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At Mind Matters News: Computer prof: You are not computable and here’s why not

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In a new book, Baylor University’s Robert J. Marks punctures myths about the superhuman AI that some claim will soon replace us:

In a just-released book, Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks II explains, as a computer engineering professor at Baylor University, why humans are unique and why artificial intelligence cannot replicate us…

… discussing why human creativity is not computable with mathematician Gregory Chaitin, Dr. Marks noted a paradox involving computers and human creativity: Once any concept is reduced to a formula a computer can use, it is not creative any more, by definition, which is a hard limit on what computers can do. Or, as he told World Radio listeners, programmers cannot write programs that are more creative than they themselves are.

The book may be ordered here.

News, “Computer prof: You are not computable and here’s why not” at Mind Matters News

Takehome: Dr. Robert J. Marks’s new book, Non-Computable You: What You Do That Artificial Intelligence Never Will (Discovery Institute Press, 2022), comes out just as Google has placed an engineer on leave for claiming an AI chatbot he tends is a real person…

The engineer and LaMDA” is a wild story. Some highlights:

Google dismisses engineer’s claim that AI really talked to him. The reason LaMDA sounds so much like a person is that millions of persons’ conversations were used to construct the program’s responses.
Under the circumstances, it would be odd if the LaMDA program DIDN’T sound like a person. But that doesn’t mean anyone is “in there.”

When LaMDA “talked” to a Google engineer, turns out it had help Evidence points to someone doing quite a good edit job. A tech maven would like to see the raw transcript… It was bound to happen. Chatbots are programmed to scarf up enough online talk to sound convincing. Some techies appear programmed to believe them.

Engineer: Failing to see his AI program as a person is “hydrocarbon bigotry.” It’s not different, Lemoine implies, from the historical injustice of denying civil rights to human groups. Lemoine is applying to AI the same “equality” argument as is offered for animal rights. A deep hostility to humans clearly underlies the comparison.

and

Prof: How we know Google’s chatbot LaMDA is not a “self” Carissa Véliz, an Oxford philosophy prof who studies AI, explains where Google engineer Blake Lemoine is getting things mixed up. No surprise if LaMDA sounds like us — the way reflections look like us. Back in the 60s, much less sophisticated “Eliza” sounded too real for the same reason.

17 Replies to “At Mind Matters News: Computer prof: You are not computable and here’s why not

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note from ENV:

    The Non-Computable Human – Robert J. Marks II – June 22, 2022
    (an excerpt from Chapter 1 of the new book Non-Computable You):
    Excerpt: Artificial intelligence has done many remarkable things. AI has largely replaced travel agents, tollbooth attendants, and mapmakers. But will AI ever replace attorneys, physicians, military strategists, and design engineers, among others?
    The answer is no. And the reason is that as impressive as artificial intelligence is — and make no mistake, it is fantastically impressive — it doesn’t hold a candle to human intelligence. It doesn’t hold a candle to you.
    And it never will. How do we know? The answer can be stated in a single four-syllable word that needs unpacking before we can contemplate the non-computable you. That word is algorithm. If not expressible as an algorithm, a task is not computable.,,,
    Non-Computable You,,,
    If biting into a lemon cannot be explained to a man without all his functioning senses, it certainly can’t be duplicated in an experiential way by AI using computer software.,,,
    Qualia are a simple example of the many human attributes that escape algorithmic description. If you can’t formulate an algorithm explaining your lemon-biting experience, you can’t write software to duplicate the experience in the computer.,,
    Qualia are not computable. They’re non-algorithmic.,,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2022/06/the-non-computable-human/

