Future Tense: The Road to HAL



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The comments and this article are quite thought provoking...I just wanted to state that I appreciate the thoughts and ideas that were represented. Somehow this page brightend up my day.



I think people are too intent at the moment thinking that a machine will start out the same as we are--capable of a wide range of interests and understanding.  Personally, I think they will be more like cats--understanding maybe a few words but largely unable to grasp anything more than the obvious and their own needs.  Gradually, perhaps they will evolve a greater degree of undertanding, but I still think that most of the time they will do things that baffle us completely.



Further reading:

- Searle's 'Chinese  Room' argument (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_room)

- Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, by Douglas Hofstadter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6del,_Escher,_Bach)

- Isaac Asimov's I Robot series (not to be confused with the movie, which was a coathanger lobotomy patient next to the books).

...and I disagree that potential thinking machines will have self-preservation as a core mandate. They may be more stoic and realistic about existence than their meatsack parents.




 Oops, to late! "Two Faces of Tomorrow" by James Hogan


 And indeed, this article is spot on. The idea of self and others is unique. To figure out the intentions of another is also a piece of intelligence.

Manipulating the environment? not so much. A dumb bomb manipulates the hell out of a building. I guess you mean manipulation with an EXPECTATION of favorable results.

Survival? Not necessary. There is no infinite survival and any intelligent agent would have to know this. The only purpose of survival in humans is to grow more humans. Why would a machine want to try to keep running forever for?

Curiosity? No, that is just a purely human emotion, as it requires the person to tell someone about what they are curious about and then to revel in the results of making someone else delight in the same curious thing.

  There is also the Professor's Law. "90% of humans are sheep. They just follow the herd". Math professor at University of Hartford and my bicycling buddy. 



This is a very interesting article. I wish more people thought/wrote about things like this.

Two things I want to share:

1) In education (and it is likely used in other fields as well) there is already a term for thinking about how we think and learn - metacognition. There is a great deal of research in this field happening as we speak. I wish I was better informed so I could share some sources with you. Look it up and you'll be pleasantly surprised if you're really into this thinking about thinking stuff.

2) I'm a special education teacher who works with very young children with a variety of developmental disorders. There is a GREAT deal to be learned about how humans think from the minds of 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 year old children with autism and other disorders. Part of why I love what I do is because I learn so much about how people think from these little people. 




Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.



This was a very well written article, and I will probably be spending a few days digesting it, and re-reading it during that time.



Personally, I believe that the Turing test is flawed, just as you stated. However, I think intelligence can be defined (at least loosely) as the ability to learn and adapt to a variety of situations. 

I think you alluded to this in paragraph seven. We seek to learn and re-apply what we've learned. Or rather, we make connections between things that have worked in the past and re-apply them to new situations. That's intelligence.

Of course the ability to learn isn't the only factor of intelligence. I totally agree with your statement that the ability to manipulate your surroundings is also pivotal to intelligence. Sure, we can think and learn, but if we can't take action on what we've learned, then we're not really getting anywhere. 


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