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Plasticity and PathologyOn the Formation of the Neural Subject$
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David Bates and Nima Bassiri

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823266135

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823266135.001.0001

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Automaticity, Plasticity, and the Deviant Origins of Artificial Intelligence

Automaticity, Plasticity, and the Deviant Origins of Artificial Intelligence

(p.194) 7 Automaticity, Plasticity, and the Deviant Origins of Artificial Intelligence
Plasticity and Pathology

David Bates

Fordham University Press

This chapter returns to the historical and conceptual foundations of the digital brain itself, arguing that the construction of a plastic computational machine at the dawn of the digital age entailed the invention of a machinic pathology. Recuperating this historical moment offers a new perspective on our contemporary “digital brain.” We need not be reduced to mere learning machines, largely unconscious of our own cognitive processes, where any experience of freedom and contingency of thinking can be exposed as some kind of Nietzschean illusion. The human brain was understood to be a special kind of genuinely open system that determined itself yet was also capable of defying its own automaticity in acts of genuine creativity. The originators of the digital computer were explicitly inspired by this neurophysiological concept of plasticity in their efforts to model the abilities of truly intelligent beings.

Keywords:   human brain, artificial intelligence, neuroplasticity, digital brain, machinic pathology

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