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"Computer Power and Human Reason"

 
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Matthew Dickinson
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Since: May 17, 2005
Posts: 594



PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 4:25 am    Post subject: "Computer Power and Human Reason"
Archived from groups: alt>movies>kubrick (more info?)

Joseph Weizenbaum's
"Computer Power and Human Reason"


So far it is the best I have read on artificial intelligence. Noam
Chomsky says, "I know of no comparable work, and given the considerable
importance of the issues, I hope... for the widest possible
distribution of this book." And Lewis Mumford, whose works it might be
compared to, says, "It will still be read half a century from now, as a
landmark in the integration of scientific and humanistic thinking." I
wish that were true. I wish I wasn't the only one sitting here reading
it, a copy I had to order used from Abebooks, because it hasn't been
reprinted in some time!

The book discusses with gracefulness and humor the great gamut of
differences between men and machines. Weizenberg was the inventor of
the ELIZA computer chatting program. Like if you've talked to
SmarterChild on AIM or played an Infocom text adventure, you may know
what I mean. I believe there is a version of ELIZA online if you search
for it. And the idea of Dr. Hobby in "AI" is like this, although I
doubt Kubrick liked this book. Me, I prefer it to Dennett, Searle,
Ellul, Mumford, and Moravec. It's well-written, it has wisdom. It
realizes that computers can't have souls, that they cannot be the same
thing as machines, and yet he regards them as a kind of animal, which
makes sense. I don't know if he foresaw the kind of relationships
people would later develop with computer programs; he seems to, but how
far into the future he saw this coming, and with what detail, what has
already become taken for granted by us now, I do not know. But he's one
of the only writers on the subject that I've found who discusses these
things with genuine ethical concern, so I wish to help, in this
microscopic way of posting on Usenet about it, to make it a little
better known.

A couple of quotes:

"Whether or not this program can be realized depends on whether man
really is merely a species of the genus 'information processing system'
or whether he is more than that. I shall argue that an entirely too
simplistic notion of intelligence has dominated both popular and
scientific thought, and that this notion is, in part, responsible for
permitting artificial intelligence's perverse grand fantasy to grow. I
shall argue that an organism is defined, in large part, by the problems
it faces. Man faces problems no machine could possibly be made to face.
Man is not a machine. I shall argue that, although man most certainly
processes information, he does not necessarily process it in the way
computers do. Computers and men are not species of the same genus."

"I accept the idea that a modern computer system is sufficiently
complex and autonomous to warrant our talking about it as an organism.
Given that it can both sense and affect its environment, I even grant
that it can, in an extremely limited sense, be 'socialized', that is,
modified by its experiences with its world. I grant also that a
suitably constructed robot can be made to develop a sense of itself,
that it can, for example, learn to distinguish between parts of itself
and objects outside of itself, that it can be made to assign a higher
priority to guarding its own parts against physical damage than to
similarly guarding objects external to itself, and that it can form a
model of itself which could, in some sense, be considered a kind of
self-consciousness. When I say therefore that I am willing to regard a
robot as an 'organism,' I declare my willingness to consider it a kind
of animal. And I have already agreed that I see no way to put a bound
on the degree of intelligence such an organism could, at least in
principle, attain."
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Matthew Dickinson
External


Since: May 17, 2005
Posts: 594



PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 4:27 am    Post subject: Re: "Computer Power and Human Reason" [Login to view extended thread Info.]
Archived from groups: per prev. post (more info?)

