On Mon, Feb 13, 2012  Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> TO HELL WITH ELIZA!!!! That prehistoric program is NOT intelligent!
> > What makes you sure it isn't intelligent but that other programs are?

How the hell do you think?! ELIZA doesn't act intelligently but other
programs do. Nobody in their right mind would use ELIZA to help with
writing a scientific paper and doing serious research, but you might use
Watson or Siri.

> 20mb of conversational Chinese might be enough to pass a Turing Test for
> a moderate amount of time.

Maybe, if a chimpanzee were performing the test.

> It's completely subjective.

Yes the Turing Test is subjective and it's flawed. Failing the Turing Test
proves nothing definitive, the subject may be smart as hell but simply not
want to answer your questions and prefer to remain silent. And
unsophisticated people might even be impressed by a program as brain dead
dumb as ELIZA. And people can fool us too, I think we've all met people who
for the first 10 minutes seem smart as hell but after 30 minutes you
realize they are pretentious dullards. So with all these flaws why do we
even bother with the Turing Test? Because despite its flaws it's the ONLY
tool we have, its the only way of determining intelligence from stupidity,
but if we are not very smart ourselves we will make lots of errors in
administering the test.

> If you haven't read it already, this link from Stephen may do a better
> job than I have of explaining my position:
> http://newempiricism.blogspot.com/2009/02/symbol-grounding-problem.html

And that fails the Turing Test because the author clearly thought that
Searle was a pretty smart man.

>> You ask the room to produce a quantum theory of gravity and it does so,
>> you ask it to output a new poem that a considerable fraction of the human
>> race would consider to be very beautiful and it does so, you ask it to
>> output a original fantasy children's novel that will be more popular than
>> Harry Potter and it does so.
> No. The thought experiment is not about simulating omniscience. If you
> ask the room to produce anything outside of casual conversation, it would
> politely decline.

If that's all it could do, if it just produce streams of ELIZA style
evasive blather then it has not demonstrated any intelligence  so I would
have no reason to think it was intelligent so I would not think its

> First you say 'let's say that the impossible Chinese Room was possible'.
> Then you say 'it still doesn't work because the Chinese Room isn't
> possible'.

What I said was that real computers don't work anything like the Chinese
Room, they don't have a copy of Shakespeare's Hamlet in which the letters
"t" and "s" are reversed (so be or nos so be shas it she quetsion) resting
in its memory just in case somebody requested such a thing, but if it had a
copy of the play as Shakespeare (or Thaketpeare) wrote it simple ways could
be found to produce it.

> > The Chinese Room is just [...]

There you do again with the "is just".

> 'Where were you on the night of October 15, 2011'?

Well, your honor my brain was inside the head which was on top of the body
knocking over that liquor store, my mind was in a lingerie model's bedroom,
and then on the moons of Jupiter. My sense organs are always very close to
my brain but that is just a Evolutionary accident resulting from the fact
that nerve impulses travel much much slower than light and if they were far
from my brain the signal delay would have severely reduced the chances of
my ancestors surviving long enough to reproduce.

> > There is a difference between organized matter and matter that wants to
> organize.

Carbon atoms want to organize into amino acids and amino acids want to
organize into proteins and proteins want to organize into cells and cells
want to organize into brains, but silicon atoms have no ambition and don't
want to organize into anything?? Do you really think that line of thought
will lead to anything productive?

> Why wouldn't he [Einstein] be aware of his own intelligence?

You tell me, you're the one who believes that intelligent things like smart
computers are unaware of their own intelligence.

> > We don't have to imagine solipsism just because subjectivity isn't
> empirical.

But that only works for you, the existence of other minds can only be
inferred through behavior.

> You admit then that you are not interested in defining it [intelligence]
> as it actually is, but only what is convenient to investigate.

Convenient? If intelligence does not mean doing intelligent things then I
don't see why anyone would be interested in it and don't even see the need
for the word.

> You can't water corn with sulfuric acid

You can if you change the organization of the acid a little. Sulfuric acid
is H2SO4, remove the sulfur and 3 oxygen atoms and the result is H2O, and
you can water corn with water just fine. In a similar way the only
difference between a cadaver and a healthy person is the way the atoms are

> Organs produce fluids and heat, not consciousness.

But something must and if its not matter then you must believe in the soul.
I don't.

> Shooting someone in the head is not a software upgrade.

That depends entirely on the person, I believe a recent bullet in the brain
rather dramatically improved the performance of Osama bin Laden.

 John K Clark


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