human = machine

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Hevene, Oct 10, 2001.

  1. Hevene Registered Senior Member

    The question is - Are human machines?
    For me the answer is yes.
    It could be a rather disturbing thought, but all I want is some of your thoughts.
    My reason is simple, we function in a similar way a machine does. All machine needs a source of energy, we do too. For machine, it could be the fuel, the electricity etc. - energy, for us, the oxygen we take in that undergoes a series of chemical reaction that provides us with energy. The fact that machines requires electricity to operate, our brain sends electrical impluses to muscles in order for us to do the most basic movement. In this case, our nerves are just like wires - a path for electricity to travel from one plance to another, to perform a required task.
    Ones may argue that we have intelligence or conciousness, which machine don't. This all depends on your view on conciousness. For me, it is the way we deals with situations depends on the knowledge we 'stored' in our brain. Isn't it just like an AI, where they reason using the knowledge stored? This knowledge grows as we gets older with more experience, and for AI or knowledge base, they also grow, as more information is stored as they encounters different situations.
    I once read a book, calling plants the world's best machine, with the most efficient nano-machines (the chloroplast where the photosynthese occurs). Even though our nano-technology isn't advance enough yet for us to build something similar, but, in the future, we can achieve this. If plants could be classified as a machine, so can we.

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  3. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    I wouldn't say Humans are Machines, because with a machine it can be completely faultless due to it being able to calculate, while we make mistakes.

    A machines memory would be finite, it would only be able to expnd so far without increasing RAM or storage capacities, while us as humans tend to increase out boundries only so far before we start forgetting things as we re-allocate information.

    With a machine it might be created to do a set task, with ourselves we can be quite versitile but only as far as our dexterity goes.

    As Prof. Kevin Warwick mentioned in one his Lectures, a machine can quite happily repeat a task faultlessly, again and again monotonously. While it's human counterpart would not be as exact and would tire or become bored of the task.

    (this is most noticable in the quality of the creation of RAM and other semiconductor components, when you look at mass production by machine and that of people. The chips made by humans can have errors)

    Another point is that machines haven't fully developed emotions, They don't get sad or happy, or let those emotions drive how they react with the task at hand. (although many artificial intelligence programmers are still working on putting emotions together)

    Humans never shut off like a machine can, A machine can be turned off and have all power removed, As long as it's programs on storage and it's machine code is current in the microchip, it can be turned on again to do what ever task it did before.

    I person only Powers down, and if they did turn off (die) then all their genetic processes would stop working and begin bio-degrading (because the body no longer balances chemical reactions, it just allows them to occur.)

    Of course this is just looking at the physical nature, not actually looking in the depths of a persons mind, and how a persons life dictates how they react to their environment.
    Since every person has a different life, mother/father & story to them, then they are obviously different in thinking and reaction to situations. Which is far different from a machine that can just have it's programming copied so all fellow machines Assimulate it's method of dealing with tasks.
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  5. Hevene Registered Senior Member

    I agree with the fact that machines are created to do a set task, for human, looking at the smaller details rather than the whole, our organs are built to do a set task just like the machine does. Our body is like a super machine, built up from many smaller machines, ie. cell, organs etc.. It is far more advanced for us to replicate and understand completely, but with the increasing in technology, this is achievable.

    This again ralates to the point I've made above. Our organs repeats its set task over and over again, until they dies. It's just like the machines where they crash, rust or broken down, 'till the point where they cannot be repaired.

    This is a good point, all I can say is may be one day, we can develop certain technology that can enable us to 'turn' ourself off for a while. There is always possibilities.

    It is true that humans can have very different personalities depends on the way they are brought up. Human's mind is for more complex than the machines'. Part of our mind is like the machines' secondary storage, it stores everything we want to encounter and our memory could also be lost like the machines', for example during an accident.
    Research in AI, is aiming at the development of something that has its own way of reasoning using what is stored. This is similar in which we reason, we can only reason using our knowledge. That explains why a 3 year old's mind is so different with someone older.
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  7. Moose Registered Member


    yes, in some respects the bodily, physical cycle is alike machines, as quite rightly pointed out by the r.hon.stryder geezer .
    However, the fundamental difference also highlighted by him needs more stress--


    However ridiculous this sounds, it is important. To configure the arguement proposed, lets attempt to make machines function like humans. We would need to write software that makes the computer stupid, makes it imprecise and slow.
    I think that the most important facet of an attack upon strong AI is that however complicated the software written to function upon however fast the hardware, the computer is not AWARE of what it is doing. Humans are.
    This leads onto what constitutes consciousness etc, which i can't be arsed to go into be i haven't got that dialed (laugh now___)
    in fact, i can't remember what the flying moo i was going on about
    ---some remind me........

