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Does speed matter?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2021 1:16 am
by tulamide
Funny, but true:

Whenever you think, Ruby is too slow for audio processing, remember that it actually runs as fast as our brain! Yep, our brain runs at approx. 100Hz. 10ms is the time a neuron needs to fire off. 100 Hz is enough to understand everything that exists. And interestingly enough, a Neuron has several inputs (due to branching even thousands of inputs), but only one output. Imagine building a synth based on (mostly empty) modules that follow this concept!

So no, speed doesn't matter. :D

Re: Does speed matter?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2021 2:22 am
by deraudrl
Human brain: low clock speed, MASSIVE parallelism.

Re: Does speed matter?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2021 7:17 am
by Spogg
Hence multi-core processors!
We’ve pretty much reached the limit for CPU clock speed and miniaturisation, so parallel processing is the future. But I have a suspicion (with no proof) that the brain makes use of strange quantum effects, possibly in the synapses or inside the neurons. That may turn out to be a clue for the weird phenomenon of consciousness.

Re: Does speed matter?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2021 2:01 pm
by tulamide
Spogg wrote:But I have a suspicion (with no proof) that the brain makes use of strange quantum effects, possibly in the synapses or inside the neurons.

That's an interesting idea, and matches a property, that the brain definitely has. There are two properties, that I think is not passed enough attention to.

No controller
When we build PCs, it is always a central point that manages, what gets processing time, what has priority, what is allowed to use memory, etc. But that's not how the brain works. It has no "leader", no main controller. Everything just does its work, and only the tree of inputs is a means of direction and control. We have, just like a synth, a filter for every incoming signal from the world around us. Our senses detect much, much more, than is needed or is helpful. Those filters make sure, information is already lost, before it is transmitted into deeper brain areas. But, these filters have no instructions, they have no knobs to tweak, and they sometimes fail, or lose important information. But obviously, the negatives are ok (or else evolution would have resulted in different brains), in return for a fast, energy-efficient "algorithm".

Different information concept
PCs are built on a simple concept. An information is a unit that's either powered or not. We call it a "bit". But for our brain, information can be anything, from a simple number to a complete scene from our childhood. When we have such big information, it seems like minutes to live through them, but in reality, only a few ms have passed. Our brain has one information, and it takes as long as the neurons need to fire.

Modern quantum computers begin to work similar to the latter. A quantum bit is in the state of uncertainty, and by finding the right moments and places to watch it, you get different results. One quantum bit effectively holds an unlimited number of information (as it is not just on or off, but everything in between as well). But the amount of complexity in the design of such quantum computers only allows us to control 4 quantum bits currently. Recently, a QC with such 4 bits made calculations in a minute, where traditional PCs would have taken thousands of years. With just 4 quantum bits! Now imagine having access to possibly billions of quantum bits (here I'm playing with your thought about "inside the neurons").

There are aspects that speak for that thought. People who can calculate the most complex numbers faster than a PC. People who can draw a whole city with every single detail and no error from just one short flight over it. Or the most known "intuition". Sometimes we just know, without being able to explain it, or having studied what we intuitively know.
(I made my whole school career based on intuition :lol: )

Re: Does speed matter?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2021 10:49 pm
by billv
Great stuff guys :D ..I like brain surgery :lol:
I really like using software to explain how the brain just makes sense

Re: Does speed matter?

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2021 7:55 am
by Spogg
I was literally thrilled to read that tulamide!
My thoughts were just based on the intuition you spoke so eloquently about! I have a subscription to New Scientist and so I keep up to date with stuff. My brain somehow combined info about neurons and info about quantum computing to give me a feeling that the brain uses quantum effects. No reasoning or logical thought from “me”; just intuition.

I’ve never heard of the idea of a single neuron being a quantum bit but it makes sense now. Neuroscientists talk about firing thresholds but these have a seemingly random or noisy component. That “random” behaviour may be the clue: what if it’s not noisy at all, but specific to the exact sequence of inputs for example, or other aspects of the input signals including temporal factors? The output signal would then be the result of a massively complex calculation and would be used in parallel to provide input to the network of further Qbits. With redundancy and plasticity added into the scheme, that’s literally mind-boggling. Also it seems likely that a neuron is not just a Qbit, but a Qbit with memory. That would explain how the same single neuron can be involved in many different scenarios. And nature found the method!

Throughout our history people have tried to find an analogy to the brain, based on contemporary technical innovations. It went from being a mere blood-cooling organ, to pneumatics, to a switchboard, to a digital computer, but no idea has matched this quantum computing theory. If it turns out not to fit, we should learn that new science will one day give us a better insight. But until then Qbits will do me fine!

Re: Does speed matter?

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2021 4:35 pm
by tulamide
Fascinating isn't it? Now bring in quantum entanglement, which is proven to exist, but not understood yet. It is used in quantum computers to transfer information (using several entanglements and a not entangled data line, it's called quantum teleportation, because the original data gets lost). What if our brain doesn't need that inhibiting data line?

The thing is, qe is not transferring information, but the state. Only by transferring the observation data, can that state be interpreted as data. But what if states are directly interpeted, without observation data (remember, there's no main controller in the brain that would need to do the interpretation)?

As soon as one of the two entangled quantum bits is observed, both take on the same state, but by observing, that quantum bit gives you the information and then loses it. If there is no observation involved, both are copies of each other, which allows for instant state storage.

For me this would also explain, why a synapse knows that it holds information that has to be saved. Whenever that it the case it creates a tag ("synapse tagging") and when later protein is floooding the area, only those with tags are affected (they "harden" physically and therefore can't change their shape, connections, etc. anymore). But how they "know" it, nobody can explain. But quantum entanglement could explain it. As soon as two entangled qbits lose their entanglement, a state decision has been done, and that could be the trigger to build the tag.

Of course, we are highly speculative. But it's thrilling nonetheless! 8-)

Re: Does speed matter?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2021 7:27 am
by Spogg
This is weirdness squared! Look what’s coming in the next New Scientist: ... e-reality/

Read the last paragraph of the text…

How did that happen?

Re: Does speed matter?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2021 8:37 am
by tulamide
This was the last bit I was able to read (the rest is hidden behind a paywall):
"Quantum systems can exist in a superposition of all possible states simultaneously, and classical reality emerges when this superposition collapses into a single state. One idea is that this happens when the mass of a quantum system …"

Maybe we're smarter than we think...or it's intuition...or it's an entangled quantum layer! :mrgreen:

How cool is that? Exactly the topic, and exactly the direction, we were going as well! Now that is exciting!

Re: Does speed matter?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2021 7:43 am
by Spogg
Years ago I read some Carl Jung stuff and one thing that I thought was absurd at the time was Synchronicity: meaningful coincidence. But after reading that I had several experiences which forced me to accept the possibility, and now I add this one to the list.
I know this is really going out on a limb, but if it’s a real phenomenon (which for me it is) maybe this is an aspect of the quantum world yet to be described; the future affecting the here and now somehow. It sounds batshit crazy but so does current quantum science, to me anyway.

My New scientist issue came today and the relevant bit was that microtubules in neurons may enter into states of quantum superposition. There was no mention of neurons acting like Qbits though.

But we know don’t we? ;)