Re: Kurzweil critique

From: John K Clark (
Date: Tue Nov 06 2007 - 02:51:21 MST

On Tue, 6 Nov 2007 "Aleksei Riikonen" <> said:

Michael Anissimov Wrote:

> We don't have a ghost of a clue what intelligence is

Well itís true, we donít have a good definition of intelligence and I
we ever will, but that is a small matter because we have something much
more important, examples. Intelligence is what smart people do.

> Richard Feynman had measured IQ of 120, much much
>lower than Marilyn Vos Savant or most of hte pople in MENSA.

Is it really surprising to learn that the most complex thing in the
universe, intelligence, can not be satisfactorily described with a
when even something as simple as wind needs a vector?

> Even if we did know, there's no evidence we can enhance
>it or replicate it.

Exquisite premium grade extra virgin nonsense. You obviously have
a computer but if you really believe the above statement why on earth
did you buy one?

> AI is brain-dead" and "AI has hit a brick wall

Just a very few years ago nearly everyone would say that the ability to
a good game of chess was an excellent example of intelligence, but not
today, today intelligence is whatever a computer canít do YET; and so
using that definition you conclude AI has made no progress.

> Show us a working automated translation program that reliably takes in
> natural language and reliably spits back out idiomatic English without
> grammatical or semantic errors.

That will happen when the computer fully understands what it is asked to
translate, and 20 minutes after that the Singularity will happen. But I
admit we are a hell of a long way from that point, hell Britney Spears
be approaching middle age by then.

> Give us the hard evidence that nanotechnology works

Well life works, admittedly itís a crude version of Nanotechnology but
about as good as you could hope for considering that it was invented by
random mutation and natural selection. I have a hunch intelligence can
do better, one hell of a lot better. I should add that the fact that the
area human beings are able to successfully engineer is cut in half ever
18 months gives me a hint that Nanotechnology is making progress.
One hell of a lot of progress actually.

> Antonio Damasio, in his book Decartes' Error, has deep-sixed most of the
> ignorant misconceptions on which hard AI is based. I.e., that there exists
> some magical fluid called "mind" separate from the brain

There is nothing magical or metaphysical or even very interesting about
in fact the distinction it is all rather mundane; brain is a noun, mind
is a
verb, and I John K Clark am an adjective.

> In the 50 years since Feynman gave his lecture, we've seen zero
> progress in creating anything like what Feynman talked about.

What an astronomically foolish thing to say!

> Why would superhumanly smart computers even bother to interact with us

Beats me, but what has that got to do with the price of eggs?

> Give us that hard evidence that claims about people "uploading their minds
> into computers" are anything more than a foolishly ignorant delusion based
> on the fantasy that Descartes' mind-body divide is actually real and that
> there exists some magical intangible Platonic essence called "the mind"
> that's distinct from and separable from the human body (meaning the
> human brain).

Oh dear, it appears you are yet another of those meat is sacred people,
that is to say atoms are sacred people, that is to say very silly

 John K Clark

  John K Clark
-- - Or how I learned to stop worrying and
                          love email again

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