On Sunday, October 14, 2012 2:19:14 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote:
>  On 10/14/2012 10:36 AM, John Clark wrote: 
> On Sat, Oct 13, 2012 Roger Clough <rcl...@verizon.net <javascript:>>wrote:
>  > But if a computer beats you at an intelligent task, it would have to be 
>> programmed to do so.
> And you would have to be educated to do so. 
>      > which means that its intelligence would be that of the programmer. 
> Then how can the computer beat that very same programer? 
> I think this illustrates a problem with defining 'intelligent task'.  Is 
> multiplying to numbers together an intelligent task?  It is to 2nd graders, 
> but not to the programmer.  Why?  Because the programmer knows an algorithm 
> for doing it that is simple enough to keep in his head.  But to the 
> programmer winning a chess game is an intelligent task - because he doesn't 
> know exactly how to do it; he doesn't know an algorithm for doing it.  He 
> knows that he looks ahead and evaluates a few moves and countermoves and 
> the further ahead he looks the more likely he is to win.  So he can program 
> a computer to do the same kind of thing, but look further ahead and apply 
> the same evaluations, and then it can beat him.  But it can't beat a really 
> good chess player because the really good chess player has a better set of 
> evaluation rules.  

Yes. So far so good.

> Then the programmer can arrange for the the computer to look through and 
> enormous number of chess games and infer its own rules

Not necessarily. Just because it looks to us that the computer is following 
rules doesn't mean that it is. We should not assume that suddenly a 
disembodied conscious agent appears somewhere just because we are impressed 
with the sophistication of a particular reflex action. Reflexes can be as 
complicated as we want to make them, it doesn't turn them into voluntary 
actions. The computer still has no choices. It can't throw a match because 
it doesn't want to hurt someone's feelings.

> which may then be so good as to beat even a really good chess player.  But 
> now neither the programmer nor anyone else know what rules the computer 
> uses.  They could look at a printout of the program and see what they are, 
> but neither they nor anyone else, including the computer, would know why 
> those particular rules were the good rules.  To know that they would have 
> to retrace the whole learning process the computer used to derive the 
> rules.  So NOW the computer is intelligent, just like the programmer, 
> because it can win chess games but doesn't know exactly how.

It never knew how in the first place. What makes intelligence is the 
ability to step out of the system, to transcend the rules entirely or 
understand them in a new context. Computers don't do that. They have no 
idea if they have invented the most brilliant new way of winning at chess 
or whether they have counted to 500 for the 500th time for no reason at all.

> Is the computer conscious?  I'd say it was a little bit conscious (of 
> chess).

Not even that. It wouldn't know a chess set if it was dropped on top of 
them. It's nothing but a sculpture called 'the machine that greatly exceeds 
our expectations'. It has no point of view.


> Brent
>  > Computers cannot make free choices 
> Computers can do things for a reason or they can do things for no reason 
> (if they have a simple hardware random number generator), and that makes 
> them absolutely no different than you.   
>  > they have no intelligence.
> I don't think you really want to say that because they just beat you at a 
> intellectual task, so if they have zero intelligence then the only logical 
> conclusion to make is that your intelligence is less than zero. 
>  >>>  free will
>>> >> What a odd sequence of ASCII characters, perhaps your keyboard had a 
>>> malfunction.
>> > ?
> !
>> >  I already asked you how you would determine the intelligence of a 
>> computer but your answer made no sense.
> I replied to your question with "I detect consciousness in computers the 
> exact same way I determine it in my fellow human beings, I guess. I guess 
> that if they're behaving intelligently then they're conscious".  What word 
> didn't you understand?
>   John K Clark
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