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RE: Quantum computers and brains

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  • Charles Goodwin
    ... Thanks for filling in the details. And I agree about the brain not being a qc . . . although the fact that we agree doesn t make it so, and some people
    Message 1 of 51 , Sep 30, 2004
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      > From: Alan Forrester [mailto:alan_forrester2@...]
      > --- Charles Goodwin <charles@...> wrote:
      >
      > > I seem to recall that David Deutsch has suggested that one way to
      > > distinguish between the MWI and other interpretations of QM is to
      > > have an intelligent quantum computer. Some people have also suggested
      > > that the brain works on qc principles. Hence, if both these
      > > suppositions are correct, people should be able to do whatever it is that
      > > a qc AI would have to do to distinguish the MWI from other
      > > interpretations.... unfortunately I can't remember the details, e.g. what
      > > that is. Can anyone help?
      >
      > The QC AI would perform an interference experiment with its own mind. So it
      > would divide into two (or more) copies and write down 'I am present in two
      > (or more) copies' but forget everything else. The proof of the pudding
      > would be whether or not the interference experiment works, if it does that
      > would refute the Copenhagen Interpretation which says that when a system is
      > observed it collapses.
      >
      > The brain isn't a quantum computer, it's so warm and wet that a single
      > nerve cell can't remain coherent for anything resembling the time it takes
      > to do a single computational step. So people can't do that experiment at present.

      Thanks for filling in the details. And I agree about the brain not being a qc . . . although the fact that we agree doesn't make it
      so, and some people think otherwise. For example Stephen Paul King suggested that the calculations of decoherence rates in the brain
      were flawed. Quote:

      >> I would not be in a big hurry to believe Tegmark's argument that that
      >> decoherence would occur in the brain at rates that would render the
      >> possibility of quantum computation from happening to be vanishingly
      >> small...

      My point is that IF he (and others) are right, and quantum computation does occur in the brain, THEN we'd be able to experience
      whatever it was that the QC AI is supposed to. Which AFAIK we don't, although sometimes my brain feels as though it's divided, e.g.
      into various opinions . . . hence (?) the brain is not a qc.

      Charles
    • Bill Taylor
      Charles Goodwin follows up: - Isn t this a bit like saying that objects have to be tagged with their - position in order to avoid
      Message 51 of 51 , Oct 5, 2004
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        Charles Goodwin <charles@...> follows up:

        -> Isn't this a bit like saying that objects have to be "tagged" with their
        -> position in order to avoid collision?

        Yes, that is a very good analogy!

        We are OC used to thinking of objects as "being in a position" and not
        requiring any more comment on that, but also being tagged with properties
        such as mass, charge etc.

        But as you imply, that's just us. In effect, objects are just things
        "in" a more abstract space, and tagged with positions as well as mass &
        the other things; but also with "positions" in these other dimensions,
        involving what else they can interact with.

        Nice. I like the idea.
        Something we all knew but (I at least) hadn't fully taken on board.

        So I learn something today - that makes it a very good day. Thanks!!
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