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Thread: Artificial intelligence by reading electron energy states?

  1. #1 Artificial intelligence by reading electron energy states? 
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    I'm going to paraphrase what my chemistry teacher briefly explained in my class, and want to know what you think...

    Could a machine possibly read the energy level or number of electrons of an atom to derive solutions in "gray areas" rather than the Black-and-White processing of current machines, thus giving machines the ability to say "maybe"?

    Every element on the periodic table has properties, based primarily on electrons. Could we create a "chemical" computer that is based on the readings of these properties, coming from a core, a cocktail of elements rapidly changing, manipulated as required, and being read? Instead of basing our computers on the simple on/off of transistors, what about basing them off of the readings coming from a mix of atoms?

    Current computers are based on transistors that turn "on" or "off", rapidly, to create the basis of binary. However, more complex computers could be created using, as a basis, the properties of various atoms/elements, like how many electrons the atom has, and at what energy level they are at, to create more complex thinking. Of course, we would create a "key" from which the output of the computer would translate into language or other complex calculations.
    Is he on crack, or is there some validity to this far-fetched, theoretical hypothesis?


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  3. #2  
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    my belief is crack. I don't see any validity in this idea, as EVERYTHING in a computer is based on binary, not just the transistor deal. it's all either a yes or a no, positive or a negative. Magnetic memory, transistor and magnetic parts on which it runs are all binary. I can't think of any way to change that.


    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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  4. #3  
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    I also vote for crack.

    Apparently he thinks it's a limitation of modern computers that they work in binary, but he didn't explain specifically what his problem with binary is, or what advantage we would get from using a computer based on something else. I suspect that he doesn't understand how computer logic works well enough to even really explain what advantage he thinks his chemical computer would have, beyond the fuzzy, mostly-meaningless language you quoted.

    Also, it's worth noting that people have made computers that operated in base three instead of binary, and they didn't have any magical advantages over binary computers.
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    I'm going to go ahead and say that this was actually my idea, and I made up the part about my chemistry teacher. This idea came to me during an intro chemistry class, as we were learning about electron energy levels and such. I acted like my teacher made it up, because I wanted to avoid possible embarassment on what seems to be a forum for geniuses.

    It was at a time when I was really curious and fascinated by artificial intelligence. At the time, I had also read about how our brain does not only think in black/white, but with gray area in the middle. I realized that current computers went against this, and that current attempts at AI were still based on 1/0 basics. So, during that lecture, I just put 2 and 2 together. Maybe we could avoid binary through much more natural ways, by changing the way computers think, from the bottom up. And electron energy levels are much more complex than 1/0, there are tons of possibilities. Instead of having the computer "read" 1s and 0s based on simple electricity, it would read the electricity itself, in a sense, by differentiating the status of the electrons.

    I'm 17 and will be applying to colleges... some of their entrance essay prompts ask about things like how we took school material and thought about it in our own ways. Would touching on my experience in the chemistry class be laughed at by admissions officers, or is it a viable, respectable idea, that shows my ability to think originally, especially in the field of science and technology? Oh and I'm really sorry for being initially misleading...!

    I'm asking it on these forums, hopefully to listen to the advice of something more knowledgeable about physics, chemistry, the atom, and computers, to avoid embarrassment in the future. My idea doesn't have to be completely correct, just interesting enough and possible enough to impress college admissions officers. As in, like, MIT people.

    As you can see, I lack much of the basic knowledge in this realm, so go easy on me. I'm completely open to any explanations why this is all bogus. Thanks
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by corsican
    It was at a time when I was really curious and fascinated by artificial intelligence. At the time, I had also read about how our brain does not only think in black/white, but with gray area in the middle. I realized that current computers went against this, and that current attempts at AI were still based on 1/0 basics. So, during that lecture, I just put 2 and 2 together. Maybe we could avoid binary through much more natural ways, by changing the way computers think, from the bottom up. And electron energy levels are much more complex than 1/0, there are tons of possibilities. Instead of having the computer "read" 1s and 0s based on simple electricity, it would read the electricity itself, in a sense, by differentiating the status of the electrons.
    I don't really know much about how the brain works, but doesn't it boil down to neurons either firing or not firing? That seems somewhat analogous to a binary computer where the electricity in complicated circuits is either on or off.

    Anyway, the important thing to remember is that a computer is a machine for doing math. Since you can represent logic operations with math, a machine that does math can also do logic operations. Computers do math in binary because it's easy to make circuits that do math in binary, but there's no hypothetical reason why you couldn't make computers do math in base 10 or 1000 if you wanted. But I don't see why it would make the computer any better for running an AI.
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    true, neurons either fire or don't fire, but there is also the frequency of the firing which matters. this frequency, in relations to the frequency of the firing of other neurons, can actually change the outcome. therefore, the all-or-none principle is partially correct, because of the effect of faster/slower frequencies. from what I understand, computers don't take this type effect into account... I'm not sure how this fits into anything but it's a thought.
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    Quote Originally Posted by corsican
    true, neurons either fire or don't fire, but there is also the frequency of the firing which matters. this frequency, in relations to the frequency of the firing of other neurons, can actually change the outcome. therefore, the all-or-none principle is partially correct, because of the effect of faster/slower frequencies. from what I understand, computers don't take this type effect into account... I'm not sure how this fits into anything but it's a thought.
    It's a lot more complicated than that. Post the bit on the brain in Bio and you'd be surprised.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  9. #8  
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    its got good basis........don't forget that the brain is matter as far as theory is concerned, its got to do it all somehow, like the man wrote the transistor isn't made for this so doesn't do it.

    if you were to suspend the computer in a fluid and so have a fluid rather than 'fixed' computational environment then you may be a step further to your goal......just leave nature to do its thing and you may have a 'free thinking' computer.......not much more to it.....hehe.....its not like people give the matter properties or direction we just watch & note the differences.
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    What you are talking about is extremely similar to the idea of a quantum computer. The first quantum computer processors have already been created and the idea of using superpositions is proven to be valid and effective. Your idea, however, doesn't stand. (sorry)

    1.) It is impossible to conclude with absolute certainty where a single atom will be, and even more difficult to predict where an electron will be. Modern, working quantum processors have to use a qubit, which have to be made out of about a billion atoms to be large enough to find.

    2.) In order to use an algorithm, one must be able to control the state of the objects being used to store the information. The very usefulness of a computer is it's ability to manipulate large numbers. With an electron, there is no easy way to make the electron inherit specific properties of other electrons. With modern qubits, they inherit information by exchanging photons. I don't see how you could do that with electrons. Even if you had a way, you'd be severely limited because of the fact that the energy properties of the electrons will have to be inside of a specific range due to the shell it is in.

    3.) An electron is so small that reading it would require outrageous accuracy, but worse, reading it would "disturb" the electron, ( This is the basis for the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.) changing where it would be in the future. The computer would have to do more calculation than it could muster just to understand what IT was doing.


    In the end, I'm sorry to say that the matter you are bringing up is beyond the normal realm of chemistry and well into quantum physics. The idea is a definite thumbs down, but quantum computers are a thumbs up. If you're interested in artificial intelligence, I suggest you wait for quantum computers or research computer algorithms. If you want to get involved in multi-state Turing machines, research quantum physics.
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