Lucy, not really a must go and see film


Take a good idea, a potentially great idea, and put it in the hands of a director (Luc Besson) that is known for stories of triads, professional assassins and revenges and you get Lucy. But the problem is that the brain expansion and the Taipei triad scenario don’t match.

This movie was going to be all about execution, and it doesn’t deliver. It is not even entertainment. The director uses the same tricks every time (Corridors for example: in one case Lucy makes every french cop fall to the ground with the flick of a finger, in another every mob member flies into the ceiling, and while the former was kind of fun, the latter is just dull, dull, dull, and repetitive).

The movie doesn’t really build to a climax, there is no surprise or twist of events, it isn’t about an hero trying something, it isn’t about a conspiracy, it isn’t even about trying to survive the Taipei triad while trying to understand the universe by your expanding brain. It is just a BAD summer movie, backed by two well-known actors and lot’s of publicity.

Ah, the actors! Scarlett Johansson plays the role but somehow the scenes where she walks into or out of rooms, corridors, etc. didn’t convince me. She doesn’t have the walk. She’s competent, but not much else is there. She is not very expressive in the action parts of the role and is better in the close up dialogs and interactions mainly due to her magnetic look. Morgan Freeman playing the role of a scientist teaching in the Sorbonne is now doing these roles of the “expert” that gives instant credibility to any story (was the same thing with Transcendence). In the end they are the duck calls for people to go and see the film. They do their job, but no one will remember them for this movie.

One final thing. What was that in the end of the film, were after building the most powerful next generation super computer that looked like a live termite ant tower, the computer expends a protuberance to give “All knowledge a 100% brain has” to Morgan Freeman in a USB stick? WHAT? And a big clunky one too! And Morgan Freeman stands there, astonished, holding the USB stick in the air and probably thinking “Is this what I’m doomed to do for the rest of my acting career?

Global Brain: Web as Self-organizing Distributed Intelligence – Francis Heylighen

OVERVIEW: Distributed intelligence is an ability to solve problems and process information that is not localized inside a single person or computer, but that emerges from the coordinated interactions between a large number of people and their technological extensions. The Internet and in particular the World-Wide Web form a nearly ideal substrate for the emergence of a distributed intelligence that spans the planet, integrating the knowledge, skills and intuitions of billions of people supported by billions of information-processing devices. This intelligence becomes increasingly powerful through a process of self-organization in which people and devices selectively reinforce useful links, while rejecting useless ones. This process can be modeled mathematically and computationally by representing individuals and devices as agents, connected by a weighted directed network along which “challenges” propagate. Challenges represent problems, opportunities or questions that must be processed by the agents to extract benefits and avoid penalties. Link weights are increased whenever agents extract benefit from the challenges propagated along it. My research group is developing such a large-scale simulation environment in order to better understand how the web may boost our collective intelligence. The anticipated outcome of that process is a “global brain”, i.e. a nervous system for the planet that would be able to tackle both global and personal problems. via Summer School in Cognitive Sciences 2014, Web Science and the Mind

Algumas Leituras

Robots automatizam o processo de obter informação das células cerebrais poupando assim meses em treino. Não nos bastavam os aliens a bisbilhutar o nosso cérebro com sondas afiladas agora temos robots a fazer o trabalho… :)

Como surgiu a vida e como sub-processos autocatalíticos dentro de processos autocatalíticos podem explicar emeregência e complexidade. Afinal é sempre tudo uma questão de análise multi-nível, explicada por teoria de grupos matemáticos.

E ainda uma pequena visão da Nova Iorque do futuro onde o ambiente urbano estará de tal forma interligado que sob uma aparência de simplicidade se encontra um sistema de redes de redes de redes de redes de… (multi-níveis outra vez!!!)

Some memory and brain stories this week.

Last week showed up some interesting stories about the Brain secrets, how it works and it stores information:

What are memories made of?

our memories are not inert packets of data and they don’t remain constant. Even though every memory feels like an honest representation, that sense of authenticity is the biggest lie of all. — in Lapidarium notes

The Geometric Structure of the Brain Fiber Pathways

The cerebral fiber pathways formed a rectilinear three-dimensional grid continuous with the three principal axes of development. Cortico-cortical pathways formed parallel sheets of interwoven paths in the longitudinal and medio-lateral axes, in which major pathways were local condensations. — by Wedeen et al.

Segregation and Wiring in the Brain

A mosaic of hundreds of interconnected and microscopically identifiable areas in the human cerebral cortex controls cognition, perception, and behavior. Each area covers up to 40 cm2 of the cortical surface and consists of up to 750 million nerve cells. — by Zilles ans Amunts

Os segredos do cérebro e da memória estão mais próximos

Despite a century of research, memory encoding in the brain has remained mysterious. Neuronal synaptic connection strengths are involved, but synaptic components are short-lived while memories last lifetimes. This suggests synaptic information is encoded and hard-wired at a deeper, finer-grained molecular scale.

via Machines Like Us

A forma como o cérebro armazena informação é da maior importância. O que nos faz ter memória? O que diferencia a memória de longa duração da memória de curto prazo. Porque há coisas que esquecemos? O futuro poderá muito brevemente mostrar-nos pistas para estes mistérios que poderão ajudar muito a saúde, mas acima de tudo a área da IA.