Example of basic neural network used to recognize a hand drawn number

I’ve somehow spent weeks trying to understand artifical intelligence which makes for zero blog entires. After reading a book “Synapses” - btw highly reccomend, I wanted to understand how the basics of artifical intelligence and more specifically how facial recoginition software works.

This technology is more prevalent in our lives than we realize take a simple iphone and how it uses facial recognition to enter passwords. In “Synapses” aside from atheism, religion, Christianity and the exploring the ideas of how all these intersect with a.i. ( I won’t spoil it) is discussed in a 20 year in the future story of a minister. This book made me aware of how little I understand artificial intelligence.

What is fascinating in 1958 the U.S. Office of Naval Research made an interesting prediction about their use of algorithms. Quoted from the New York Times July 13, 1958

>"The Navy revealed the embryo of an electronic computer today that it expects will be able to walk, talk, see, write, reproduce itself, and **be conscious of its existence.** Later perceptrons will be able to recognize people and call out their names and instantly translate speech in one language to speech and writing in another language, it was predicted.” >

Reread the phrase emphasized in the first sentence, “ be conscious of itself”. Thats the part I don’t get. I get the use of algorithms, I get perceptons. I think its even fairly reasoble most people can udnerstand how these work to create a facial recogintion system. With the warning the math is way past what Fred Cutchens taught at Abbeville High School. But its doable for the average person with enough coffee. Alan Turing defined it this way by paraphrasing neurologist Geoffery Johnson; “Not until a machine can write a sonnet or compose a concerto because of thoughts and emotions felt, and not by the chance fall of symbols, could we agree that machine equals brain—that is, not only write it but know that it had written it. No mechanism could feel (and not merely artificially signal, an easy contrivance) pleasure at its successes, grief when its valves fuse, be warmed by flattery, be made miserable by its mistakes, be charmed by sex, be angry or depressed when it cannot get what it wants.”

Rosenblatt’s last phrase quoted by the Times in the Navy’s 1958 press conference still holds true, “be conscious of its existence”, this cuts to the chase of A.I. research. How does a machine become conscious of itself? Short answer, we still do not know.