Now this is an article worth reading. A computer with schizophrenia? In my journeys over at High Existence, I was given an article to read and it was a doozy.
Here it is.
Basically, the long and short of it is that to better understand what causes schizophrenia, computer scientists ran some tests developed by theories of what schizophrenia actually is.
They discovered a while ago that schizophrenics have a much higher level of dopamine than the average person. Now don’t get too ahead of yourself and think that having higher amounts of dopamine means they are happier. Nope, it’s a common misconception that dopamine = happy. All dopamine does is give importance or motivation to an event, environment or whatever it attaches to. For good or worse, the chemical will simply highlight things for you. For example, someone with a deficiency of dopamine will have zero energy or feelings of ability to engage in just about any effort. This lack of motivation results in feelings of sadness, despair and lack of fulfillment. Therefore unhappiness is just a fringe side effect. In fact, a severe lack of dopamine have caused lab rats to starve even though their food dish was just inches away.
So what’s the theory about too much dopamine in the brain? Well, for starters, everything is highlighted, every event is something to learn from and nothing is disregarded. They call this hyperlearning and as you can imagine, things get very confusing if you’re trying to connect the dots.
To help prove this theory, computer scientists used a language learning computer program called DISCERN that would receive input in story format and give output the same. In normal working order, it would discern what was relevant and vital and discard the rest. To recreate schizophrenia, they made all things relevant and important and the results were exactly as you might find in someone suffering from schizophrenia. Even to the point, that at one moment the computer was explaining that it was a terrorist. There we go. A computer with schizophrenia.
This opens the door wide and clear for possible testing to better understand the human brain and how to manufacture solutions to it’s ailments.
Now here’s the real kicker. What then are the ethical implications of such testing?