Thursday, September 20, 2007

Reality is stranger than fiction

FYI: as I mentioned then, the discussion piece (provocation?) I presented at ECAL is online. I think some excellent points were made during the discussion, so maybe people want to leave those here as comments.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The brain explained (?)

In one of the panel discussions Chris Adami asked the audience what would be their response if someone claimed to have understood the brain. The beffuddled looks on our faces betrayed our scepticism. Adami then said that it was Jeff Hawkins that figured it all out, on his book 'on intelligence'. I found it a lovely reference and looked for glimpses of it over the web. I found a comment on the book by Peter Dayan, who wrote one of the standard textbooks on computational neuroscience (he is the leading the homonimous department in UCL). Though I haven't read on intelligence yet, I found Dayan's comment was strangely reassuring, as it rephrases the results in a bit more balanced manner, by bringing up a couple of the contingencies on the 'final understanding'. I thought it is definitely worth a read, specially for those of us that might have turned a little dismayed to be out of jobs, as the brain was already explained. There is still hope, according to Dayan some of the mystery is still there.

If you are considering buying the book, perhaps you would also like to check the video of the presentation he delivered on the 'Almaden Institute' of IBM on computational neuroscience. This is a link to the video in google:

Pictures on Flickr

I have posted a few ECAL 2007 pictures in Flickr:
Talking about life- Thursday panel
I have used ecal2007 as a tag. In case you've uploaded your pictures, please leave the address as a comment, or use the same tag in Flickr.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The language of living things, by Brian Goodwin: references

Dr. Brian Goodwin gave an interesting and Power-Point free talk titled as above, and he mentioned a few papers, which, apparently, very few people in the room has read. Here they are, for the enjoyment of all:

The prince and the magician

Brian Goodwin told a fairytale during the congress dinner speech, which, unfortunately, wasn't heard by most people (including me); he also mentioned it the following day. So I've searched for it: it's called The Prince and the Magician, and it was included in a novel by John Fowles called The Magus and adapted from it from the guys who do neuro linguistic programming. Interesting story with many meanings, which can be adopted by scientists and pseudo-scientists alike...

ECAL 2007 phrases

Thursday, September 13, 2007

ECAL2007 wiki

As announced before the panel discussion tonight an ECAL2007 wiki has been set up at the following web address: