The Computer Metaphor of Mind By Aaron Clarke
The Computer Metaphor of Mind • What is the computer metaphor of mind? • How did this metaphor come about? • Key players: • George A. Miller – Language and the computer metaphor of mind • McCulloch – Pitts – Neural Networks. • Concluding remarks
The Computer Metaphor of Mind Q: What is the computer metaphor of mind? A: The brain is a computer.
How Did This Metaphor Come About? • Key Players: • George A. Miller – Language and the computer metaphor of mind • McCulloch – Pitts – Neural Networks.
George A. Miller • Started off as a behaviourist. • Interested in information theory. • Helped develop the idea that the similarities between humans and machines were real
Language • The rules of language are analogous to a computer program. • The set of universal rules in grammar is analogous to the operating system of the human mind. • Mind was thus necessary to explain language. • Minds operate according to a set of universal logical rules. • A theory of mind could be modeled in the form of a computer program.
Warren McCulloch • A neuropsychiatrist. • Provided the biological information necessary to appropriately model the behaviours of neurons.
Walter Pitts • A mathematician. • Provided the math necessary to model the behaviour of neurons.
Body Axon Model Neuron
Logical Operations “If A then B” Neuron A Neuron B
Logical Operations “If A or B then C” Neuron A Neuron B Neuron C
Logical Operations “If A and B then C” Neuron A Neuron C Neuron B
Logical Operations Neuron A “If A and not B then C” Neuron C Neuron B
Summary • The functional relationships between neurons were represented in terms of Boolean logic. • The mental functions of reasoning could be seen as being embodied in the physiology of the brain.
Concluding Remarks • McCulloch and Pitts’s networks were possible neural networks, and were useful models. • Their model is a useful tool for rigorous symbolic treatment of known neural nets and provides an easy method for constructing hypothetical neural networks with known properties.