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Sonntag, 5. Juni 2016

Warum die Funktionsweise des Gehirns nicht mit der eines Computers gleichgesetzt werden kann

Von Ralf Keuper

Die Vertreter der Künstlichen Intelligenz vergleichen die Arbeitsweise des Gehirns gerne mit der eines Computers. Da die Leistungsfähigkeit der Computer ständig zunimmt, ist es nur noch eine Frage der Zeit, bis die Rechner in der Lage sind, die Menschen in nahezu allen Lebensbereichen zu ersetzen. Mit dieser Interpretation des menschlichen Gehirns räumt Robert Epstein in The empty brain auf. 

Nach einer kurzen Einführung in die Funktionsweise der Computer formuliert Epstein seine These: 
Forgive me for this introduction to computing, but I need to be clear: computers really do operate on symbolic representations of the world. They really store andretrieve. They really process. They really have physicalmemories. They really are guided in everything they do, without exception, by algorithms. 
Humans, on the other hand, do not – never did, never will. Given this reality, why do so many scientists talk about our mental life as if we were computers?
Epsteins Kritik richtet sich vor allem gegen die sog. Information Processing Metaphor (IP): 
The information processing (IP) metaphor of human intelligence now dominates human thinking, both on the street and in the sciences. There is virtually no form of discourse about intelligent human behaviour that proceeds without employing this metaphor, just as no form of discourse about intelligent human behaviour could proceed in certain eras and cultures without reference to a spirit or deity. The validity of the IP metaphor in today’s world is generally assumed without question.
Mittlerweile sind die Forscher der Künstlichen Intelligenz in ihrer Argumentation so von der Information Processing Metapher abhängig, dass sie außerstande sind, die Arbeitsweise des Gehirns ohne Rückgriff darauf zu erklären: 
But the IP metaphor is, after all, just another metaphor – a story we tell to make sense of something we don’t actually understand. And like all the metaphors that preceded it, it will certainly be cast aside at some point – either replaced by another metaphor or, in the end, replaced by actual knowledge. 
Just over a year ago, on a visit to one of the world’s most prestigious research institutes, I challenged researchers there to account for intelligent human behaviour without reference to any aspect of the IP metaphor. They couldn’t do it, and when I politely raised the issue in subsequent email communications, they still had nothing to offer months later. They saw the problem. They didn’t dismiss the challenge as trivial. But they couldn’t offer an alternative. In other words, the IP metaphor is ‘sticky’. It encumbers our thinking with language and ideas that are so powerful we have trouble thinking around them.
Dieser Denkstil führt dann fast schon zwangsläufig in eine zirkuläre Argumentation:
The faulty logic of the IP metaphor is easy enough to state. It is based on a faulty syllogism – one with two reasonable premises and a faulty conclusion. Reasonable premise #1: all computers are capable of behaving intelligently. Reasonable premise #2: all computers are information processors. Faulty conclusion: all entities that are capable of behaving intelligently are information processors.
Nötig sei, so Epstein ein
framework of an metaphor-free theory of intelligent human behavior - one in which the brain isn't completely empty, but is at least empty of the baggage of the IP metaphor.
Die Zahl der Forscher, die die IP-Metapher für die Erklärung der Arbeitsweise des Gehirns ablehnen, hat in der letzter Zeit zugenommen. Beispielhaft dafür ist Anthony Chemero, Autor von Radical Embodied Cognitive Science
The mainstream view is that we, like computers, make sense of the world by performing computations on mental representations of it, but Chemero and others describe another way of understanding intelligent behaviour – as a direct interaction between organisms and their world.
Ähnlich wie Chemero hat m.E. bereits Antonio D'Amasio in Descartes' Irrtum argumentiert. 
Es sei an der Zeit, so Epstein, den intellektuellen Ballast der IP Metaphor abzuschütteln:
We are organisms, not computers. Get over it. Let’s get on with the business of trying to understand ourselves, but without being encumbered by unnecessary intellectual baggage. The IP metaphor has had a half-century run, producing few, if any, insights along the way. The time has come to hit the DELETE key.
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