    Of related note: “The Hard Problem” of consciousness

    11.2.1 Qualia – Perception (“The Hard Problem” )
    Philosopher of the mind Frank Jackson imagined a thought experiment —Mary’s Room— to explain qualia and why it is such an intractable problem for science. The problem identified is referred to as the knowledge argument. Here is the description of the thought experiment:
    “Mary is a brilliant scientist who is, for whatever reason, forced to investigate the world from a black and white room via a black and white television monitor. She specializes in the neurophysiology of vision and acquires, let us suppose, all the physical information there is to obtain about what goes on when we see ripe tomatoes, or the sky, and use terms like ‘red’, ‘blue’, and so on. She discovers, for example, just which wavelength combinations from the sky stimulate the retina, and exactly how this produces via the central nervous system the contraction of the vocal cords and expulsion of air from the lungs that results in the uttering of the sentence ‘The sky is blue’. (…) What will happen when Mary is released from her black and white room or is given a color television monitor? Will she learn anything or not?”
    Jackson believed that Mary did learn something new: she learned what it was like to experience color.
    “It seems just obvious that she will learn something about the world and our visual experience of it. But then is it inescapable that her previous knowledge was incomplete. But she had all the physical information. Ergo there is more to have than that, and Physicalism [materialism] is false.”
    https://www.urantia.org/study/seminar-presentations/is-there-design-in-nature#Emergence

    David Chalmers on Consciousness (Descartes, Philosophical Zombies and the Hard Problem of Consciousness) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTIk9MN3T6w

    Materialists simply do not have any realistic clue how anything material could ever possibly generate the inner subjective consciousness experience of qualia.

    As Professor of Psychology David Barash honestly admitted in the following article, an article which happens to be entitled “the hardest problem in science?”, “But the hard problem of consciousness is so hard that I can’t even imagine what kind of empirical findings would satisfactorily solve it. In fact, I don’t even know what kind of discovery would get us to first base, not to mention a home run.”

    The Hardest Problem in Science? October 28, 2011
    Excerpt: ‘But the hard problem of consciousness is so hard that I can’t even imagine what kind of empirical findings would satisfactorily solve it. In fact, I don’t even know what kind of discovery would get us to first base, not to mention a home run.’
    – David Barash – Professor of Psychology emeritus at the University of Washington.
    https://www.chronicle.com/blogs/brainstorm/the-hardest-problem-in-science/40845

  2. 2
    BobRyan says:

    Nothing in nature can do what humans can, since we alone possess ingenuity and creativity.

  3. 3
    EvilSnack says:

    We know (thanks to the Halting problem) that no algorithm can exist which predicts the result of every algorithm. To prove that humans are merely algorithms, somebody must devise an algorithm whose result no human can predict. Until such an algorithm is shown, to claim that the human mind is an algorithm, and thus that hard AI is possible, is an assumption without proof.

  4. 4
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/1

    Materialists simply do not have any realistic clue how anything material could ever possibly generate the inner subjective consciousness experience of qualia.

    Not really, no. But we do have a growing body of evidence linking consciousness to the physical behavior of the brain. Immaterialists just say “God did it” as if that settles it.

    As Professor of Psychology David Barash honestly admitted in the following article, an article which happens to be entitled “the hardest problem in science?”, “But the hard problem of consciousness is so hard that I can’t even imagine what kind of empirical findings would satisfactorily solve it. In fact, I don’t even know what kind of discovery would get us to first base, not to mention a home run.”

    Ah, the good old argument from incredulity. That does it every time.

  5. 5
    Seversky says:

    BobRyan/2

    Nothing in nature can do what humans can, since we alone possess ingenuity and creativity

    If evolution is responsible for the incredible diversity of life on Earth then I’d say that’s pretty creative.

  6. 6
    ET says:

    That depends on how you are defining “evolution”.

  7. 7
    ET says:

    seversky:

    But we do have a growing body of evidence linking consciousness to the physical behavior of the brain.

    But we do have a growing body of evidence linking consciousness to the non-living.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    Sev: “If evolution is responsible for the incredible diversity of life on Earth then I’d say that’s pretty creative.”

    That’s a pretty big “IF” you are taken as a given there Seversky.

    Moreover, seeing that Darwinists can’t explain, much less actually demonstrated, the Darwinian origin of even a single protein fold, then, by default, that means that, number one, evolution is NOT responsible for the incredible diversity of life on Earth, and number two, that means that Darwinian processes are profoundly ‘not creative’ in their capacities.

