For those who aren’t familiar with cellular automata, a quick explanation. The panel on the right side of the image are the keys. The left side are the cells generated from the keys. The first key (all red) says that if the three cells above a given cell are red, red, red, that cell below them is red. The next key green, red, red says that if a cell has green, red, red directly above it then that cell must be green. To generate some sort of image you need to input an initial condition. I had random conditions. The picture goes on for much longer than this.
This particular cellular automaton is reversible (this is rare) – you can always deduce the previous cells given a row.
It is in my mind that the computations taking place in the brain are like this cellular automaton. It looks very natural. There is no real structure to it. There are simple rules which create extremely complex behavior. It’s effectively impossible for humans to design an algorithm which would look like this when drawn – this stuff is beyond human comprehension.
I believe that every single cellular automaton does some specific useful computation, it’s just quite difficult figuring out what computation that cell is doing. The strategy I will take is creating an artificial intelligence by finding a cellular automaton that does the job I ask it to do, rather than designing one from scratch. For example, if I wanted a cellular automaton to add numbers together, I would input say, R R R W R R R W to represent 3 + 3 and find a cellular automaton which contained R R R R R R W given that input. This would represent 6.