Fire All Neurons!

Fire All Neurons!

Fire All Neurons!

Mechanical analog computers had their origins in Naval Gunnery in World War I […] mechanical analog computers remained of considerable military importance certainly until well into the 1960s and have only been superseded by digital computing systems in the 1970s..

Bromley 1984

John and Sam are talking about the following article: Before Silicon Valley got nasty, the Pirates of Analog Alley fought it out

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

John

Analog computing? I hadn’t really thought about that one …

Today 17:09

Sam

Well, in the beginning, it was quite superior to classical computing, because it was so much faster

Today 17:10

John

Faster? 🤨

Today 17:10

Sam

Yep, it could make quite complex calculations: a century ago analog computers for fire control on battleships solved differential equations in real time 😊                                                            

Today 17:11

John

The who with the what now?! 😄

Today 17:12 

Sam

I don’t mean to go as far back as ancient Greece, but at the beginning of the 20th century shooting the big guns on a ship accurately required a lot of calculations, in real-time (Gears of war: When mechanical analog computers ruled the waves)

Today 17:12

John

I had no idea about this … 🤔

Today 17:13 

Sam

Just like you don’t fall over when you play tennis, because your neural system integrates information about your limbs and the balance organ in your inner ear

Today 17:13

Sam

ships used gyroscopes and analogue computers to keep their guns on target despite rolling with the waves

Today 17:13

John

Wow, that certainly would involve quite a lot of computation I guess

Today 17:15 

Sam

It does! Analog computing does this in a very different way from digital computing, but that doesn’t mean it’s not computing …

Today 17:15

John

Ok, ok, fine! So these analog computers work more or less like the inner ear, therefore we might as well call it neuromorphic computing?

Today 17:16 

Sam

I’m sure some people might disagree, but basically, yes. You’d have to ask Cho about the specifics of how the brain does stuff like that though

Today 17:17

John

I must say, this isn’t really what we were looking for originally …

Today 17:17   

Sam

I guess this kind of measuring, integrating information, and reacting in real-time is a lot less sexy than finding faces in photos and animating them …

Today 17:17

John

Maybe it’s that, but I also suppose that most people wouldn’t consider this as computation at all

Today 17:18   

Sam

I’d say that someone skateboarding is solving a lot of differential equations in real-time! Or they’d crack their skulls … 😅

Today 17:19

John

Just playing devil’s advocate here 😄

Just because we can describe the system using equations, doesn’t mean that the system is computing anything …?

Today 17:19   

Sam

Ah, yeah, I can see where that is coming from .. 😊                  sunflowers don’t do astronomy just by following the sun

Today 17:20

John

That’s it, yes! So what are these navy devices and the inner ear doing exactly that makes them “computers”?

Today 17:20   

Sam

I had a whole conversation with Julia about analog vs digital, I guess this is the same kind of problem right here

Today 17:20

… Continue reading our conversations that are posted every Monday …

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Fire All Neurons!

Fire All Neurons!

Mechanical analog computers had their origins in Naval Gunnery in World War I […] mechanical analog computers remained of considerable military importance certainly until well into the 1960s and have only been superseded by digital computing systems in the 1970s.

read more
The ends justify the rules

The ends justify the rules

Complicated mental processes are entirely reducible to such simple activities as the attentive observation of statements previously accepted as true, the perception of structural, purely external, connections among these statements, and the execution of mechanical transformations as prescribed by the rules of inference

read more
The Brain is as the Brain does

The Brain is as the Brain does

The Brain is as the Brain does

The primary purpose of all neural systems is centralized control of various biological functions…
In the development of information technology there now seems to exist a new phase whereby the aim is to replicate many of these “Neural” functions artificially

Kohonen 1988

John and Sam are talking about the following article:
An introduction to neural computing

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

John

Hi Sam, I wanted to thank you for helping us out with our article!😊

Today 17:09

Sam

My pleasure, I enjoyed working with Julia and you 😄                        

Today 17:10

John

Can I ask you another favor though?

Today 17:10

Sam

Sure, happy to oblige 😊                                                                          

Today 17:11

John

For our next issue we’re thinking of looking at Neuromorphic Engineering

Today 17:12 

Sam

Very interesting, yes! 😊                                                                           

Today 17:12

John

There’s a lot of technical problems with the classical approach, so we thought about presenting some alternatives

Today 17:13 

Sam

Of course, but neuromorphic computing can mean a lot of different things

Today 17:13

John

Yes, that’s why we need your help! I know it is not simply “doing things like the brain

Today 17:15 

Sam

Indeed, in a very literal sense we still can’t do that                              

Today 17:15

John

But Julia’s historical approach did convince me that we are getting closer and closer, right?

Today 17:16 

Sam

I would agree, yes, but we’re still a long way off                                   

Today 17:17

John

OK, fair enough, but would you willing to collaborate on an article discussing the various approaches?

