Articifial Intelligence

January 6, 2009

Happy new year!

Got some time to do some reading (Jared Diamond’s eye-opening “Guns, Germs and Steel” in particular) and thinking over the holidays, was great.

Here’s one of the things I’ve been thinking about – lots of really smart people think that artificial intelligence is just around the corner. Their belief seems to be purely based on the fact that computers are becoming faster and more powerful, but they’re convinced enough to engage in long debates about the implications of AI when it becomes a reality … but, really, are we any closer to AI then we were when I was a kid watching 2001: A Space Odyssey? I don’t think we are. The attempts to pass the Turing test you see on the web are pretty laughable still.

And here’s what really made me think the whole thing is probably futile. A human is an intelligent organism, yet it takes most of us at least a year of interacting with our environment via countless nerve inputs and listening to human speech every day to utter one single word, never mind engaging in the kind of conversation that would allow us to pass a Turing test. That’s despite the fact that we innately possess the very thing that a Turing test is supposed to test for, and that we are trying to replicate with AI.

I’m beginning to suspect that what we call “intelligence” (in the AI sense, rather than the IQ sense) is something that’s a property of your entire body – your sense apparatus, your hormones, your muscles – and not just your brain.

p.s. There’s an interesting project for a computer science department – a Turing test with children as the subjects

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One Response to “Articifial Intelligence”

  1. stoatmusic Says:

    Once again, the internet disabuses me of the idea of my own originality:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embodied_cognition


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