A human nervous system, depicted by a mathematical model

Let’s assume that the human’s nervous system is just a big set of neural networks. Each neural network has its own task.

For instance let’s observe the neural network that is responsible for release of the love hormone (Oxytocin). This specific network generates a number as an end result. This number would indicate how much of the hormone should be released. I would call this function - “The equation of love”
That’s why we feel love differently - it’s just that every single person has different weight on the parameters in his own equation.

How this model is being trained?
Our childhood, our friends, movies, books

I have a lot in mind, but this is the big picture. Do you think that it is possible from a biological point of view?
Physics has proven that nature can be described by various mathematical models, then why nervous system cannot?

Hey @popaqy,
A great question indeed. Now, I only studied Biology till my high school, and wasn’t much interested in that then, but this question indeed seems to be intriguing. So, let me present you with my opinion, and let’s see what unfolds!

I guess the way that this model is trained would determine whether it is biologically practical or not. First of all, since we are talking about neural networks, we would be requiring a considerably sized dataset. In order to collect this, we would have to run biological tests on at least some 100-1000s of persons, since the features (as you defined) are different for different persons, but for the same person, they are pretty much the same. Here, a re-definition of features might be extremely useful. For instance, we can consider the current mood, current stress, current health, etc as features. This will allow us to run multiple tests on the same person and each of the tests would be equivalent to a single entry in the dataset. So, essentially, we would run multiple tests on a few 100 persons, instead of a single test on a few 1000 persons.

The second perspective is even if some test is available that can detect the current level of Oxytocin hormone in a person, what is the financial feasibility of this test? If let’s say running tests on a single person costs around $100, and we need say 5000 persons, which let’s say will lead to 10000 entries in the dataset (which is pretty small for even a fairly sized neural network), we would require a financial support of $0.5 M, which is pretty huge, so, that’s another constraint to this approach.

The third perspective is in terms of privacy and user safety. If you read any AI-based newsletter, you will most probably be familiar with how many problems arise due to privacy concerns in AI-based applications. And as per this application, this requires a person to share the most personal (intimate) aspects of his/her life. Now, this is definitely not some assumption that we can easily assume, so that’s another constraint.

However, say you somehow overcome all these constraints, then is it biologically feasible to do so? Well to be honest, even expert biologists who have devoted their entire life to the study of human mind, haven’t been able to figure out completely till now, how the human brain works? So, we are essentially trying to estimate something of which we only have the estimate (also referred to as bootstrapping). In my opinion, this could definitely be a way to go, but once again, I am a student who only studied biology till high school, and then studied about brain for a little bit, like a couple of days, just for fun! So, this question might be more relevant to people hailing from the domain of Bio-Technology, since they will most likely be having considerable knowledge about both, AI and Biology, and not only will they be able let you know about the biological feasibility, but they will also tell you about the technical feasibility of this.

Let me know what you think of this, and then we will further discuss!

Cheers,
Elemento

1 Like

Hi!

I don’t know anything about this field but Neuromorphic engineering - Wikipedia / Neuromorphic Computing is more aligned with these sorts of questions.

Thank you for the thorough answer, @Elemento!
I like how you immediately started thinking about proving the theory by conducting research.

In this research, the subject of observation is just an implementation detail . It could be whatever animal that releases the hormone, which function we are seeking. Animals are great to observe because, for the sake of this research, we would like to have a 24/7 observation of the subject. Therefore, a complete examination of the brain will gather various features from the childhood of the animal.

Now that it has become clear that it is not mandatory that humans are the ones to be examined, the other constraints immediately fall.

Esotericism talks about a sacred group of people that have the ultimate knowledge . Now imagine that one day we come up with the different functions of every person on the planet. I would call this the ultimate knowledge of the new century as you can manipulate and control people however you want, thanks to the fact that you can predict how they would react to certain news and statements. Therefore, knowledge is crucial not to fall into the wrong hands.

We still cannot determine the variables that define the quantity of the released hormone, but we can estimate that if we have enough data for our behavior. Who has that data ? The big corporations .

They may not have exact models that mimic our brains, but they have big data for every single person. Therefore, they could easily bootstrap the neural networks within our brain and predict our future behavior . And they are doing it already!

The great corporations are seeking just profits, which means they would navigate our behavior only towards things that make their balance sheet look better.

To sum up, there are already people who can estimate every single neural network in our brain. But that is only an estimation, and I am very curious and would like to work towards the exact way our brain navigates us through the world.

1 Like

Hey @popaqy

I will throw in another perspective into the mix.

Lets say that we finally crack the code, and look at all the relevant features in the equation of love. We might unearth that the feature with highest importance that contributes to the release of Oxytocin is uncertainty (as in the glorious uncertainty of life). And, by controlling every other feature with certainty, we therby diminish the effect of the most important feature, Uncertainty.

This is akin to the observer effect in physics:
“the observer effect is the disturbance of an observed system by the act of observation. This is often the result of instruments that, by necessity, alter the state of what they measure in some manner. A common example is checking the pressure in an automobile tire; this is difficult to do without letting out some of the air, thus changing the pressure.”

If Uncertainty could cause 10g (for the sake of an example) of Oxytocin to be released. Without uncertainty it might be 1g, and the effect it has on us will no longer be the same. So, the choice is between:

Do we want to jeopardize the last remaining simple pleasures of life as well? :blush:
Vs
The adage: Don’t stand in the way of science and progress

1 Like

What a great point! You are posing an exciting issue: Knowing some things may make your life worse.

I agree with you that life is good as it is now. However, I don’t think people will stop working towards AGI because of “jeopardizing the last remaining simple pleasures of life.” It is just human curiosity that will finally crack the code. It will then be up to every single person to decide whether he wants to peek into the other people’s functions and, that way, diminish the effect of uncertainty.

1 Like

There is no stopping this uncontrollable force

1 Like

Hey @popaqy,

Well, I guess this is more becoming like the scenario depicted by the “2012” movie. When the world leaders got to know about the upcoming catastrophe, the world’s richest along with the governments started to pool resources to build huge arks. So, that is pretty much analogous to “human curiosity cracking the code”.

Now, once the world’s richest along with the world’s political leaders were in the ark, safe and sound, they saw that there were thousands of people standing out there, just moments away from being perished. In this moment, all of them unanimously agreed to open the arks to all the people present in the facility, i.e., later on they went to become saviours. This is is pretty much analogous to “after cracking the code, realising that they shouldn’t have done this, and trying to undo it”.

Now, the movie depicted this as a happy ending, but it is trivial to realise that this was a complete and utter failure on the authorities’ side, so much that they couldn’t even give the opportunity to people for saying farewell to their loved ones. So, if someone cracks the code, just in greed for more and more profits, he will more or less end up destroying the human life as we know, and later on, will regret it and will try to undo it.

However, I love to remain optimistic. So, I am hoping that no one is able to crack this code ever :joy:

Cheers,
Elemento

2 Likes

Just because Newtonian physics allows us to put spacecraft in orbit around distant planets doesn’t mean the universe dynamically calculates gravitational attraction using square of distance and some funky mathematical constant (aka fudge factor.) in other words, a model can be useful regardless of whether it is a faithful manifestation of the underlying system it represents. And just because a neural net can be used to predict animal or system behaviors doesn’t mean those behaviors are actually implemented by neural networks. For a control system, correct means effective.

Further, there is no need to do that complicated and messy blood analysis to find out how people react to stimuli; just give them cellphones. The official Gangnam Style video has 4.5 billion views. If that isn’t love I don’t know what is.

1 Like