Matthew Dickinson wrote:
> Joseph Weizenbaum's
> "Computer Power and Human Reason"
>
>
> So far it is the best I have read on artificial intelligence. Noam
> Chomsky says, "I know of no comparable work, and given the considerable
> importance of the issues, I hope... for the widest possible
> distribution of this book." And Lewis Mumford, whose works it might be
> compared to, says, "It will still be read half a century from now, as a
> landmark in the integration of scientific and humanistic thinking." I
> wish that were true. I wish I wasn't the only one sitting here reading
> it, a copy I had to order used from Abebooks, because it hasn't been
> reprinted in some time!
>
> The book discusses with gracefulness and humor the great gamut of
> differences between men and machines. Weizenberg was the inventor of
> the ELIZA computer chatting program. Like if you've talked to
> SmarterChild on AIM or played an Infocom text adventure, you may know
> what I mean. I believe there is a version of ELIZA online if you search
> for it. And the idea of Dr. Hobby in "AI" is like this, although I
> doubt Kubrick liked this book. Me, I prefer it to Dennett, Searle,
> Ellul, Mumford, and Moravec. It's well-written, it has wisdom. It
> realizes that computers can't have souls, that they cannot be the same
> thing as machines, and yet he regards them as a kind of animal, which
> makes sense. I don't know if he foresaw the kind of relationships
> people would later develop with computer programs; he seems to, but how
> far into the future he saw this coming, and with what detail, what has
> already become taken for granted by us now, I do not know. But he's one
> of the only writers on the subject that I've found who discusses these
> things with genuine ethical concern, so I wish to help, in this
> microscopic way of posting on Usenet about it, to make it a little
> better known.
>
> A couple of quotes:
>
> "Whether or not this program can be realized depends on whether man
> really is merely a species of the genus 'information processing system'
> or whether he is more than that. I shall argue that an entirely too
> simplistic notion of intelligence has dominated both popular and
> scientific thought, and that this notion is, in part, responsible for
> permitting artificial intelligence's perverse grand fantasy to grow. I
> shall argue that an organism is defined, in large part, by the problems
> it faces. Man faces problems no machine could possibly be made to face.
> Man is not a machine. I shall argue that, although man most certainly
> processes information, he does not necessarily process it in the way
> computers do. Computers and men are not species of the same genus."
>
> "I accept the idea that a modern computer system is sufficiently
> complex and autonomous to warrant our talking about it as an organism.
> Given that it can both sense and affect its environment, I even grant
> that it can, in an extremely limited sense, be 'socialized', that is,
> modified by its experiences with its world. I grant also that a
> suitably constructed robot can be made to develop a sense of itself,
> that it can, for example, learn to distinguish between parts of itself
> and objects outside of itself, that it can be made to assign a higher
> priority to guarding its own parts against physical damage than to
> similarly guarding objects external to itself, and that it can form a
> model of itself which could, in some sense, be considered a kind of
> self-consciousness. When I say therefore that I am willing to regard a
> robot as an 'organism,' I declare my willingness to consider it a kind
> of animal. And I have already agreed that I see no way to put a bound
> on the degree of intelligence such an organism could, at least in
> principle, attain."

I mean baum, not berg. I spelled his name wrong, but I am serious about
this book.
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Matthew Dickinson
External


Since: May 17, 2005
Posts: 594



PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 7:10 am    Post subject: Re: "Computer Power and Human Reason" [Login to view extended thread Info.]
Archived from groups: per prev. post (more info?)

http://www-tech.mit.edu/V105/N16/weisen.16n.html
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Lord Bullingdon
External


Since: Apr 08, 2006
Posts: 459



PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:09 pm    Post subject: Re: "Computer Power and Human Reason" [Login to view extended thread Info.]
Archived from groups: per prev. post (more info?)

I was very enthusiastic about hard A.I. being a possibility, having
read the book by Hans Moravec. But after reading another book, much
more powerful, complete and intelligent by Roger Penrose, I gave up the
idea of a robot "becoming a person". Our brain works in a way that
quantum physics laws play a role in its functioning...therefore, we
must first understand how to merge quantum physics laws with the
macro-level physics laws, in order to understand how our mind
works.....only after that, we MAY be able to build a computer that
thinks like us. The challenge is enormous. It is not something "easy"
like Moravec describes in his book.

L.B.

P.S. The book is "The Emperor's New Mind". Read the final chapters
first if you want to see the good stuff.




