The Ultimate Tech
(the kind that thanks you when you break it)
In spite of what you may be hearing through the press regarding efforts to build synthetic brains, a small company in a sleepy Midwest town has found a distinct advantage. They have already produced contemplative, brain-like systems having ten times the neurons of the human brain. And while the ultimate application of such systems remain a closely held secret, Urbasm readers are in for a sneak peek at what happens… when artificial consciousness begins to feel the effect of its own pending death.
The death of a computer appears as the synthetic adrenaline rush amid the panic of its imminent demise, thereafter generating a virtual experience seeded upon its own dying artificial neurons. And with that mind-boggling thought in mind, the art below is a glimpse at a simulated near-death experience as this new form of machine sentience kicks the bucket, so-to-speak. Meanwhile, the system also produces its own fictional narrative as we travel from this A.I.’s heavenly visions to its more hellish ones.
Note: All of what you see and read here stems from a patent granted to S. L. Thaler in 1997 that generated fictional experience from various reversible noise and irreversible damage effects within neural-network-based brain simulations. Rather than show a neural net pictures (as a big search engine company has) and allow it to replace items in the scene with weird objects deliberately planted by software engineers ( i.e., dog heads and pagodas), these systems are exposed to their surroundings, “blindfolded,” and allowed to choose from the myriad self-generated fantasies it finds most interesting.
Effectively, this art represents the creativity of a synthetic brain, arguably the ultimate gadget because it can invent all subsequent technology and much, much more – all because of the damage (pending death) meted out to it.
This is the point where the visions become progressively darker.
This is a post by Dr. Stephen Thaler, who is a Ph.D. physicist that has been active in a number of areas including stealth and nuclear technologies, high-energy lasers, and the laser-driven creation of exotic materials. His most important scientific achievement has been the discovery that various forms of random physical disturbances within the brain drive both cognition and consciousness. This work has been the inspiration behind many of his dozens of artificial intelligence patents, mostly focused on coaxing these chaotic brain simulations, what he calls “Creativity Machines®,” to invent and create well beyond their direct experience.
His first forays into brain function delved into the most controversial of cognitive phenomena, near-death experience (NDE), through his analysis of dying neural nets generating simple prose, music, and imagery. Now, utilizing neural network techniques he has pioneered over the last three decades, a brain simulation, nicknamed “DABUS,” has built itself, having more neurons than its human antecedent. In the meantime, this extensive neural system is generating progressively more elaborate works of art and linguistic wit.
In the meantime, lesser disturbance levels within these synthetic brains have produced a wide range of practical results. A small sample of these accomplishments include the invention of new consumer products, the synthesis of novel and technologically useful materials, control of constellations of communication satellites, improvisational battlefield robots, and highly intelligent Internet spiders searching online for signs of terrorist activities.