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Fuzzy Logic

Date: 02-17-03
Host: George Noory
Guests: Bart Kosko

Bart Kosko, a professor at USC and expert in fuzzy logic, was the guest on Monday night. Defining fuzzy logic as a "branch of machine intelligence that tries to get computers to think like people think," Kosko estimated that between 2015-2020 computers' processing power will equal or exceed the human brain's.

Kosko said the 20th Century was about bringing the brain to the computer chip, but that our new century will reverse the process and we will introduce the chip to the brain. This will create possibilities for linking neural networks that could facilitate new types of communication and art forms that we can scarcely imagine now.

In the nearer future Kosko postulated intelligent agents that can advise or console us. These computerized counselors could be uniquely personalized, combining traits from a favored religious figure, pop star and trusted relative. Kosko also warned that technology for "smart weapons" will soon be available off the shelf, and be "within the reach of every dictator's grasp."

Your New Brain is (Almost) Ready

Dr. Bart Kosko, the author of such books as Heaven in a Chip has pondered what the future may hold for our species. In a symposium on the TV program Closer to Truth, Kosko pointed out that while the human brain is a marvel of natural biology, it has certain limitations. "We'll be re-engineering the brain a piece at a time, initially with implants and other supplements and ultimately engineering an outright replacement," he said.

Kosko sees our evolution going in the direction of transferring our consciousness into increasingly advanced computer chips which would allow people to live theoretically forever. "Just take the example of your past," he said. "You can't remember a great deal of what you did three years ago. But if you had the detailed richness of that experience wholly embedded in a chip, you could not only relive it at will, you could edit it…in innumerable creative ways."

But will we become "chip potatoes?" Kosko doesn't see this as a bad thing. Once our brains have been uploaded into chips, it would open up dramatic new forms of communication with others in the system. "At a minimum, it would be like allowing the ants crawling around in an airplane to have a sense of what the airplane is and how they all fit into the global economy. I just don't think we can accommodate those kinds of thoughts in our three pounds of (cerebral) meat right now," he said.

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