La economía vista desde el cerebro

CAMBRIDGE – En su pionero libro Sobre la inteligencia, de 2005, Jeff Hawkins propuso un paradigma alternativo del funcionamiento del cerebro. En su opinión, el cerebro no es una máquina de Turingque manipula símbolos conforme a una tabla de reglas, como lo hacen las computadoras o la inteligencia artificial, sino que es una gigantesca memoria jerárquica que está registrando permanentemente lo que percibe y prediciendo lo que vendrá a continuación.

El cerebro hace predicciones encontrando similitudes entre patrones en los datos sensoriales recientes y las experiencias anteriores almacenadas en su inmensa memoria. El cerebro logra asociar sonidos fragmentarios en un mar de ruido con una canción conocida o la cara de una persona disfrazada con la de un hijo. La idea es similar a la función de autocompletado de la casilla de búsqueda de Google, que adivina constantemente lo que introduciremos a continuación a partir de lo que ya hemos escrito.

Para entender la jerarquía en este mecanismo, pensemos en que, al ver aparecer unas pocas letras, podemos predecir la palabra; al mirar unas pocas palabras, podemos predecir el significado de la oración o incluso del párrafo. En realidad, ahora mismo usted está tratando de adivinar adónde quiero llegar con todo este artículo. La jerarquía permite encontrar significado a nivel superior independientemente de si los datos llegan a nuestro cerebro porque los leímos o escuchamos. Así, pues, el cerebro es una máquina inductiva que predice el futuro basándose en el descubrimiento de similitudes, a muchos niveles diferentes, entre el presente y el pasado.

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