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If we can produce perfect AI do we fully understand the brain?

Imagine the following hypothetical scenario:

From the collaboration of scientists and engineers around the world, a robot has been built that has the exact same motor, cognitive and perceptual capacities of the average human. It is able to learn facts, faces, patterns, and languages, can navigate complex environments, recognize handwriting, discriminate different visual inputs, self-reflect, etc. For any given input, it responds exactly like you or I might. This is a truly high-tech device!
In fact, there are some that claim that the mere existence of such a machine (without looking inside or knowing how it works) is sufficient evidence to say that we understand how the human brain works. There are others that disagree.

Where would you stand on this issue? Do you believe that such an assessment is fair to make? Why or why not? What do you think it means to “understand” how the brain works?


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    Jan 14 2013: An intelligence, in the most comprehensive sense of the word, can never fully understand itself. There will always be an impermeable existential/cognitive barrier that only a separate, higher intelligence would have any chance of surpassing.

    Therefore, AI, or anything else our own brain creates will always be level with (at best), or several notches below, our own capabilities - no matter how big the collaboration of scientists and engineers.

    Another point is that self-understanding is absolutely NOT just down to a collaboration of science and engineering. Unless those two disciplines can get to grips with everything that constitutes "Multiple Intelligences" (including, dare I say it, "spiritual intelligence"), then we will remain light-years away from a true understanding:


    To use a rather silly analogy, a vacuum cleaner could never fully suck itself up, but a bigger, more powerful one potentially could...

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