Sunday, March 30, 2008

Strong AI

Strong AI: While we can recognize an intuitive path to the goals of strong-AI (a self-aware intelligence machine) through the simulation of the human brain in a very literal sense, it is more appropriate to think of the brain itself as an implementational detail. What is more interesting is to capture the fundamental truths of intelligence and self-awareness abstractly and then implement them in an appropriate manner with the tools at hand. The big difference here is that this approach leads to a deeper understanding of intelligence. (Via Data Mining.)

The assumptions in both forks of this alternative totally miss biology. First, there is no reason to believe that there is a meaningful boundary between the brain and the rest of the body that allows a brain to be simulated in isolation. Second, there is a deep essentialism in its use of terms like "intelligence" and "self-awareness" as abstract functions independent of biological embodiment. We know so little about even the most basic cognitive functions that debating these two views of strong AI is like debating space travel one thousand years before Newton.

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