Re: [sl4] Alan Turing's results are profound

From: Larry (
Date: Thu Oct 15 2009 - 07:57:02 MDT

I've been too busy for much of anything lately but have to
jump in.

While turing machines are mathmatically interesting, they
have little relevance to AI. A brain doesn't work on a
fixed set of inputs, nor even on a predictable set of
inputs. As such the halting problem is irrelevant to
it, it doesn't work in isolation like a turing machine.

Of course on a universal level, a brain being just one
more piece of the cosmos. We could easily see either see
the halting problem in an infinite universe, or state
machine wrap around in a finite one. But even then
its facing much bigger challenges like running out energy,
or the "big crunch", these two possible fates will be of
only intellectual curiousity.

On Thu, 15 Oct 2009, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

> 2009/10/15 Mu In Taiwan <>:
>> 1 - Turing proved things about Turing Machines in 1936; not computers.
>> Turing Machines are not the same as physical computers; they are
>> mathematical abstractions that cannot and do not exist in the real world.
>> This is a fact of physics. There's just no room for the tape.
> Physical computers are finite state machines and a Turing machine can
> emulate any finite state machine. Most likely, brains are finite state
> machines and therefore Turing emulable. Brains seem to work following
> the laws of physics and as far as we are aware the laws of physics are
> computable. There have been some attempts to argue otherwise; for
> example, Roger Penrose thinks that brains harness exotic physics and
> are therefore hypercomputers, not finite state machines. But almost
> no-one agrees with Penrose.
> --
> Stathis Papaioannou

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