Neural Nets

(I apologize for posting this later than I intended, I’ve been inconvenienced by computer problems.)

(Oh, and forgive me if I type too casually, by the way; from what I understand, this is a free write, but I hope techniques such as ellipses and sentence fragments are excusable, I feel much more free when I can write how I’d say it.)

 

Neural networks… how could one not find them fascinating? I suppose they could go over some people’s head. Heck, I don’t even understand the technical intricacies of the systems themselves. Unfortunately, I am in no way a computer engineer, being only literate in software programming, and not even an expert at that. Still, think of the applications. Getting a neural network created that at least fairly accurately represents the human brain, even just the language center, could hold tremendous value in understanding the language acquisition process. Can we yet say with certainty what universal grammar truly entails? Couldn’t this knowledge not only be of scientific interest, but human interest? A full understanding of language development by observing a neural network can allow linguists to learn exactly how to best aid a child in first language acquisition, or even an adult in second or third language acquisition. Experiments could be carried out on these networks that would be impossible, as they would be unethical to carry out on a child.

Simply to be a part in creating a neural network that correctly mirrors the human mind would be incredible. Perhaps studying how language is used and acquired interests me more than the average person, however this could be the missing piece of creating “true” AI. Granted, the book Galatea 2.2 implies this to be true, but it is, in a way, science fiction. We might not be anywhere near having this “true AI”, and I can’t say I understand the complexities of the brain enough to say what it would take to create real intelligence. Simply to have a computer communicate with a person on the same level as people communicate among themselves would be no small feat. The implications of such a breakthrough are probably impossible to really grasp. Would it be a godsend or a mistake? The simple curiosity of science might be enough to, in time, take the chance, even if it is a huge mistake. And I won’t lie, my curiosity is quite high here. I’m not very well researched in neural networks, though I definitely would like to learn more about them. It’s amazing how linguistics can be so pervasive, from the distant past to the far future.

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