Artificial Dumbness May Be a Solution for Engineering Smart Machines

The benefit of central command and control of complex systems is often obvious. Eyes and legs in communication with the brain allow us to walk in a straight line. But this type of human-made or natural system can at times suffer from acute vulnerabilities. The crippling of important areas of U.S. socioeconomic activity during the recent partial government shutdown gives a vivid example of what happens when a nation’s central control unit suddenly switches off. The dying of brain cells in neurodegenerative diseases, extinguishing the body’s controller, demonstrates the same weakness in biological systems.

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