Re: [sl4] Re: goals of AI

From: Matt Paul (
Date: Thu Nov 26 2009 - 22:41:22 MST

Yes. I think a human being counts as a machine, among other things.
Look at my comment about dimensions. I think this clarifies best.

On Nov 26, 2009, at 9:30 PM, Pavitra <>

> This thread is getting derailed on (in my opinon) useless debate on
> the
> definition of "physical". Let's look at the actual message that
> started it.
> On Nov 24, 2009, at 09:19 AM, "Matt Paul" wrote:
>> On Nov 24, 2009, at 1:22 AM, "John K Clark" wrote:
>>> On Mon, 23 Nov 2009 "Matt Paul" <> said:
>>>> Is the intelligence that has advanced humanity actually able to be
>>>> recreated in a machine?
>>> Yes obviously
>> -- you say obviously, but it seems much less than obvious to me.
>> There
>> are aspects of our "intelligence" that I think may not truly be
>> physical, not a neurochemical process, not a logic system that can be
>> mathematically represented.
> Here, Matt Paul is asserting that human intelligence is not
> necessarily
> recreatable in a machine.
> He posits the existence of one or more particular aspects of human
> intelligence that cannot be mechanized, and names three specific
> characteristics of those aspects:
> - nonphysical;
> - nonneurochemical;
> - nonlogical; cannot be mathematically represented.
> Each of these three attributes may or may not be necessary and/or
> sufficient in order to infer mechanical irreproducibility, but before
> this can be evaluated, it is first necessary to clarify what Mr. Paul
> means by "recreated in a machine".
> By what criterion does the original -- naturally-occurring human
> intelligence -- not fulfill this? Does a human being fail Mr. Paul's
> definition of a "machine"? Or does Mr. Paul allow any system as a
> "machine", but require that the behavior be "recreated" by humans? How
> then does he define "human"? Can a human use mechanical aid, such as a
> screwdriver? How about a computerized CAD/CAM? How about a (possibly
> nonsentient or whatever) Jupiter-sized AI brain grown from a seed AI
> written in three lines of Python, with all further human agency
> reduced
> to once pressing the large red "yes" button?
> Until this is cleared up, I see no further point in continuing debate,
> least of all debate over definitions.
> ---
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> The proper meaning of "physical" has, as noted, been debated at some
> length; but for the present purpose of reading Matt's message, the
> only
> relevant definition is the one he had in mind when writing. If, when
> writing the word "physical" he was thinking of the concept "made of
> banana cream pies", then that is the definition we must use when
> reading
> his message.
> He gives his meaning here:
> On Nov 25, 2009, at 17:38 PM, "Matt Paul" wrote:
>> Ok, I see a problem arising here. I used the term "non-physical"
>> and I
>> think that I should clarify that this is because I struggle to find
>> another term for it. I don't think it is the best term and I hope we
>> don't get too hung up on it. By non-physical I am trying to label
>> that
>> which is real but cannot currently be measured or detected.

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