On 05 Jun 2012, at 18:02, John Clark wrote:

On Mon, Jun 4, 2012  meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

> And so you know that pursuant to the purpose of winning a game it may be useful to make a random choice.

Certainly! Random choice is a key part of the Monte Carlo method of statistical mechanics and it is one of the most important computer algorithms ever made, the H-bomb could never have been invented without it.

> Deep Blue purposefully acted to win chess games. Spirit and Opportunity purposely explored parts of Mars.

Agreed.

> Depends on what you mean by "free will".

There are only two things I mean by "free will" because they are the only two that are not gibberish, but nobody around here except me likes either definition: 1) Free Will is the inability to always know what you are going to do before you do it.

That would be too large. Pebbles does not know what they will do, for example. Free will is more in the knowledge of that inability, including its exploitation to accelerate the decision in absence of complete information. OK.



2) Free Will is a noise made by the mouth by a certain subset of bipedal creatures.

I don't think so. Here you confuse the concept of free will with the noise made by mouth when talking on that concept in english.




> I think that with certain AI programming a computer could have the so called "feeling of free will"

Yes, as Turing proved, even computers don't know what they will do until they do it.

I can see what you mean, but you should say, *some* computers, in special states (actually also knowing that they don't know, as above). I mean there are many situation when a computer can predict its doing, and even with free will conditions, there will be a mixing of self- determinacy and self-indeterminacy, leading to possible hesitations. Free will is what makes us hesitating, very often.

Bruno




  John K Clark





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