On 3/29/2012 10:23 PM, Stephen P. King wrote:

Take my favorite thought experiment. Suppose I design two Mars Rovers and I want them to coordinate their movements in order to round up Martian sheep. I can easily distribute the artificial intelligence between the two of them, using data links so whatever one sees the other sees (incidentally this, minus the AI, is what combat aircraft software does now) and so there is a single top level decision routine on top of local decision routines about maneuvering around obstacles and managing internal states.

OK, I'll bite. That AI program is running on the combination of the two pieces of hardware, this is no different than how Watson <http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2011-01-14-ibm-jeopardy_N.htm> runs on a much of connected servers. But think about it, does not the data correlated to the sensors on one of the Rovers have to be synchronized with the data from the other Rover so that their manuevering can be controled. How exactly is the internal model of this system built so that it can 'consider itself' as being both exploring some pile of rocks east of Mt. Olympus while the other Rover is taking a dirt sample in some crater 500 kilometers away. It is not possible for two fixed points to exist on one compact and closed manifold. You can only have one at a time. What you describe is more like a Rover with a multiple personality disorder.

You're suffering from a failure of imagination. It can make a model in which it considers itself has having to bodies at two different places. It wouldn't even be hard to program. If you can experience two different places and you can act in two different places you ARE in two different places.


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