  8. rde Eukaryotic specimen Registered Senior Member

    What's a machine?

    Everyone so far seems to be assuming that machines can somehow be equated with computers; this isn't the case. We unquestionably are machines; biological ones.
    What are we designed to do? Eat and breed. We work in such a way that not all of us achieve the second task, but enough of us do that there are over six billion on the planet right now.

    We can't perform the same task over and over? Hands up everyone who hasn't eaten nearly every day they've been alive? (I'm assuming that as we all have computers, so we all have access to food). Just because we can't calcluate pi to a godzillion digits doesn't mean we're not machines; toasters can't calculate pi either. And my computer can only make toast if I open it up and use the heat sink.

    As for the argument about humans not being shut off: what about cryogenics? It may not be practical at the moment, but it may be some day. Will we suddenly becom machine when we're capable of being put into storage?
  9. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    Okay, you've re-established that you mean machines rather than something intelligent, Of course you can say the human body is as mechanical as you like, but I know from experience...

    If you have a mind that thinks of everything being like a robotic limb; Cold, without feeling other than sensor array's placed onto it's surface, it's angled and pretty much designed by someone that has an idea of how it wants to look and function.

    They might neglect that the human bodies design and how it's materials react, don't always conform to the machine specifications. This was noticable during a Cybernetic's experiment.

    You can say that a person is a machine, but what machines have been built by some small piece of code and the presensence of particular chained chemicals?(Like proteins) A machine is usually built from parts that are purposely manufactured, not naturally occuring through growth.

    These parts can also be perfectly reproduced, which Genetics can not.(at least not all of the time.)
    You might mention "we could use clones for body parts", okay it's a clone, it's cellular structure has a different lifespan to your own even though you share the same basic coding. You might replace a limb but within X amount of years it might become useless too you.
    Not to mention other parts of the body or aging at different times.
    (okay cells aren't all the same age, but they do contain the history of how many times they've replicated, how much time has passed and what contaminants have passed through it.)

    As for the problems with Cryogenics, for it to be of any use they need to find a way to freeze quicker, so that ice crystal don't have a change to damage cellular structures.

    I can understand that the possible reason for this topic is probably in reference to Knowledge Engineering.
  10. rde Eukaryotic specimen Registered Senior Member

    Crystals are grown nowadays; nanotubes, too. If an object is made of molecules built from the bottom up, is it a machine? Transistors will soon be built this way.
    Again, you qualify. "usually". "not all the time". Does this mean that men are not machines, but sometimes they are?
    If you'd ever bought a computer from Gateway you'd know all about machines not doing what they're intended to. To continue the analogy, read your last sentence above and replace the word 'limb' with 'video card'.
    A mere detail. The fact remains that once that hurdle has been overcome, it'll be possible to effectively switch off a human being, and turn him/^H^Her back on again.
  11. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    Nanotube can't be classed as "A Machine" as they would be classed as a Super-organism. The tube is made up of many smaller "Machines", So they as one can't be classed as A Machine, although they might work together as A machine.

    I never stated that men are machines some of the time and are not the rest of the time. Your going to have to stick to one or the other reasoning of either Men think like machines or their bodies act like machines, because it does make this topic confusing.

    I meant by this that A machines parts can be made from a material and reproduced if that material fails, When you look at genetics (since you wanted to class man as a machine) we can't reproduce to a duplication standard that equals that of the original, All we can do is create a similar looking piece.

    Take for instance bald Mice with ears on their backs, Okay so in a laboratory a geneticist has created this fibre cast ear, and then coats it with some cells which then grow over the surface.
    Once they make the graft they can then place it on a living organism. But there is problems with it.

    1: It's only an epidermal layer, it lacks the veins and arteries of a limb (which you could then stem into organs like Bronchi within lungs.)

