Artificial Neural Networks Cannot Remember

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Most definitely a network of neurons. A theoretical neural network.

Artificial neural networks do not remember or memorize anything. They are not capable of the act of memorization or remembrance nor can they make “associations between concepts.” Only a human being with a (mostly) functional biological neural network (brain/brain stem and nervous system) and some or perhaps most non human animals are capable of remembering and memorization. Associations between concepts is a trickier topic and it is not clear that non human animals are capable of this. However, it should be beyond dispute that artificial neural networks are not.

Lest you thing I am only being biased against the “artificial” it is also true that a biological neural network, brain, nervous system, brain stem or any combination of those is/are also incapable of memorization or or remembering. Only of a whole, intact person, and possibly some or most non human animals (maybe though I doubt some insects) can we say that they have memorized something or have remembered something. To say otherwise is to commit the mereological fallacy. Attributing characteristics/traits to a part of a thing that logically can only be attributed to the thing as a whole.

To say an artificial neural network remembers or memorizes or associates between concepts is false on two levels: being non alive it is incapable of those things and being only a part of a potential whole it is a mereological fallacy. Patently false and logically impossible. The dreaded double whammy of absurdity.

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Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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