X-Message-Number: 26072
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 09:20:34 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: To Francois: dreams vrs virtual reality

For Francois:

When you say that brains can easily create vivid dreams, and conclude
from this that making virtual worlds need not take great effort or
resources, you forget that by starting with human brains you already
have many memories and resources to work on. Most of the required work
has already been done. 

If however you wish to do this with a computer system, say a network
parallel system, then you must start from ZERO. 

Not only that, but I doubt very much that no matter how real your
dreams actually seem, they don't provide you with all the complexity 
of the real universe around us. Yes, you may even feel that they do,
but when you think about them closely you'll see that they don't.
Among other problems, our dreams generally use our experiences of
the recent past. A feeling that something is real doesn't necessarily
prove that it is actually real... as many people have found to their
dismay in the real world.

By the way, was my discussion of the what you wanted to say accurate?

              Best wishes and long long life,

                 Thomas Donaldson

PS: I don't even believe that creating a REAL robot with a brain
consciousness and feelings will always be impossible, though I do 
think that it's a much harder task than simply programming a computer
appropriately. (Among other issues, your computer will need a special
design, and neural networks aren't enough). But this is a separate
issue entirely.

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