Monday, February 2, 2009

Evolution We Can Believe In

The raging controversy over Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues.

The debate is sure to be stimulated with the opening of a new university that has a proclivity to favour AI.

Roger Penrose, Alan Turing, and Kurt Godel have raised contrary implications directly and indirectly over the years.

I once owned a book entitled "What is Intelligence?", which was a series of essays on the subject. It is not to be confused with a book under that name by another author. Nor should it be confused with the "intelligence" that got us into the Iraq war.

No, the book attempted to define human and other intelligence. What intelligence is, not what intelligence is like.

So naturally artificial intelligence came up in that book as well as the notion that if you don't know what intelligence is, you don't know what artificial intelligence is either.

One essay in that book was written by Roger Penrose. His position was that AI is limited to realms that can be mathematically calculated.

He goes on to show that, since our language of mathematics is fundamentally flawed at this juncture (Godel Theorem extrapolated), AI is bound by that imperfection.

In other words since you can tell a lie (falsehood) using either the English language or the language of mathematics, AI is likewise impaired.

My position that there are two types of intelligence, "calculational intelligence" and "mystery intelligence", and that human intelligence is composed of both types.

I think computers are limited to calculational intelligence, and therefore so is AI.

The scientific world is split (dualism or not) on this, because there is controversy and debate on whether or not the human mind is composed exclusively of brain (matter, atoms, cells, etc.), or whether a non-material component also exists in that composition.

Penrose came down on the latter side, and he certainly is a scientist.

Evolution we can believe in suffers from this controversy too, because if we don't know what has actually developed (what is mind, what is intelligence), we can't know whether or not it evolved or was created or how it evolved or was created can we?

If I do not know what something is, I can't profess to you its genealogy can I?

It seems to me that we are primarily left to belief, not knowledge, under those circumstances.

At any rate, the implications are profound, because under one of those scenarios mathematics, and by extension AI, can conceivably be used to predict the future as some have advocated.

You might want to consider machine evolution and mutation a bit further.


  1. My take is that there was Descartes who based everything on reason. Then there was David Hume, who said that if you don't experience something directly, then you can't know it's true. Then Immanuel Kant kind of took the best of both and said that there are things we can know a priori but that there are limits to pure reason.

    Personally, my heart is with the counter-enlightenment. The emphasis on positivism has taken us to the brink of technological insanity. One of my heroes was Jean-Jacques Rousseau who spoke of the noble savage.

    Basically I am admitting that your post went waaaayy over my head.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Please notice the post on Saturn and the post on Mars; then notice the quote from Chomsky that we have been under the influence of propaganda which began to intensify about WWI.

    Propaganda is used both passively and actively. Education has suffered from mainly passive but some active propaganda too.

    Chomsky even makes the radical statement that "education is basically indoctrination".

    So my efforts are posts that make us think about what we think we know and about what we think we believe.

    One of the aims of propaganda is to confuse the two. To confuse belief with knowledge in the target population.

    Once that is done it is easier to manipulate because one has lost the proper place to make a stand. We no longer "know" we really only "believe".

    That is where the propagandist attacks. The weak spot of belief. Remember Rove stated openly that belief in the form of perception could become the reality if the people were pressed on it (pun intended).

    That bullshit clown propaganda got us into a lot of trouble in the world and at home.

    Since it is easier to change a belief than rooted knowledge, the two must first be confused.

    Rove knew that he just could not get to people who were grounded in the knowledge that our constitutional law based systems were superior to his dogmatic fascist based ideology.

    So those he reserved for his ire which he applied through the perversion of the DOJ, IRS, and the press.

  4. socrates,

    I mistakenly put your post up twice, so I deleted the second copy so folks don't think you stutter.

    My mistake folks.