We will understand the brain and consciousness and it will be completely unenlightening...
Mammal brains have a few extra layers of complexity, but none of those layers involve magic. If ever we get around to "solving" one animal's brain, it shows that others can be as well.
All of these ultimately boil down to "I know it when I see it". This sort of definition is not good enough for scientific inquiry. For that reason, scientists tend to avoid such questions.
We are nowhere near this point. There are specific, intentionally constrained behaviors in model animals such that we can monitor the activity of specific sets of neurons and make predictions (meaning anywhere from better-than-chance to perfect accuracy) of behavioral output. This is far from "mapping out behavior" for an entire organism.
As for the GPP about a comprehensive look-up mechanism from all possible states of dynamics in the human brain to semantic descriptions of mental states: the problem is that trying to implement such a mechanism within the physical and thus computational constraints of our world will result, with high likelihood, in something that functions rather like a brain.
This is a bold claim. How do you know? The brain could be magical.
I think everyone on this forum who is not a Christian can agreee that the Christian God is in some sense "magical". Further, Genesis 1:27 says "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."
While this falls short of saying that, like God, humans are magical, to date we have no proof they are not.
In that case the brain might be, for example, a magic antenna to another plane.
See my comment here:
The choices are that the brain is magical or that strong AI that can do anything a human brain can do (make judgments, parse text and images, underdtand culture, communicate intelligently with humans), is in some sense inevitable.
You cannot simply discount the possibility of magic. You must let people who are committed to denying the future have their out.
If I were speaking with Lord Kelvin I would allow him the possibility that birds are magical and not subject to the laws of physics, whereas any machine humanity might ever build is - so that it is certainly possible that in 100,000 years, no one will build a heavier-than-air flying machine.
The essence of flight might be magical. So, too, the essence of thinking.
If those things were shown to really exist, then they would be part of what we understand to be our reality. So they wouldn't be magical, it's just that our understanding of what makes up reality could be incomplete.
whereas if it's not an antenna then it's just 3 lbs of meat.
(Well... prove I'm not!)
[Solving chess] took Schaeffer harnessing computers all over the world, drawing on and expanding his expertise in parallel computing. He conscripted machines everywhere from Switzerland to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a major Department of Energy facility that often deals with nuclear weapons.
“There was somebody else there [running a program] called BOMB and I was running checkers programs,” Schaeffer told me. “It was a very strange situation. Security should have been concerned.” And they were. They paid him a visit after discovering gigabytes of data flowing out of a national lab to Edmonton, Alberta.
(edit: add the remainder of the second paragraph.)
One of the players it features is Ron King, who is currently one of the strongest Checkers players. He holds the record for playing (and beating) 385 people simultaneously, though I believe he was beaten by Tinsley. Also his trash talking is fantastic.