Analogies have problems themselves


Rodney Brooks AI Pioneer Interview
I came across this wonderful interview with Rodney Brooks a Professor at MIT.
He talks in this interview about biological systems and the interactions of robots with their environments.
I find this very interesting, this notion of feedback loops, especially. I’m glad that he references a rather disappointingly unknown W. Ross Ashby. Introduction to Cybernetics
I feel the most important notion of his, in this interview is one that troubles me.
The brain is a computer (or telephone exchange) these analogies have been around since the 12th century, but these are just that. Analogies. The human brain doesn’t compute in the same way a computer computes. Mathematica is a lot better at integrals than I am. So I feel his warning about analogies is very important, and also his ideas of a mathematical framework. He’s right, that Turing and Churchs early work (followed by Mc Carthy) led to theorems that could be explained to 19th century Mathematicians. Much like any theorems really – I’ve learned the ‘Hungarian Algorithm’ today. As I hopefully go onto do further work in Quantum Computation – I look forward to hearing ‘the brain is a Quantum Computer’ – and of course being slightly annoyed by this.