    2: The group of cells that the rest are generated from would have to be checked for their Ageing, otherwise that ears going to drop off. This does make sense when you think that the new ear would have to have substanance pasted through it's layering in the forms of protein. Since it is an Epidermal layer it takes better than what a limb would, as any deviation in antibodies and blood characteristics causes the limb and body to go at war with each other and is what you might see as "rejection".
    This is even something that can occur in organ transplants.

    I know people will say how absurd it is that someone who has a skin sample done and a graft grown could eventually suffer rejection, But if that person has some genetic change, for instance they have been sun bathing while their graft was growing, or they have been subjected to some virus there will be differences within the genetic structure of the graft and the person, although they both stemmed from the same point.

    As for replacing Limb with videocard... well..
    A videocard has a warantee from it's manufacture in the even anything should go wrong.

    It's circuitry is made from a pure metal or alloy, that has the purpose of conductivity, and it's encased within Silica/silicon to create semi-conductors. The metal is not changing in compound through some vascular system, The metal is not changing due to some form of diet. Infact the only changes that occur to that metal are through the energy that flows through it where it might become magnetised or melt.

    The metal within that videocard can't suffer from small parasitic organisms, or virii, it would in a way be classed completely inert(only in this context). It might develop faults but thats only due to metalic dust from a screwdriver head.

    Any portion of the human body is made up of genetics, that if you look on a molecular scale is a mixture of different elements or atoms, some of those atoms (hydrogen) can have their bonds broken. This is especially noticable when you again look at Cryogenics and realise that Quantum Entanglement proves the reason why Cryogenics hasn't been fully successful.

    The reason is that all elements/atoms freeze at differnt temperatures, so where one freezes immediately another takes some time to freeze.... This is what causes the crystal formations of ice.
  12. rde Eukaryotic specimen Registered Senior Member

    The only thing a nanotube is made of is carbon atoms.

    By that argument, humans aren't machine merely because we lack the technology to grow livers in vats. Once we gain that technology will we be machines?

    What about rust? This may not be a problem with video cards, but any machine made of a metal that oxidises in air rusts. This is a natural process. Whether it happens through a vascular process or reaction with oxygen in the air is immaterial.
    There are plenty of bacteria that eat metal.

    What has quantum entanglement got to do with anything?

    The reason is that all elements/atoms freeze at differnt temperatures, so where one freezes immediately another takes some time to freeze.... This is what causes the crystal formations of ice. [/QUOTE]Bacteria have overcome this problem millennia ago. Are bacteria machines?
  13. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    well, I was using the idea of a nanobotic organism like it's carbon counterpart Coral from beneath the sea.

    I something is made from one element, like how you mentioned nanotube, then it's not functioning to a mechanism. Mechanism I still percieve as being flicks of a switch, pushes of a button, and Mechanical.

    The entire bonding process of an element through attraction, isn't something that is generated just because someone flicks a switch and it changes its polarity in relation to it. (This doesn't mean that electrolysis is ruled out as occuring, but that is hardly a mechanism.)

    Organ Vats
    Growing a liver in a vat doesn't make us a machine, how many machines have you seen that build the components of the very machines they are. You might say I'm sure there is a factory somewhere, but that machine has to be able to get the components together on it's own without our interaction.

    We could eventually grow organs in a vat, but we still have to get the necessary materials, and monitor it and probably the equivlent of A trillion floating point operations.

    Rust is caused by Oxidation of Iron... Or Ironoxide, not all metals rust, and their are conductive metals that don't rust. Original Boards might have been made with iron within them (I.e. 486) But my guess is now adays they use Alloy's and silicon coatings to remove rust.

    Metal eating Bacteria's
    Now that would be something to worry about.. the only way a bacteria could eat through metal would be either in the form of Ironoxide (rust) or if it itakes enough water and manages to get in a crevis during it's freezing point. (causing a crack or fault)

    Quantum Entanglement
    I'll tell you what this has to do with... Take a metal and it's quantum entanglement can be lined up using a magnet if it's capable, Since metals are usually pure or alloys they too have enlinemnets.

