Monday, February 27, 2006


Will Machines Ever Think?

Turing’s paper claimed that suitably programmed digital computers would be generally accepted as thinking by around the year 2000, achieving that status by successfully responding to human questions in a human-like way.
Mark Halpern says, "In the deepest sense, the AI champions see their critics as trying to reverse the triumph of the Enlightenment, with its promise that man’s mind can understand everything, and as retreating to an obscurantist, religious outlook on the world. They see humanity as having to choose, right now, between accepting the possibility, if not the actual existence, of thinking machines and sinking back into the Dark Ages. But these are not our only alternatives; there is a third way, the way of agnosticism, which means accepting the fact that we have not yet achieved artificial intelligence, and have no idea if we ever will."

I emailed Cliff about this once.
We will achieve conscious machines. But we sure as hell won't be able to do it on a purely linear digital medium, no matter how dynamic the software may seem.
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