The first attempts to consider the behavior of so-called "random neural nets" in a systematic way have led to a series of problems concerned with relations between the "structure" and the "function" of such nets. The "structure" of a random net is not a clearly defined topological manifold such as could be used to describe a circuit with explicitly given connections. In a random neural net, one does not speak of "this" neuron synapsing on "that" one, but rather in terms of tendencies and probabilities associated with points or regions in the net.
What we mean by information the elementary unit of information is a difference which makes a difference, and it is able to make a difference because the neural pathways along which it travels and is continually transformed are themselves provided with energy. The pathways are ready to be triggered. We may even say that the question is already implicit in them.Gregory Bateson
Experiments in digitizing and running neural wetware under emulation are well established; some radical libertarians claim that, as the technology matures, death with its draconian curtailment of property and voting rights will become the biggest civil rights issue of all.charles stross