there was these techniques I read about with holograms (the old kind, where you needed a laser shooting through a piece of holographic film to view them), where you can take two holograms, and either by overlapping them, or bouncing lasers off them separately you could make a point of light appear that intensified depending on how similar the two images were, you could also make it project only the similarities, so if someone had grown a mustache in the second image, that section wouldn't appear, and you could also make it show only the dissimilarities. aside from setting everything up. that's a one step process, think of how many steps it would take a computer program to do something as simple as that).
there are many other things the brain does that are similar to holograms, for instance. with the old holograms, you could cut them in half, and shoot the laser through either half of the film, and still get the whole image. the smaller the fragments get, the fuzzier the images get. this is similar to the brain, other than very rare types of brain damage and memory loss, if you injure your head, you don't forget the ages of 16 to 17, you either remember everything, or get a general fuzziness, or lose everything. you can also store ridiculous amounts of information in a small hologram and retrieve them by shifting the angle or position of the laser, or using different frequencies of lasers. the brain hold more information than it should given it's size. there are alot of other similarities. I didn't think of the brain as a hologram theory, there are many books about it, but it makes alot of sense to a degree.
I don't think the brain is exactly like a hologram, but in the same way you can predict or simulate the path of a thrown object with a parabola much more easily than you can simulate the physics by trying to account for all of the forces of quantum physics, and all the particles involved from the ones in the ball and the air, to the ones in the planet creating most of the gravity pulling the ball, there are equations that describe holographic processes as well, namely the fourier transform, which also happens to describe or help describe alot of other cool scientific processes. so if we could find the right thing to emulate, I still computers are more than fast enough. whatever the brain is doing, it's slow (by computer processing standards) it's just running a much better written piece of software, I don't think emulating the right part of the hardware would be too slow even on a desktop pc, let alone a supercomputer.
Anyway, I think figuring out what intelligence is is the main problem. if not, we're just going to be wasting processing power simulating things we don't need to , or making things that pretend to have intelligence better and better, but I think the more people make machines that solve their own problems, like the robots that formed theories they were not preprogrammed to form, and the big dog, which solves arbitrary balance problems as opposed to the vast majority of walking robots that have a preset way of walking that fails if the step is a few inches from where it was supposed to be. at least when engineers making a robot that tries to learn, they are bumping against the correct wall. I'd prefer to see a robot learn it's abc's from scratch, and fail at reaching a 2nd grade level of learning, than a robot that seems to carry on a real conversation, but is really just doing dictionary searches, sifting through grammar and logic trees, and later assembling response sentences from preconstructed parts. Even then I don't think anyone will stumble upon the right answer without first developing a working theory of what intelligence is, but as I said, at least they're trying to solve the right problem,
how to BE intelligent
not how to SEEM intelligent
by the way, this project:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/c ... 165420.stm
is simulating 8000 neurons on a supercomputer down to a molecular level, the brain has millions, so it isn't going to create intelligence, but in theory it would if it had millions of times more processing power
their goal isn't to create intelligence, but to understand it. like I said, no one knows yet what intelligence is, there aren't even any generally accepted theories of it. we have no idea what's going on. don't even get me started on consciousness