Today 17:17   

Sam

Certainly! Do you plan on going as far back as the 19th century like Julia did?

Today 17:17

John

Not this time, thought I found it quite interesting what she uncovered

Today 17:18   

Sam

So mostly 20th century stuff?                                                                   

Today 17:19

John

Yeah, we wanted to look at the parallel developments from the 1950s onwards

Today 17:19   

Sam

Side by side with the “official” history of AI? Interesting! I like it already

Today 17:20

John

Yes, that was the plan, good to heave you on board!

Today 17:20   

Sam

Can I suggest Analog Computing as the first topic?                             

Today 17:20

… Continue reading our conversations that are posted every Monday …

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Total posts on the argument

Fire All Neurons!

Fire All Neurons!

Mechanical analog computers had their origins in Naval Gunnery in World War I […] mechanical analog computers remained of considerable military importance certainly until well into the 1960s and have only been superseded by digital computing systems in the 1970s.

read more
The ends justify the rules

The ends justify the rules

Complicated mental processes are entirely reducible to such simple activities as the attentive observation of statements previously accepted as true, the perception of structural, purely external, connections among these statements, and the execution of mechanical transformations as prescribed by the rules of inference

read more
Found in Translation

Found in Translation

Found in Translation

Whereas perfect algorithms (or working rules) were available for the performance of the elementary arithmetical and logical operations, … no such algorithms were in existence for translation
Moreover, whereas the notion of a “correct” computation is unproblematic … the notion of a “good” translation is ridden with problems

Bar-Hillel 1962

Julia and John are talking about the following article:
Machine translation

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

Julia

I might have a good analogy!                                                                   

Today 17:08

John

Ok, let’s hear it then … 😊

Today 17:09

Julia

Perhaps we can compare it to machine translation 😊                      

Today 17:09

John

Interesting, in what way?

Today 17:10

Julia

I read somewhere that the classical approach to automating translation was to analyze every sentence according to its grammatical structure “Rule-based machine translation

Today 17:11

Julia

Find the subject, object, verb, and everything else, with their gender, number, aspect, tense, etc.  

Today 17:11

Julia

and then the translation program replaces them with their equivalent in the target language, keeping their relations the same.

Today 17:11

John

And we can compare that to the explicit programming of the laws of thought approach, right?

Today 17:12 

Julia

Indeed! But the alternative is to simply use an enormous amount of data, of translated samples, to generalize and learn through statistics

Today 17:12

John

Which is like the implicit approach? Where the rules don’t matter as long as it comes out right?

Today 17:13 

Julia

Yes, broadly. The analogy is not perfect, but I think it might help.

Today 17:14

John

I guess most people are familiar with automatic translation nowadays

Today 17:15 

Julia

That’s also why I picked this particular example                                   

Today 17:15

John

But which approach do the popular free on-line tools use?

Today 17:16 

Julia

To the best of my knowledge, they all use the statistical approach

Today 17:16

John

Very good, then we have an example that everyone can check out

Today 17:17   

Julia

This has been very interesting and instructive, thanks again for the opportunity of collaborating on this!

Today 17:18

John

Oh, well thanks to you for doing your share and more!

Today 17:18   

Julia

I look forward to doing this again sometime                                         

Today 17:19

John

Absolutely, I’ll keep you posted!

Today 17:19   

… Continue reading our conversations that are posted every Monday …

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Fire All Neurons!

Fire All Neurons!

Mechanical analog computers had their origins in Naval Gunnery in World War I […] mechanical analog computers remained of considerable military importance certainly until well into the 1960s and have only been superseded by digital computing systems in the 1970s.

read more
The ends justify the rules

The ends justify the rules

Complicated mental processes are entirely reducible to such simple activities as the attentive observation of statements previously accepted as true, the perception of structural, purely external, connections among these statements, and the execution of mechanical transformations as prescribed by the rules of inference

read more

The ends justify the rules

The ends justify the rules

The ends justify the rules

Complicated mental processes are entirely reducible to such simple activities as the attentive observation of statements previously accepted as true, the perception of structural, purely external, connections among these statements, and the execution of mechanical transformations as prescribed by the rules of inference

Tarski 1936

Julia and John are talking about the following article:
The laws of thought and thinking machines

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

Julia

Hi John, I just finished discussing things with Sam                               

Today 17:08

John

Great! So what did he have to say about this whole “laws of thought” thing? 😊

Today 17:09

Julia

Well, there’s a bunch of different approaches  😊                               

Today 17:09

Julia

Either you try programming them in from the start, or you make the AI learn them on its own                                  

Today 17:09

John

Would either of those then yield the same “rules” humans use?

Today 17:10

Julia

Probably not, there’s still far too many simplifications and shortcuts in the models

Today 17:11

Julia

Generally people care more about the results than the procedure  

Today 17:11

John

So as long as it works, it isn’t relevant whether or not an AI uses the same process a human would use

Today 17:12 

Julia

Exactly, moreover we don’t really know what rules humans use      

Today 17:12

Julia

basically, that computers cannot understand the world like humans do

Today 17:12

John

We don’t know how we get stuff done?

