On Thu, Feb 14, 2013 Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.com> wrote:

> there aren't as many "brain surgeon"-level fields that require maniacal
> focus for competence as
people seem to think.

I would maintain that for the last 200 years every major advance in science
or mathematics has come from specialists.

> The Moore's "law" marches on if you allow for multi-cores after a certain
> date and not before a certain date.

I have no idea what that means, but I do know that the human brain is a
multi-core machine, we know there are at least 2 million cortical columns
in it and probably more.

> Also, the CAP theorem imposes a theoretical limit on the capabilities of
> distributed computers:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAP_theorem

So what? All parts of the human brain can't see the same data at the same
time either, and if one cortical column can send a signal to another
cortical column indicating that data has or has not been successfully
received nobody has ever found it, probably because it doesn't exist.

> Most of these difficulties can be surmounted, but at a cost. The higher
> the number of cores, the higher the cost.

Unless the cost per core falls faster than the number of cores increases,
so you can double the number of cores every 18 months and keep the cost

> To make Moore's law work, people apply simple arithmetics (like adding
> the number of transistors) and ignore all these problems.

Yes, but you almost make that sound like a bad thing.

>> A chess program good enough to beat the best human player could be run
>> on very primitive 1997 hardware, therefore I am not underestimating the
>> complexity of a good chess program. QED.
> > It cannot be achieved with a few tweaks on a completely different
> program like Watson,

Now you're just being silly. There are chess playing programs that you
could download and run in 2 minutes that would turn the very computer
you're reading this message on into a machine that could beat Deep Blue of
1997 at Chess. Are you trying to tell me that mighty Watson couldn't do
what your puny little Walmart special can do??!

> It's not like the developers of Watson just said: "hey, we've created a
> very intelligent system, let's just throw some grand-master level chess
> playing capabilities in there".

You are entirely incorrect, IT IS EXACTLY PRECISELY LIKE THAT! The
inability of humans to grasp this basic abillity that computers have that
they themselves do not is what causes them to VASTLY underrate the changes
that computers will make to society and even changes in what species is at
the top of the food chain.

> Can he read a text about learning strategies and update his own learning
> strategy accordingly?

No Watson can't do that and I can't either, I read a lot but I've never
read a "learning strategies" self help book that was worth a bucket of warm
spit. Watson can however learn new algorithms.

 > I'm making a distinction between generic and domain-specific
> intelligence.

Watson can play Chess better than anyone, Watson can diagnose diseases
better than most doctors, Watson can solve equations you couldn't dream of
solving and Watson is the world champion at Jeopardy which means he's at
least as good a conversationalist and can engage in small talk at least as
well as a autistic human being like Gregory Perelman and probably a good
deal better than one of the principle founders of quantum mechanics Paul
Dirac. So exactly what is this grand difference between "generic and
domain-specific intelligence" that you're trying to make?

> I actually care about the goal of AGI

I care about AI but I care little about Adjusted Gross Income or the
American Geological Institute.

> Turns out that autism can really make you focused.


> So what?

So saying that Watson is autistic is very different from saying Watson is

  John K Clark

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