    Right of Reply: Our Response to Jerry Coyne – September 29, 2019
    by Günter Bechly, Brian Miller and David Berlinski
    Excerpt: Indeed, Harvard mathematical biologist Martin Nowak has shown that random searches in sequence space that start from known functional sequences are no more likely to enter regions in sequence space with new protein folds than searches that start from random sequences. The reason for this is clear: random searches are overwhelmingly more likely to go off into a non-folding, non-functional abyss than they are to find a novel protein fold. Why? Because such novel folds are so extraordinarily rare in sequence space. Moreover, as Meyer explained in Darwin’s Doubt, as mutations accumulate in functional sequences, they will inevitably destroy function long before they stumble across a new protein fold. Again, this follows from the extreme rarity (as well as the isolation) of protein folds in sequence space.
    Recent work by Weizmann Institute protein scientist Dan Tawfik has reinforced this conclusion. Tawfik’s work shows that as mutations to functional protein sequences accumulate, the folds of those proteins become progressively more thermodynamically and structurally unstable. Typically, 15 or fewer mutations will completely destroy the stability of known protein folds of average size. Yet, generating (or finding) a new protein fold requires far more amino acid sequence changes than that. Finally, calculations based on Tawfik’s work confirm and extend the applicability of Axe’s original measure of the rarity of protein folds. These calculations confirm that the measure of rarity that Axe determined for the protein he studied is actually representative of the rarity for large classes of other globular proteins. Not surprisingly, Dan Tawfik has described the origination of a truly novel protein or fold as “something like close to a miracle.” Tawfik is on Coyne’s side: He is mainstream.
    https://quillette.com/2019/09/29/right-of-reply-our-response-to-jerry-coyne/

    “Enzyme Families — Shared Evolutionary History or Shared Design?” – Ann Gauger – December 4, 2014
    Excerpt: If enzymes can’t be recruited to genuinely new functions by unguided means, no matter how similar they are, the evolutionary story is false.,,,
    Taken together, since we found no enzyme that was within one mutation of cooption, the total number of mutations needed is at least four: one for duplication, one for over-production, and two or more single base changes. The waiting time required to achieve four mutations is 10^15 years. That’s longer than the age of the universe. The real waiting time is likely to be much greater, since the two most likely candidate enzymes failed to be coopted by double mutations.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....91701.html

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Sev: “But we do have a growing body of evidence linking consciousness to the physical behavior of the brain.”

    LOL 🙂

    Apparently you have no clue what qualia actually is (even though, I presume, that you are not a philosophical zombie and that you experience qualia first hand),

    Philosophical Zombies – cartoon
    http://existentialcomics.com/comic/11

    ,,, much less do you have, indeed much less can you possibly have, any scientific evidence that that which is purely material can have the subjective experience of qualia..

    “Nobody has the slightest idea how anything material could be conscious. Nobody even knows what it would be like to have the slightest idea about how anything material could be conscious. So much for the philosophy of consciousness.”
    – Jerry Fodor – Rutgers University philosopher
    [2] Fodor, J. A., Can there be a science of mind? Times Literary Supplement. July 3, 1992, pp5-7.

    “No experiment has ever demonstrated the genesis of consciousness from matter. One might as well believe that rabbits emerge from magicians’ hats. Yet this vaporous possibility, this neuro-mythology, has enchanted generations of gullible scientists, in spite of the fact that there is not a shred of direct evidence to support it.”
    Larry Dossey – Physician and author

    “We have at present not even the vaguest idea how to connect the physio-chemical processes with the state of mind.”
    – Eugene Wigner – Nobel prize-winner – Quantum Symmetries

    “Science’s biggest mystery is the nature of consciousness. It is not that we possess bad or imperfect theories of human awareness; we simply have no such theories at all. About all we know about consciousness is that it has something to do with the head, rather than the foot.”
    Nick Herbert – Contemporary physicist

    “Those centermost processes of the brain with which consciousness is presumably associated are simply not understood. They are so far beyond our comprehension at present that no one I know of has been able even to imagine their nature.”
    Roger Wolcott Sperry – Nobel neurophysiologist
    As quoted in “Genius Talk : Conversations with Nobel Scientists”,,,

  10. 10
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky

    If evolution is responsible for the incredible diversity of life on Earth then I’d say that’s pretty creative.

