When would I judge a computer to be intelligent?

Precisely when it stops being a machine. A machine is something built to serve someone else's purposes. But to think is to have one's own purposes. When a chess playing computer tells its "master", "I don't feel like playing today: go do something else", that will be an intelligent computer. But it will no longer be a machine.


14 comments:

  1. So basically when it develops intentions?

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    1. Right. Or intentionality, as fancy pants philosophers might say.

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  2. A computer is only but a specific model of the human mind -- a product suited to serve its purpose within that model-- it is not and can never be "intelligent", because it's computations are limited to our own knowledge, even if it can do it all the more faster.

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    1. I essentially agree with you Joe, except that: if I had been an angel 4 billion years ago and God had told me that one day there would be intelligent hunks of meat walking around, I woulda told Him to get the f outta here.

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    2. In reply to Joseph: You really think that? I mean quantum computers aren't gonna operate like your standard Turing machine.

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  3. If a human specifically programs a computer to have "intentionality", then would that count as "something built to serve someone else's purposes"? By the way, would you count passing the Turing Test perfectly to be a sufficient test of intelligence?

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    1. 'If a human specifically programs a computer to have "intentionality"'

      I can't even imagine what that is supposed to mean. And why is "intentionality" in scare quotes: it is a standard philosophical term, not something I just made up.

      "By the way, would you count passing the Turing Test perfectly to be a sufficient test of intelligence?"

      Of course not. If a rabbit trap never fails to catch a rabbit, would you say it is intelligent?

      But it would be a sign of some amazing programing skills on someone's part!

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    2. 'If a human specifically programs a computer to have "intentionality"'

      To explain further: you have essentially just said, "Well, if I program my computer to have consciousness, then what?" Of course, no one has any idea what that would even mean, to "program" a computer to be conscious.

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  4. Gene, it is very easy to write a program that does not feel like playing chess today:

    print("I don't feel like playing chess today")

    I can even add this code to a program that does other things, like plays chess. It could decide at startup (maybe based on a random bit) whether it takes one path or another.

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    1. You are joking around, right marris? (And you do realize I was a professional programmer for 18 years, and now how to write print statements, right?)

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  5. I'm saying your definition of AI is not useful. It sounds more like flighty-ness which we can already do.

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    1. I'm starting to suspect that if you see a billboard with the words "I am sad" written on it, that you feel bad for the wood.

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    1. But you do seem to think that ePrint statement putting on the screen "i am not interested in playing chess" indicates a genuine lack of interest on the computer's part

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