Is thought just a program?

Jan 10, 2021Philosophy/Ethics, Tech0 comments

Will Artificial Intelligence Ever Live Up to Its Hype?

Replication problems plague the field of AI, and the goal of general intelligence remains as elusive as ever

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/will-artificial-intelligence-ever-live-up-to-its-hype/

In this post the dialogue is realised by an interaction of virtual characters, for more information please check the page “Virtual characters

Manuel

What? Why? 😅😅

Today 11:32  

Sam

Well, if you want to build an artificial intelligence, you better figure out how our “natural” intelligence works first

Today 11:33  

Sam

What rules do we actually use to solve problems? Play chess? Do math? Solve puzzles? Have dinner at a restaurant? What script do we follow?

Today 11:34   

Manuel

OK, it does seems like a good idea to figure that out first 😁😁

Today 11:34   

Sam

If intelligence is the ability to solve problems, in general, then we can just look at how humans solve problems, and put that in an algorithm

Today 11:35  

Manuel

I’m guessing this is where icebergs make a sudden appearance…

Today 11:36  

Sam

Absolutely: even in the case of chess or math, humans are far from perfectly rational. We make mistakes, have to backtrack, react differently in similar situations, etc

Today 11:37

Sam

… and that is without taking into account that the world is not a chessboard

Today 11:37

Manuel

So again … …  if they knew all that early on: where did the optimism come from?

Today 11:38   

Sam

They had enough convincing successes to keep the program funded: they thought that problem solving in humans and machines could be described by the same algorithm

Today 11:39  

Sam

Humans and computers get input, apply an algorithm, and yield the desired output. Both do the same thing: information processing

Today 11:40  

Manuel

If that were true, then indeed AGI sounds like something right around the corner!

Today 11:43   

Sam

Yeah, it was a very convincing paradigm: thinking, problems solving, etc. is just symbol manipulation. And that’s something a computer can do too 😅🤣

Today 11:45   

Manuel

But a computer isn’t automatically a “general intelligence”, so why was this so convincing? And especially at the time … 😆

Today 11:45   

Sam

It was enough that it could in principle do the same things a human could, even if we didn’t have the algorithm yet

Today 11:46

Sam

If you could boil down intelligent human behaviour to rules, and then translate those to a computer, you’d be done!

Today 11:46

Manuel

So how successful were they in the end?

Today 11:46   

Sam

The paradigm was alive and well at least until the ‘80s

Today 11:47   

Manuel

Wow! And nobody opposed this approach? 😕

Today 11:47   

Sam

Obviously. Some accused them of being far too optimistic, other proposed competing paradigms

Today 11:48   

Manuel

So what was the main criticism?

Today 11:48

Sam

Well, some of the proponent made really outlandish claims, so Herbert Simon already in 1957 claimed that there were “machines that think, that learn and that create.” 

Today 11:49   

Manuel

That would seem a bit premature …

Today 11:50

Sam

Yep, so they got accused of selling hype, but ultimately this approach was superseded by something completely different

Today 11:51   

Manuel

OK! Now I’m curious … what happened?  😲😲😲

Today 11:52

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