Matthew Dickinson wrote:
> Matthew Dickinson wrote:
> > Joseph Weizenbaum's
> > "Computer Power and Human Reason"
> >
> >
> > So far it is the best I have read on artificial intelligence. Noam
> > Chomsky says, "I know of no comparable work, and given the considerable
> > importance of the issues, I hope... for the widest possible
> > distribution of this book." And Lewis Mumford, whose works it might be
> > compared to, says, "It will still be read half a century from now, as a
> > landmark in the integration of scientific and humanistic thinking." I
> > wish that were true. I wish I wasn't the only one sitting here reading
> > it, a copy I had to order used from Abebooks, because it hasn't been
> > reprinted in some time!
> >
> > The book discusses with gracefulness and humor the great gamut of
> > differences between men and machines. Weizenberg was the inventor of
> > the ELIZA computer chatting program. Like if you've talked to
> > SmarterChild on AIM or played an Infocom text adventure, you may know
> > what I mean. I believe there is a version of ELIZA online if you search
> > for it. And the idea of Dr. Hobby in "AI" is like this, although I
> > doubt Kubrick liked this book. Me, I prefer it to Dennett, Searle,
> > Ellul, Mumford, and Moravec. It's well-written, it has wisdom. It
> > realizes that computers can't have souls, that they cannot be the same
> > thing as machines, and yet he regards them as a kind of animal, which
> > makes sense. I don't know if he foresaw the kind of relationships
> > people would later develop with computer programs; he seems to, but how
> > far into the future he saw this coming, and with what detail, what has
> > already become taken for granted by us now, I do not know. But he's one
> > of the only writers on the subject that I've found who discusses these
> > things with genuine ethical concern, so I wish to help, in this
> > microscopic way of posting on Usenet about it, to make it a little
> > better known.
> >
> > A couple of quotes:
> >
> > "Whether or not this program can be realized depends on whether man
> > really is merely a species of the genus 'information processing system'
> > or whether he is more than that. I shall argue that an entirely too
> > simplistic notion of intelligence has dominated both popular and
> > scientific thought, and that this notion is, in part, responsible for
> > permitting artificial intelligence's perverse grand fantasy to grow. I
> > shall argue that an organism is defined, in large part, by the problems
> > it faces. Man faces problems no machine could possibly be made to face.
> > Man is not a machine. I shall argue that, although man most certainly
> > processes information, he does not necessarily process it in the way
> > computers do. Computers and men are not species of the same genus."
> >
> > "I accept the idea that a modern computer system is sufficiently
> > complex and autonomous to warrant our talking about it as an organism.
> > Given that it can both sense and affect its environment, I even grant
> > that it can, in an extremely limited sense, be 'socialized', that is,
> > modified by its experiences with its world. I grant also that a
> > suitably constructed robot can be made to develop a sense of itself,
> > that it can, for example, learn to distinguish between parts of itself
> > and objects outside of itself, that it can be made to assign a higher
> > priority to guarding its own parts against physical damage than to
> > similarly guarding objects external to itself, and that it can form a
> > model of itself which could, in some sense, be considered a kind of
> > self-consciousness. When I say therefore that I am willing to regard a
> > robot as an 'organism,' I declare my willingness to consider it a kind
> > of animal. And I have already agreed that I see no way to put a bound
> > on the degree of intelligence such an organism could, at least in
> > principle, attain."
>
> I mean baum, not berg. I spelled his name wrong, but I am serious about
> this book.
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donstockbauer
External


Since: Mar 13, 2005
Posts: 180



PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 5:17 pm    Post subject: Re: "Computer Power and Human Reason" [Login to view extended thread Info.]
Archived from groups: per prev. post (more info?)

