computer is also based on those five areas. The reason for this is that, the computer cannot exceed any more knowledge or logic than a human brain can.
It can only record and calculate 100 times faster than the human brain can. This is because, unlike the complex technology of computers, the human brain has evolved from the natural selection. One cannot teach a computer, however you can make it the most intelligent and sophisticated machine on earth, by programming it. The human brain has the capability and ability to forget, feel emotions, calculate when learned to do so, etc. The computer is able to calculate faster than most human beings because the technology has proven to be so developed, that it is faster at solving problems than the average human being. However, computers have limitations; every computer has a certain amount of memory storage, and if that is close to becoming full, the slower the machine becomes. This shows that technology has yet to evolve to gain such a capability as human beings.
Machines and Examples There is no doubt that machines will become more and more mind-like over time. It is inevitable, just like the development of other technological devices is inevitable. The knowledge and skills of the human brain expands, therefore the technology expands, it is fortunately (or unfortunately) the way that the natural selection works; people evolve from people, plants evolve from plants, and sadly, computers evolve from computers. When in the end of the 20th century Kasparov surprisingly almost won an IBM computer Deep Blue, scientists and professionals were shocked. It was practically impossible.
Kasparov, however, did lose two matches to Deep Blue, however overall, he gained victory over the machine. We come to wonder, how was it possible? Either the logic and intelligence of Kasparov is excessively high, or the machine wasn’t programmed to be as intelligent and logical as Kasparov. The chess competition between a World Class champion and a machine is a perfect example to show how the brain can evolve and develop by itself over time, after months, or even days. However, the computer (Deep Blue) is limited to a certain amount of knowledge, and cannot evolve itself over time.
The difference, however, between Kasparov and Deep Blue was that Deep Blue was able to remember every single step that it did along with the steps of Kasparov; it is essentially capable of calculating 200 million positions per second, whereas the human brain is not physically capable of doing such calculations in such a small amount of time. The human brain, in this case Kasparov’s brain at best, is able to evaluate three positions in a second. The more Deep Blue plays matches, the more intelligent (sophisticated and developed) it becomes, simply because the computer records everything that the opponent does; a computer never resigns, therefore, it is always available, and unlike humans, the computers brain doesn’t shrink, it can only gather more intelligence.
The Turing Test The reason why Deep Blue was able to play as well as it did, was because scientists tested Deep Blue with The Turing Test. The Turing Test is based on the idea where any machine whose output is unrecognizable, is therefore smarter than a human being. Therefore, you cannot deny a machine’s intelligence because the type of output it gives is undistinguishable to the human, and therefore cannot be argued. One of the reasons why Deep Blue won Kasparov in a chess match was because a regular person, observing the match couldn’t have told whether it was Kasparov’s or Deep Blue’s move. However, once again, the biggest limitation of Deep Blue was that he could only be better at chess, and nothing else, mainly because it was the only area that he was taught to be good at. Thus, the Deep Blue can solely play chess, and nothing more.
Technological machines such as computers have proven to be extremely intelligent, especially when it comes to calculating, following orders etc. However, a computer cannot possibly be more intelligent than a human brain due to the fact that computers have not evolved from anywhere. Computers don’t have ancestors, nor do they descend from anywhere, they simply are and have been developed by the hands of human beings. Therefore, it is wrong to say that the brain is no more than a highly complex computer. A computer can be just as intelligent as a human brain, because the human is the one that programmes the computer, the computer cannot program itself, therefore, there must be someone that has a higher and more complex intelligence than a computer.
The main difference between a highly complex computer and a human brain is that a computer is able to follow a logical way of thinking, a human brain is able to do the same, however, the human brain can very often be distracted by other ideas or actions. Since the computer only knows a certain area of knowledge (what has been taught to the computer), it will only be focused on that. A Human brain may work the same way, but it is scientifically proved that an average human brain cannot be focused on something for longer than 30 minutes. In other words, the attention span of a human brain is a 100 times shorter than the attention span of a computer. A machine however, as it has been taught only certain things, it will only develop in those areas, as opposed to the human brain, which can take in a large amount of information of all areas.
Erik Larson. “Rethinking Deep Blue: Why a Computer Can’t Reproduce a Mind. Origins & Design 18:2. Larson, Erik.” Access Research Network, Apr.-May 1997. Web. 07 Nov. 2012.