The ends justify the rules

May 23, 2022Philosophy/Ethics, Tech0 comments

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   

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