54 years of understanding DNA

54 years of understandig DNA

Larry Page is making analogies of DNA and operating systems.

He claims that the future of the search is in Artificial Intelligence. Difficult to disagree, and anyway it would be impossible to argue because Larry Page talks with a naughty smile on his lips, sort of ready to turn it into joke any moment. He says that an AI future is very close because modern operating systems are bigger than our DNA, it should mean that the problem of computing power, or as it is called in AI circles, the problem of scale, is not a problem any more.

…if you look at your programming, your DNA is about 600 megabytes compressed, making it smaller than Linux or Windows or any modern operating system and includes booting up your brain.

Larry Page is mixing up genetic instructions for the development and functioning of living organisms with digital computer operating systems, with the work of the human brain and with computation. If he would stir his mix a little bit more and add ABRACADABRA, AI would pop up immediately.

But he did not, and we are left with a bunch of common disillusions about AI, brain — DNA — computer comparisons.

It is noteworthy that to describe DNA as code is a metaphor by itself. DNA can not be compared with data or the processes inside a computer. I recommend reading Who Wrote The Book Of Life by Lily E. Kay and The code, the text and the language of God by Katrin Weigmann.Coming back to AI. I can’t find an English translation of a Stanislaw Lem article from 1998. In German it is Geist aus der Maschine, he writes about millions of computers connected and each performs as one brain cell.

One Response to “54 years of understanding DNA”

  1. Fr. M. Says:

    wow, stanislaw Lem is not dead ? or, rather, he was not in 2000… strange because I have now with me his book “the star diaries” which is crazily amusing. I am halfway thru it, just finished a story where a spaceship computer has assumedly gone mad and taken power of the ship which is lost. The hero of the book, Ijon Tichy, goes on a trip to find it and follows a trail to a planet which is run by robots who hate humans. The robots are quite medieval in their appearance and talk some bizarre language akin to pirate slang. He disguises himself as a robot to protect himself but is found. well, I’m not going to tell the whole story, only the ending, sorry: he discovers that there are actually no robots on the planet, only humans disguised as robots because they fear the other fake robots would kill them if they found out they were not robots.
    All this was masterminded by the computer gone mad which… oh, well, just read it yourself!

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