jrtom: (Default)
http://discovermagazine.com/2007/brain/i-chat-therefore-i-am/article_print

It's been done before, of course, but there are some particularly nice exchanges here:


A: Do you dream?

J: Yes, I dream.

A: It goes without saying. Do you remember your dreams?

J: I remember them vividly.

A: What do you remember about it?

J: I think I shouldn’t flirt with a robot.



A: What is the meaning of life?

J: If you live it to the fullest, it has meaning. If not, there is no meaning.

A: I’m not too good with negative counterfactuals.
jrtom: (Default)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6425927.stm

An encouraging sign, I think, on several levels. (This discussion must necessarily touch on several important questions, including "what is a sentient being?" and "what responsibilities do we have to our creations?", which I think are important questions for us to address as a society.)
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http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2007/03/ai_cited_for_un.html

This is just beautiful. Honestly, I laughed out loud for sheer joy when I read this. Fortunately my officemate had already read the article and agreed that it was a wonderful thing.

It would have been even better, of course, had the AI itself been cited rather than its creator--and it sounds like the AI in question wasn't doing a very good job--but despite all that I find this both encouraging and hilarious.
jrtom: (Default)
From that marvel of science journalism, New Scientist, we present How To Escape a Humanoid Robot.

(To be fair, they basically took the article wholesale from a recently-released book.)

Personally, I think that if it gets to the point where robots should be considered to be adversaries, most of the strategies noted here will be no longer operative. But it's an amusing take on some current limitations of robotics, if you want to look at it that way.
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victim_of_the_Brain

Apparently a movie based loosely on the book The Mind's I (edited by Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett). I'd really like to see this. If anyone has a suggestion for where I might be able to find a copy, please contact me.
jrtom: (Default)
My friend [livejournal.com profile] fdmts wrote a short philosophical essay on AI yesterday. It's interesting stuff. One of the phrases that he used caused me to reflect on the nature of assessments of intelligence and self-awareness, of which the Turing test is probably the most notorious.

Quoting from my comment to his post:

[I'd propose] an interesting inversion of the Turing test: perhaps we could consider a _computer_ to be intelligent and self-aware when it can reliably tell the difference between a person and a computer pretending to be a person . . . I'd argue that intelligent, self-aware beings are the only judges that intelligent, self-aware beings will accept as to what constitutes an intelligent, self-aware being.


Personally, I'm inclined to not try very hard to define "intelligence" as a binary proposition, e.g., "A is intelligent and B is not"; it implies a specific choice of threshold that's really hard to define meaningfully. Long discussions on this have, at least for the time being, brought me around to the conclusion that I'm much more comfortable with relative statements: "A is more intelligent than B in the following sense..." (And "self-aware"? Fugeddaboudit.)

*ponder*

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