    When you look at our genetics, the mixture of different elements and reactive properties to magnetism, means there is Quantum Entanglement. (Atoms that are in position to one another)
    Heisenberg's principle of uncertainty, although stating that there is a photoelectric effect that destablised looking at an atom, so that no projection of it's quanta's positions would be absolute, It also provides an understanding that if a bunch of spinning spherical objects spin in relationship to each other and some slow down due to freezing, it cause an instabilty in position of the others, until they too freeze.

    When you again mentioned bacteria, you have to take into understanding that bacteria will be made of elements that closely link to each other, and freeze at similar temperatures.

    (The purer the elements of an organism the more likely it can be frozen and thawed.)

    That means bacteria and worms can be frozen and thawed to continue living, while ourselves is a different matter as we have so many different chemicals within our bodies. (not to forget to mention systems that push those chemicals around our bodies)
  14. rde Eukaryotic specimen Registered Senior Member

    You've made a lot of contradictory arguments: let me ask one question.

    What is the definition of a machine?
  15. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    I'll let you into a secret Rde, If I hadn't argued the against, then your thread wouldn't have been any fun

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    And it would of probably stagnated like some of my posts, hiding behind the more popular topics.

    So In truth I know there are For's that man can mimic a machine, and Againsts saying he isn't.

    Of course the dictionary definition caters for both worlds.. how generically pleasing Oxford...

    Machine n. & v. --n. 1 an apparatus using or applying mechanical power, having several parts each with a definite function and together performing certain kinds of function. 2 a particular kind of machine, esp. a vehicle, a piece of electrical or electronic apparatus, etc. 3 an instrument that transmits a force or directs it's application. 4 The controlling system of an organization etc. (The party machine) 5 a person who acts mechanically and with apparent lack of emotion. make or operate on with a machine (esp. in sewing or printing)

    So with this it pretty much means that if you have a sense of humour, cry when sad, feel lost when lonely, and are attracted to the opposite sex, you have a form of Soul... which a machine doesn't.
  16. Hevene Registered Senior Member

    I started this thread simply because it was discuss in my Maths class.

    No matter how complex humans are, we are all composed of atoms. All machines, no matter how different, they are still composed of atoms. So what's the difference of human and machine?

    Machines can be reproduced many times, but mistake do happen during the repilcation process, even though the chance are quite small (may be 1 in a thousand). For human, we constantly undergoes mitosis and meosis. During mitosis, cells are copied completed without many faults. This is another way we are machines.

    Are you saying that machines don't? We replace parts of the machine too.

    May be on marcoscopic point of view, we are still too different from machines.
    We only feels different feeling because of our nervous system. How do we know when we feel hot, it's actually cold? We are made to feel, like machines are made to do stuffs.

    I agrees with rde, we are machines, but clevely designed to hide the fact. Or we all living in our frame of reference, therefore we cannot detect the fact. The way we are right now is the consequunces of natural selection. We evolved into our current form to survive better with the maximum chance of reproducing. All machines were built to suite a purpose, we were too.

    Just too add to my previous post in this topic, we mensioned that humans cannot shut off like the machines, may be we could. In our body, there are thousands of chemical reactions going on. All reactions needs a enzyme to speed up the reaction. When our body temperature goes too low, the chemical reactions stops as the activation energy required is not reached. There are cases when people fell into frozen lake and became frozen themself. They are "dead", but as the body temperature reaches the required temperature for the activation of the enzymes, the body starts to become alive again. This again proves we need energy to word like the machines and could be a way for us to "shut off".

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  17. Hevene Registered Senior Member

    Even though I completely believe we are machines, but I can't really argue this point, I'll have a go anyway. Human = an egg and an sperm!!! We undergoes mitosis automatically, controlled by our genes. It is the same as the machines gets their instructions from the programming.

    All I want to say is that assumption limit possibilities. If we assume a machine have certain characteristics, then we will never be able to build something humanlike, ie. with feelings etc. Anything is possible!!!

    Like anything that rusts, we do too. That's one reason we need antioxidants to keep us healthy and look younger.
  18. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    I have to requote the definition I took from the Oxford English Dictionary:

    Humans grow from neutrition and parental nuturing, this is something that a machine lacks. Machines don't "grow" no matter if you point to nanotubes or not, The very metal they are made from doesn't even come from life, although they might need lubricants that are from oil which is made by biodegrading organic matter.

