Making IT Count

Mar 14, 2022Philosophy/Ethics, Tech0 comments

The word “Artificial” is used in one sense when it is applied, say, to flowers, and in another sense when it is applied to light.
In both cases something is called artificial because it is fabricated, but in the first usage artificial means that
the thing seems to be, but really is not, what it looks like.

Sokolowski (1988)
“Natural and Artificial Intelligence” Daedalus 117/1

Julia and Sam are talking about the following article:
Artificial Intelligence

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

Julia

Hi Sam, can I bother you for a minute?

Today 11:36  

Sam

Hi Julia, sure thing! What’s up? 😊                                                           

Today 11:37 

Julia

I’m collaborating with John on a new article on the history of AI

Today 11:38   

Sam

Oh, wow, there’s lots of interesting stuff in there! How can I help?😊                               

Today 11:38  

Julia

My question would be: how much does your body matter to your mind?

Today 11:38   

Sam

Wow! You’d need a philosopher for that, not an engineer! 😊          

Today 11:39  

Julia

Let me rephrase that: how much does the hardware determine the software? 😉

Today 11:40  

Sam

Oh, right! Yeah, if you put it that way … Quite a bit actually!😊         

Today 11:40  

Sam

I don’t know about the mind in general, and the “laws of thought”,   

Today 11:41  

Sam

but a computer is definitely conditioned by its basic architecture    

Today 11:41  

Sam

say, whether it can process things only serially, one after another, or in parallel, etc.

Today 11:42  

Julia

I guess the constraints can be found mostly at the lowest levels?

Today 11:43   

Sam

Yes, where hardware and software meet, in a sense, where the 1 and 0 of math become electromagnetic charges and streams

Today 11:44  

Julia

OK, but at higher levels you can do the same algorithm on different machines?

Today 11:45   

Sam

Absolutely! Most computers implement the same kind of high level, abstract programming languages

Today 11:45  

Julia

And whatever we call “AI” mostly happens there, so isn’t constrained much by the hardware?

Today 11:46   

Sam

Well, most of the differences you’ll see between human intelligence and AI actually does boil down to implementation

Today 11:46  

Sam

how the various bits and pieces communicate, the size and speed of memory, etc.

Today 11:46  

Julia

last question: why do we call it “artificial” if it just works like human intelligence? 😅

Today 11:47

Sam

Perhaps we shouldn’t! But I guess it mostly means “made with tools” instead of “fake”. Some prefer to speak of “machine intelligence

Today 11:47  

Julia

OK, this has been most helpful! 😊

Today 11:48 

Sam

Happy to hear it! 😊Let me know how it turns out!                             

Today 11:48  

… Continue reading our conversations that are posted every Saturday …

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