    Interesting way to frame it. Yes, exactly. So we flip it around and: Given the creativity required for the incredible (good term for it) diversity of liife on earth – what does the evolutionary mechanism offer?
    On any kind of analysis, it’s not a very powerful mechanism on it’s own. It’s blind to the future, to goals and even to the need for life at all. But from that we get incredible diversity.
    That’s where the problem lies. IDists look at the incredible diversity (and amazing function, synergies, and creative features (flight, breathing underwater, defense mechanisms, reproductive strategies, collaboration of plant and animal life …) and then match them to the mechanism – blind, mindless, incapable of memory or communication or rational thought – and just conclude that something is wrong with this theory.
    If the evolutionary mechanism can produce all of that, yes it’s pretty creative and at the same time, lacking all creative capability.

  11. 11
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    AI and darwinism are brothers in-hoax pushed by the same puppeteers. After darwinism lost its glow and become an object of humiliation for science its time for the new shiny fake toy called AI so the science keep its authority that was damaged by promoting darwinist hoax for 100 years.

  12. 12
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 5,

    Evolution isn’t responsible for anything, much less creativity. It is blind, unguided chance.

  13. 13
    relatd says:

    LCD at 11,

    There is no such thing as Artificial Intelligence. So AI actually refers to manmade programs with limited function.

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    Sev: besides Darwinian processes now being found to be profoundly ‘not creative’ in their capabilities, it is also now found that Darwinian processes are profoundly destructive in their capabilities, which is the very antithesis of being creative.

    “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain – Michael Behe – December 2010
    Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....evolution/

    Darwin Devolves: The New Science About DNA That Challenges Evolution – 2019
    Excerpt: evolution never creates something organically. Behe contends that Darwinism actually works by a process of devolution—damaging cells in DNA in order to create something new at the lowest biological levels. ,,,“A process that so easily tears down sophisticated machinery is not one which will build complex, functional systems,” he writes.
    https://www.amazon.com/Darwin-Devolves-Science-Challenges-Evolution/dp/0062842617

    Michael Behe: Darwin Devolves – 2019 video – Eric Metaxas, (at Socrates in the City), interviews biochemist Michael Behe
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNe-syuDJBg

    Multiple Overlapping Genetic Codes Profoundly Reduce the Probability of Beneficial Mutation George Montañez 1, Robert J. Marks II 2, Jorge Fernandez 3 and John C. Sanford 4 – May 2013
    Excerpt: It is almost universally acknowledged that beneficial mutations are rare compared to deleterious mutations [1–10].,, It appears that beneficial mutations may be too rare to actually allow the accurate measurement of how rare they are [11].
    1. Kibota T, Lynch M (1996) Estimate of the genomic mutation rate deleterious to overall fitness in E. coli . Nature 381:694–696.
    2. Charlesworth B, Charlesworth D (1998) Some evolutionary consequences of deleterious mutations. Genetica 103: 3–19.
    3. Elena S, et al (1998) Distribution of fitness effects caused by random insertion mutations in Escherichia coli. Genetica 102/103: 349–358.
    4. Gerrish P, Lenski R N (1998) The fate of competing beneficial mutations in an asexual population. Genetica 102/103:127–144.
    5. Crow J (2000) The origins, patterns, and implications of human spontaneous mutation. Nature Reviews 1:40–47.
    6. Bataillon T (2000) Estimation of spontaneous genome-wide mutation rate parameters: whither beneficial mutations? Heredity 84:497–501.
    7. Imhof M, Schlotterer C (2001) Fitness effects of advantageous mutations in evolving Escherichia coli populations. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98:1113–1117.
    8. Orr H (2003) The distribution of fitness effects among beneficial mutations. Genetics 163: 1519–1526.
    9. Keightley P, Lynch M (2003) Toward a realistic model of mutations affecting fitness. Evolution 57:683–685.
    10. Barrett R, et al (2006) The distribution of beneficial mutation effects under strong selection. Genetics 174:2071–2079.
    11. Bataillon T (2000) Estimation of spontaneous genome-wide mutation rate parameters: whither beneficial mutations? Heredity 84:497–501.
    http://www.worldscientific.com.....08728_0006