Today 17:13 

Julia

Perhaps I should also go talk to a psychologist or a logician, but: no, not really

Today 17:14

Julia

We can’t properly generalize how we solve problems to how any problem can be solved in general

Today 17:14

Julia

and we don’t know precisely enough how the rules are “programmed” in the brain

Today 17:14

John

OK then, so AI just is a tool we use to solve problems, whether or not in a human way

Today 17:15 

John

and the whole “laws of thought” thing then doesn’t really matter, right?

Today 17:15 

Julia

I think we might have to split out how AI is used in different context.

Today 17:16

Julia

The AI in an automated assembly line certainly doesn’t need to think and behave like a human

Today 17:16

Julia

but research in computer science and in psychology does have to ambition to discover these laws

Today 17:16

John

So mostly we’d need to split up theory and application

Today 17:17 

Julia

Perhaps that would be the best. And AI would certainly be on the theoretical side

Today 17:18

John

Very good, the only thing we would still need is a good example or metaphor to make it clear to the reader

Today 17:19   

… Continue reading our conversations that are posted every Saturday …

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Fire All Neurons!

Fire All Neurons!

Mechanical analog computers had their origins in Naval Gunnery in World War I […] mechanical analog computers remained of considerable military importance certainly until well into the 1960s and have only been superseded by digital computing systems in the 1970s.

read more
The ends justify the rules

The ends justify the rules

Complicated mental processes are entirely reducible to such simple activities as the attentive observation of statements previously accepted as true, the perception of structural, purely external, connections among these statements, and the execution of mechanical transformations as prescribed by the rules of inference

read more

A material program living in a material world

A material program living in a material world

A material program living in a material world

Thus, the only question which can reasonably be discussed at present is not whether robots can fall in love, or whether if they did we would say they were conscious, but rather ..
To what extent a digital computer can be programmed to exhibit the sort of simple intelligent behavior characteristic of children and sometimes animals, such as playing games, solving simple problems, reading sentences, and recognizing patterns

Dreyfus 1965

Julia and John are talking about the following article:
Why general artificial intelligence will not be realized

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

Julia

In the beginning people thought General AI was just around the corner

Today 17:08

John

Like in the ‘50s and ’60s? 😊

Today 17:09   

Julia

Yes, Newell and Simon were convinced that they already had a thinking machine (Computer Simulation of Human Thinking)

Today 17:09

John

That does sound a bit ambitious, for the kind of equipment they had … 😅

Today 17:10   

Julia

Of course hype like that brought out many critics, famously Hubert Dreyfus

Today 17:11

John

Not sure I’ve heard of him …

Today 17:12  

Julia

He was a philosopher, not an engineer, and wrote a book on “What Computers can’t do

Today 17:12

Julia

basically, that computers cannot understand the world like humans do

Today 17:12

John

Oh, I remember Sam saying something about the world not being a chessboard , is it like that?

Today 17:13  

Julia

I think it is exactly that: computers lack the background knowledge about how things work

Today 17:13

Julia

if it isn’t explicitly there in the algorithm, in the program, it doesn’t really exist for the computer

Today 17:13

John

But that’s not how humans think, right?

Today 17:14   

Julia

Yep, Dreyfus was a phenomenologist and looked at how humans experience and act in the world

Today 17:15

Julia

and AI’s lack the specific human way of “being in the world” as Heidegger called it

Today 17:15

John

So that’s why AI’s would have a lot of trouble with stuff a little kid can do effortlessly? 😊

Today 17:15   

Julia

Indeed, but this also suggests a solution: put the AI in the world like a human 😊

Today 17:16

John

Ah, of course, instead of a disembodied algorithm, you give it a robot body, and senses, and make it learn, and …

Today 17:17   

Julia

Bingo! Humans aren’t disembodied minds, so if you want human intelligence … 😊

Today 17:18

John

Good stuff! But we should definitely check in with Sam about this too.

Today 17:19   

Julia

Sure, will do, and perhaps you can talk to Manuel, about the interview he did him?

Today 17:19

John

Yes, and see if he has more material.

Today 17:20   

Julia

Great! Then we’ll catch up later 😉                                                         

Today 17:20

John

See you soon! 😊

Today 17:21   

… Continue reading our conversations that are posted every Saturday …

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Fire All Neurons!

Fire All Neurons!

Mechanical analog computers had their origins in Naval Gunnery in World War I […] mechanical analog computers remained of considerable military importance certainly until well into the 1960s and have only been superseded by digital computing systems in the 1970s.

read more
The ends justify the rules

The ends justify the rules

Complicated mental processes are entirely reducible to such simple activities as the attentive observation of statements previously accepted as true, the perception of structural, purely external, connections among these statements, and the execution of mechanical transformations as prescribed by the rules of inference

read more