Open Access

Black-box Brain Experiments, Causal Mathematical Logic, and the Thermodynamics of Intelligence

Journal of Artificial General Intelligence's Cover Image
Journal of Artificial General Intelligence
Brain Emulation and Connectomics: a Convergence of Neuroscience and Artificial General Intelligence, Editors: Randal Koene and Diana Deca


Awareness of the possible existence of a yet-unknown principle of Physics that explains cognition and intelligence does exist in several projects of emulation, simulation, and replication of the human brain currently under way. Brain simulation projects define their success partly in terms of the emergence of non-explicitly programmed biophysical signals such as self-oscillation and spreading cortical waves. We propose that a recently discovered theory of Physics known as Causal Mathematical Logic (CML) that links intelligence with causality and entropy and explains intelligent behavior from first principles, is the missing link. We further propose the theory as a roadway to understanding more complex biophysical signals, and to explain the set of intelligence principles. The new theory applies to information considered as an entity by itself. The theory proposes that any device that processes information and exhibits intelligence must satisfy certain theoretical conditions irrespective of the substrate where it is being processed. The substrate can be the human brain, a part of it, a worm’s brain, a motor protein that self-locomotes in response to its environment, a computer. Here, we propose to extend the causal theory to systems in Neuroscience, because of its ability to model complex systems without heuristic approximations, and to predict emerging signals of intelligence directly from the models. The theory predicts the existence of a large number of observables (or “signals”), all of which emerge and can be directly and mathematically calculated from non-explicitly programmed detailed causal models. This approach is aiming for a universal and predictive language for Neuroscience and AGI based on causality and entropy, detailed enough to describe the finest structures and signals of the brain, yet general enough to accommodate the versatility and wholeness of intelligence. Experiments are focused on a black-box as one of the devices described above of which both the input and the output are precisely known, but not the internal implementation. The same input is separately supplied to a causal virtual machine, and the calculated output is compared with the measured output. The virtual machine, described in a previous paper, is a computer implementation of CML, fixed for all experiments and unrelated to the device in the black box. If the two outputs are equivalent, then the experiment has quantitatively succeeded and conclusions can be drawn regarding details of the internal implementation of the device. Several small black-box experiments were successfully performed and demonstrated the emergence of non-explicitly programmed cognitive function in each case

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Computer Sciences, Artificial Intelligence