Re: Self improvement in the human brain was Re: DNA as a measure of brain complexity

From: Michael Roy Ames (
Date: Sun Feb 26 2006 - 12:12:35 MST

Philip Goetz wrote:
>> Michael Roy Ames wrote:
>> The hypothesis that humans lose the ability
>> to easily absorb languages as we grow older
>> has long been proven false. [snip]
> I am very skeptical of this claim. [snip]

That is the great thing about science - it does not rely on whether claims
seem true, but on evidence indicating they correspond well with reality. The
literature clearly supports my post - if you are skeptical then go check it
out. When the choice is between anecdotal evidence and scientific result,
I'll go with science every time.

In regard to your anecdotes about immigrants' difficulty with English... It
has been found that several factors (in addition to time and effort)
influence success for adults learning a second language. They are:
intelligence, motivation, anxiety and self-confidence, and specific aptitude
for language learning.

Anecdotes aside, one would expect adults to have an easier time learning a
language than children as they have a greater ability to organize their
learning, already have another language to draw analogies with, and the
ability to use a dictionary. Adults can use their greater experience to

This will also be true for many types of AGI: greater experience will be
strongly correlated with greater learning abilities.

Michael Roy Ames
Singularity Institute For Artificial Intelligence Canada Association

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