Lord Bullingdon wrote:
> I was very enthusiastic about hard A.I. being a possibility, having
> read the book by Hans Moravec. But after reading another book, much
> more powerful, complete and intelligent by Roger Penrose, I gave up the
> idea of a robot "becoming a person". Our brain works in a way that
> quantum physics laws play a role in its functioning...therefore, we
> must first understand how to merge quantum physics laws with the
> macro-level physics laws, in order to understand how our mind
> works.....only after that, we MAY be able to build a computer that
> thinks like us. The challenge is enormous. It is not something "easy"
> like Moravec describes in his book.
>
> L.B.
>
> P.S. The book is "The Emperor's New Mind". Read the final chapters
> first if you want to see the good stuff.
>
>
>
>
> Matthew Dickinson wrote:
> > Matthew Dickinson wrote:
> > > Joseph Weizenbaum's
> > > "Computer Power and Human Reason"
> > >
> > >
> > > So far it is the best I have read on artificial intelligence. Noam
> > > Chomsky says, "I know of no comparable work, and given the considerable
> > > importance of the issues, I hope... for the widest possible
> > > distribution of this book." And Lewis Mumford, whose works it might be
> > > compared to, says, "It will still be read half a century from now, as a
> > > landmark in the integration of scientific and humanistic thinking." I
> > > wish that were true. I wish I wasn't the only one sitting here reading
> > > it, a copy I had to order used from Abebooks, because it hasn't been
> > > reprinted in some time!
> > >
> > > The book discusses with gracefulness and humor the great gamut of
> > > differences between men and machines. Weizenberg was the inventor of
> > > the ELIZA computer chatting program. Like if you've talked to
> > > SmarterChild on AIM or played an Infocom text adventure, you may know
> > > what I mean. I believe there is a version of ELIZA online if you search
> > > for it. And the idea of Dr. Hobby in "AI" is like this, although I
> > > doubt Kubrick liked this book. Me, I prefer it to Dennett, Searle,
> > > Ellul, Mumford, and Moravec. It's well-written, it has wisdom. It
> > > realizes that computers can't have souls, that they cannot be the same
> > > thing as machines, and yet he regards them as a kind of animal, which
> > > makes sense. I don't know if he foresaw the kind of relationships
> > > people would later develop with computer programs; he seems to, but how
> > > far into the future he saw this coming, and with what detail, what has
> > > already become taken for granted by us now, I do not know. But he's one
> > > of the only writers on the subject that I've found who discusses these
> > > things with genuine ethical concern, so I wish to help, in this
> > > microscopic way of posting on Usenet about it, to make it a little
> > > better known.
> > >
> > > A couple of quotes:
> > >
> > > "Whether or not this program can be realized depends on whether man
> > > really is merely a species of the genus 'information processing system'
> > > or whether he is more than that. I shall argue that an entirely too
> > > simplistic notion of intelligence has dominated both popular and
> > > scientific thought, and that this notion is, in part, responsible for
> > > permitting artificial intelligence's perverse grand fantasy to grow. I
> > > shall argue that an organism is defined, in large part, by the problems
> > > it faces. Man faces problems no machine could possibly be made to face.
> > > Man is not a machine. I shall argue that, although man most certainly
> > > processes information, he does not necessarily process it in the way
> > > computers do. Computers and men are not species of the same genus."
> > >
> > > "I accept the idea that a modern computer system is sufficiently
> > > complex and autonomous to warrant our talking about it as an organism.
> > > Given that it can both sense and affect its environment, I even grant
> > > that it can, in an extremely limited sense, be 'socialized', that is,
> > > modified by its experiences with its world. I grant also that a
> > > suitably constructed robot can be made to develop a sense of itself,
> > > that it can, for example, learn to distinguish between parts of itself
> > > and objects outside of itself, that it can be made to assign a higher
> > > priority to guarding its own parts against physical damage than to
> > > similarly guarding objects external to itself, and that it can form a
> > > model of itself which could, in some sense, be considered a kind of
> > > self-consciousness. When I say therefore that I am willing to regard a
> > > robot as an 'organism,' I declare my willingness to consider it a kind
> > > of animal. And I have already agreed that I see no way to put a bound
> > > on the degree of intelligence such an organism could, at least in
> > > principle, attain."
> >
> > I mean baum, not berg. I spelled his name wrong, but I am serious about
> > this book.

