Does the Futurist Vision of Thinking Include Emotion?



In this fascinating TED talk, author, inventor, engineer and futurist Ray Kurzweil offers a cogent description of the neocortex, the thin covering over the surface of the brain where higher-level thinking takes place. He characterizes this aspect of the brain’s functionality as “the great sublimator,” where our primal impulses (driven by the limbic or emotional brain, where the amygdala resides) are filtered and interpreted.

Kurzweil goes on to propose a realistic possibility for an artificial neocortex in the cloud, expanding in potentially exponential fashion our intellectual capability.

Aside from all the controversial implications of such propositions, how does the emotional brain – the part of the brain without which even the simplest decisions cannot be made – play into the futurist vision of artificial intelligence?

 

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