    When I see a machine nuture another machine then I shall say humans are machines. As it it's not right for one it can't be right for the other.

    Perhaps this topic should stem towards Turing.

    Our reproduction genetically isn't done because we have a factory casting parts and we don't contain parts numbers, otherwise we would look identical, it's an organic mergence of chemicals that builds the atomics(as in "small pieces")
    of our bodies and those small pieces aren't mechanical, they don't work by calculus that would define a machines perimeters, and they react chaotically and not to a mathmatically defined pattern.

    Machines merge between the realms of Aesthetics, Ergonomics and Trigonometery in design. Humans aren't very Ergonomic, and we can't exactly upgrade our genes after we have been born.

    Unlike a machine that can be upgraded.

    How exactly is this the same as getting instructions from its programming??? I mean if this was the case then I could just program my computer to reproduce and never have to worry about upgrading or spare parts.

    I still point out that the creation of life through reproduction or genetic level reproduction are things that define us from machine. As I have yet to see a machine capable of producing it's own offspring and upgrade itself.

    we might use anti-oxidants to keep our skin young looking, (well unless your a guy, then... well it's a kind of... urm... girly man thing to do.) how many people have you known that have suffered from holes appearing in their body work because of Oxidising? You won't find many, Anyway you should of noted that our blood carries iron within it, and when it passes through the lungs it becomes oxidised turning it red (Until all the oxygen is used up on it's travels around the body and returns to the lungs blue)

    Too tell you the truth I think it's pretty much exhausted this discussion. Other than mentioning that Yes, man looks at machine and tries to understand all the possibilities of what directions to take its "Third-Party" evolution, but in mans understanding he has to look at it in a way that he can understand, and that would be "Himself".

    That's Why I mentioned Knowledge Engineering, since most things start with a Philosophy to work from. Just because in artificial intelligence exists Neural Networking, it doesn't mean that man's brain is a machine, it just means that a Man or men are pondering how men think and trying to assimulate it with the use of a machine.
  19. Hevene Registered Senior Member

    We grow because we have the instructions built in our genes. Machines don't because they don't have the necessary codes built in. We are currently working with nano-technology and this might solve the problem one day.

    Us humans are already reproducing and create different human beings. This is done by meosis. This still can't be achieved in labs, but as technology improves, we could do this as it's a process involoves the same procedures over and over again.
  20. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member


    The instructions in our genes are from the chemical make up at base level, that don't follow a programmers rule, they follow a natural law.

    This means that we aren't machines, But I'm not debating that we could make machines in the future based on ourselfs. (which is actually in another thread)

    As my angle in this as a debate is to explain why we aren't Robots or machines. The top sentence has at the end of it the reason "Natural Law", if this is expanded on you will get "Natural Selection" which brings up Darwinism.

    If we were robots, we would become obselete and a new line would start, in Darwinism Natural Selection defines that we will mutate, some towards a more apt route that enhances their chances to survive, while others will mutate negatively and die.

    Machines don't exactly mutate to something, as most of the time is a designer and a bunch of prototypes to work out which one is the best to invest in as a long term project.
  21. rde Eukaryotic specimen Registered Senior Member

    They follow the laws of physics, just like programs.
    A program is, ultimately, a series of instructions to set a high or low voltage between to points. From this flow Sciforums, Lara Croft and even Microsoft Windows. Ultimately, we're made of cells, which are composed of DNA. This DNA acts according to the laws of physics, just as microchips do. The only difference is in method and intent; we came about through natural selection, and circuits were designed.

    You say machines don't mutate; of course they don't. There isn't a machine on the planet (by your definition) that's over a thousand years old. If self-replicating machines are made and manage to last for billions of years, then the final generation will certainly have at least one or two errors in the billions of instructions that have been passed down. These errors are, of course, mutations.
  22. Rick Valued Senior Member


    human beings do temporarily shut down and regenerate protiens during their dreams process.
  23. Rick Valued Senior Member


    human beings do temporarily shut down and regenerate protiens during their dreams process.AND you probably don't know wether they(machines) are dreaming during that period or not.sorry to borrow this idea of yours.(I think you gave a post regarding androids dreaming)

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