It's a matter of complexity. Any robot we can build now is immensly
more simple than a human being. Why? The size of its neural network -
hard to get anywhere near the 100 billion neurons a human has.
Training - a human undergoes constant training from infancy to
adulthood. The visual system is refreshed 10 times per second. S/he
has access to all of human culture, plus whatever personal experience
s/he accumulates. So build a robot with these qualifications and you
have it.
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Lord Bullingdon
External


Since: Apr 08, 2006
Posts: 459



PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 5:25 pm    Post subject: Re: "Computer Power and Human Reason" [Login to view extended thread Info.]
Archived from groups: per prev. post (more info?)

Don't forget that the structure itself is difficult, maybe impossible
to copy. The neurons transmit and keep information using the activity
of electrons. Therefore our brain is a "quantum machine". Unless we
understand exactly how it works, we will never be able to copy it, even
if we have a computer with enough processing capacity and memory!

L.B.


wrote:
> It's a matter of complexity. Any robot we can build now is immensly
> more simple than a human being. Why? The size of its neural network -
> hard to get anywhere near the 100 billion neurons a human has.
> Training - a human undergoes constant training from infancy to
> adulthood. The visual system is refreshed 10 times per second. S/he
> has access to all of human culture, plus whatever personal experience
> s/he accumulates. So build a robot with these qualifications and you
> have it.
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Matthew Dickinson
External


Since: May 17, 2005
Posts: 594



PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 7:08 pm    Post subject: Re: "Computer Power and Human Reason" [Login to view extended thread Info.]
Archived from groups: per prev. post (more info?)

Weizenbaum's book is less about how it can be done than the ethics of
viewing people as machines and machines as people. But thanks I may
give Penrose another chance sometime.


Lord Bullingdon wrote:
> I was very enthusiastic about hard A.I. being a possibility, having
> read the book by Hans Moravec. But after reading another book, much
> more powerful, complete and intelligent by Roger Penrose, I gave up the
> idea of a robot "becoming a person". Our brain works in a way that
> quantum physics laws play a role in its functioning...therefore, we
> must first understand how to merge quantum physics laws with the
> macro-level physics laws, in order to understand how our mind
> works.....only after that, we MAY be able to build a computer that
> thinks like us. The challenge is enormous. It is not something "easy"
> like Moravec describes in his book.
>
> L.B.
>
> P.S. The book is "The Emperor's New Mind". Read the final chapters
> first if you want to see the good stuff.
>
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donstockbauer
External


Since: Mar 13, 2005
Posts: 180



PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 9:25 am    Post subject: Re: "Computer Power and Human Reason" [Login to view extended thread Info.]
Archived from groups: per prev. post (more info?)

Matthew Dickinson wrote:
> Weizenbaum's book is less about how it can be done than the ethics of
> viewing people as machines and machines as people. But thanks I may
> give Penrose another chance sometime.
>
>
> Lord Bullingdon wrote:
> > I was very enthusiastic about hard A.I. being a possibility, having
> > read the book by Hans Moravec. But after reading another book, much
> > more powerful, complete and intelligent by Roger Penrose, I gave up the
> > idea of a robot "becoming a person". Our brain works in a way that
> > quantum physics laws play a role in its functioning...therefore, we
> > must first understand how to merge quantum physics laws with the
> > macro-level physics laws, in order to understand how our mind
> > works.....only after that, we MAY be able to build a computer that
> > thinks like us. The challenge is enormous. It is not something "easy"
> > like Moravec describes in his book.
> >
> > L.B.
> >
> > P.S. The book is "The Emperor's New Mind". Read the final chapters
> > first if you want to see the good stuff.
> >

No charge for the valuable information.
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