[Bmi] "I do not even aim to follow the brain's ways ..."

Juyang Weng weng at cse.msu.edu
Wed Mar 7 13:54:05 EST 2012

Dear friend,

- When I was a graduate student at UIUC in the mid 1980s.  Narendra
Ahuja was teaching David Marr's vision theory and Gestalt psychology in
his Computer Vision course, I raised my hand and commented stupidly:
"Why do we have to learn this kind of material?  All we need to do is
computer vision."  Narendra, still remember?

- In the early 2000s, a research buddy working on computer vision said
to me:  "Do not do development.  It is a myth."

- An AI society recently wrote to us: "ICBM does not fall within the
general parameters of conferences that we typically cooperate with, and
that are closely related to the artificial intelligence field."  Well, I
guess they meant that brain-mind is not closely related to artificial

- A close friend who has already done impressive work on computational
development for several years wrote to me: "we do not even aim to
reproduce what happens in the brain."

Indeed, the above is the way many many researchers are still thinking now.

However, research is not "do not even aim to ...", while one does not
know what "..." is.

You will be greatly surprised that "..." has already solved your current
central research problems beautifully, without doing pseudo-inverse,
without using SVM (or your another favorite tool), without doing batch
learning, without facing exponential explosion, without ...

Dear friend, I will be happy to explain to you in detail when you and I
have taken some courses in BMI together.  Now, unfortunately I cannot
explain to you because you would not simply believe what I said.

You may say "I am actually strongly collaborating with several
neuroscience labs."

If you think that collaborating with a few neuroscientists will enable
you to understand brain-mind.  Wrong.  That is exactly what I complained
about many multidisciplinary projects:  Insufficient.   This world has
many neuroscientists and their publications.  But, this world badly
lacks researchers who have the 6-discipline knowledge.   I wrote to my
friend: "If I were you, there is no other commitment that has a higher
priority than attending BMI."   If you still do not understand why, you
might want to read http://www.brain-mind-institute.org/why-me.html.
Let us know if you have better arguments to refute or support the
arguments there.  Let us communicate.  I have only 2 cents of worth.

Best regards,


Juyang (John) Weng, Professor
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
MSU Cognitive Science Program and MSU Neuroscience Program
3115 Engineering Building
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824 USA
Tel: 517-353-4388
Fax: 517-432-1061
Email: weng at cse.msu.edu
URL: http://www.cse.msu.edu/~weng/

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