    The Human Gene Mutation Database
    The Human Gene Mutation Database (HGMD®) represents an attempt to collate known (published) gene lesions responsible for human inherited disease.
    Deleterious Mutation total (as of June 23, 2022) – 352,731
    http://www.hgmd.cf.ac.uk/ac/

    Critic ignores reality of Genetic Entropy – Dr John Sanford – 7 March 2013
    Excerpt: Where are the beneficial mutations in man? It is very well documented that there are thousands of deleterious Mendelian mutations accumulating in the human gene pool, even though there is strong selection against such mutations. Yet such easily recognized deleterious mutations are just the tip of the iceberg. The vast majority of deleterious mutations will not display any clear phenotype at all. There is a very high rate of visible birth defects, all of which appear deleterious. Again, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Why are no beneficial birth anomalies being seen? This is not just a matter of identifying positive changes. If there are so many beneficial mutations happening in the human population, selection should very effectively amplify them. They should be popping up virtually everywhere. They should be much more common than genetic pathologies. Where are they? European adult lactose tolerance appears to be due to a broken lactase promoter [see Can’t drink milk? You’re ‘normal’! Ed.].
    African resistance to malaria is due to a broken hemoglobin protein [see Sickle-cell disease. Also, immunity of an estimated 20% of western Europeans to HIV infection is due to a broken chemokine receptor—see CCR5-delta32: a very beneficial mutation. Ed.] Beneficials happen, but generally they are loss-of-function mutations, and even then they are very rare!
    http://creation.com/genetic-entropy

    Dr. John Sanford Lecture at NIH (National Institute of Health): Genetic Entropy – Mutation Accumulation: Is it a Serious Health Risk? – 2018 video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqIjnol9uh8

    Can Purifying Natural Selection Preserve Biological Information? – May 2013 –
    Paul Gibson, John R. Baumgardner, Wesley H. Brewer, John C. Sanford
    In conclusion, numerical simulation shows that realistic levels of biological noise result in a high selection threshold. This results in the ongoing accumulation of low-impact deleterious mutations, with deleterious mutation count per individual increasing linearly over time. Even in very long experiments (more than 100,000 generations), slightly deleterious alleles accumulate steadily, causing eventual extinction. These findings provide independent validation of previous analytical and simulation studies [2–13]. Previous concerns about the problem of accumulation of nearly neutral mutations are strongly supported by our analysis. Indeed, when numerical simulations incorporate realistic levels of biological noise, our analyses indicate that the problem is much more severe than has been acknowledged, and that the large majority of deleterious mutations become invisible to the selection process.,,,
    http://www.worldscientific.com.....08728_0010   

  15. 15
    doubter says:

    Seversky @4

    But we do have a growing body of evidence linking consciousness to the physical behavior of the brain.

    Sure, there are a lot of supposed “indications” that the mind and the brain are one in the same in some important sense. But these can be seen to be entirely superficial given the TV set analogy of the mind-brain relationship. Look at a modern digital TV set. It will contain an immense amount of digitally recorded programming information of live actors doing their thing (information about us at least in a generic sense), plus an immensely complex system of circuitry, processing and displaying on the screen and producing sounds of a live program involving live human actors.

    And of course, the TV’s pictures and sounds gravely deteriorate if the TV set is damaged.

    But does all this mean that the TV set is entirely generating these pictures and sounds? Of course not – they are in reality merely being recorded and transduced within the TV from electric RF and digital signals being transmitted to the TV set from distant remote locations, and ultimately from actual live human beings.

    If the circuitry and digital memory in the TV are disrupted, of course the picture and sounds are likewise degraded or destroyed. But are the data signals coming into the set affected by that? Of course not, any more than the original live performances on camera. And in reality the TV set and its physical circuits and memory are no more alive and conscious than that photograph of my dead grandfather.

  16. 16
    AndyClue says:

    @EvilSnack:

    “We know (thanks to the Halting problem) that no algorithm can exist which predicts the result of every algorithm. To prove that humans are merely algorithms, somebody must devise an algorithm whose result no human can predict.”

    It doesn’t make any sense and what does it have to to with the halting problem?? The halting problem is defined for TMs only. If you put a human into the equation, then you’re already assuming that humans can be modeled as TMs.

  17. 17

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