Book Reviews: ‘The Self-Assembling Brain’ – The Future Benefits For AI

As Peter Robin Hiesinger argues, “the information problem” underlies both fields, motivating the questions driving forward the frontiers of research. How does genetic information unfold during the years-long process of human brain development―and is there a quicker path to creating human-level artificial intelligence? Is the biological brain just messy hardware, which scientists can improve upon by running learning algorithms on computers? Can AI bypass the evolutionary programming of “grown” networks? Through a series of fictional discussions between researchers across disciplines, complemented by in-depth seminars, Hiesinger explores these tightly linked questions, highlighting the challenges facing scientists, their different disciplinary perspectives and approaches, as well as the common ground shared by those interested in the development of biological brains and AI systems. In the end, Hiesinger contends that the information content of biological and artificial neural networks must unfold in an algorithmic process requiring time and energy. There is no genome and no blueprint that depicts the final product. The self-assembling brain knows no shortcuts.

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