On 8/27/2013 3:55 PM, Chris de Morsella wrote:


*From:* John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com>
*To:* everything-list@googlegroups.com
*Sent:* Tuesday, August 27, 2013 10:08 AM
*Subject:* Re: When will a computer pass the Turing Test?

On Mon, Aug 26, 2013 Chris de Morsella <cdemorse...@yahoo.com <mailto:cdemorse...@yahoo.com>> wrote:

    > you cannot prove that things in the brain happen because of some proximate
    definable and identifiable cause or otherwise they must therefore result by 
a
    completely random process.


>>Bullshit. Axioms don't need proof, and the most fundamental axiom in all of logic is that X is Y or X is not Y. Everything else is built on top of that. And only somebody who was absolutely desperate to prove the innate superiority of humans over computers would try to deny it. You seem confused... the brain is not an axiom... it is one of the most complex systems we know about in the observed universe.

    > In a system as layered, massively parallel and highly noisy as the brain 
your
    assumptions of how it works are naïve and border on the comical. The brain 
is not a
    based on a simple deterministic algorithm in which the chain of cause and 
effect is
    always clear.


>> Although reductionism has recently received a lot of bad press from supermarket tabloids and new age gurus the fact remains that if you want to study something complex you've got to break it into simpler parts and then see how the parts fit together. And in the final analysis things happen for a reason or they don't happen for a reason; and if they did then it's deterministic and if they didn't then it's random. Perhaps your final analysis is a bit too shallow and self limiting. Why you cling so tenaciously to this need for definitive causality chains (or else it must be complete randomness) is amusing, but is not misguided. You cannot show definitive causality for most of what goes on in most of the universe. You can hypothesize a causal relationship perhaps, but you cannot prove one for all manner of phenomenon arising out of chaotic systems. The brain is a noisy chaotic system and you are attempting to impose your Newtonian order on it. Your approach does not map well onto the problem domain. And what you say has no predictive value; it does not help unravel how the brain works... or how the mind arises within it.

It does help. There's no evidence that the brain can't be understood as a parallel computer plus some randomness. The problem with John's formulation is he insists there is either *a* reason or not *a* reason. Hardly anything can be thought of as having *a* reason. In the case of human behavior, each instance almost certainly has many different causes, some in memory, some in the immediate environment, and some which are random and don't have an effective cause. I think of the person, brain/body/etc, plus immediate environment narrow down the probable actions to a few, e.g. 1 to 20, and then some quantum randomness realizes one of those. So it's not deterministic like Laplace's clockwork world, but it's not anything-is-possible either.

Brent


    > You can copy the symbols on a sheet of paper , but without understanding 
Hungarian
    you will never be impacted by the meaning or sensations that poem is 
seeking to convey.


>>True but irrelevant. I never claimed we would someday understand how to make an AI more intelligent than ourselves, I only said that someday such an AI would get made. And how are you sure it has not already been achieved. To go by some of the recent DARPA solicitations they are really hot on the trail of trying to develop/discover smart algorithms modeled on the neocortext's own algorithms -- especially in the area of pattern matching. What I said about needing to understand that which you are studying in order to be able to really be able to manipulate, extend, emulate, simulate etc. is not only true -- as you admit -- but is also relevant. With no understanding of the symbol stream you have no knowledge of what to do with the symbol stream passing across your view; you are unable to operate with it in any kind of meaningful manner. It is like looking at DNA sequences flashing by you... ACTG... with no insight into what they symbols mean, do or control. As I earlier agreed -- black box testing has its place and it is possible to discover some aspects of a system through its external interface, but to really know a system and to be able to describe it one must open it up and actually study it. A white box methodology is required. This applies to understanding the brain as well.. it is and will remain a mystery until we go in and figure out its fine grained workings.
-Chris
  >> John K Clark

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