A computer is not—in and of itself—smarter than a pile of tinkertoys, a philosopher argues:
“The thing to emphasize is that the computer is not in and of itself carrying out logical operations, processing information, or doing anything else that might be thought a mark of genuine intelligence—any more than a piece of scratch paper on which you’ve written some logical symbols is carrying out logical operations, processing information, or the like. Considered by themselves and apart from the conventions and intentions of language users, logical symbols on a piece of paper are just a bunch of meaningless ink marks. Considered by themselves and apart from the intentions of the designers, a Tinkertoy computer is just a bunch of sticks moving around, as stupidly as if they had been tossed down the stairs.” – Edward FeserMichael Egnor, “Computers are no smarter than tinkertoys” at Mind Matters News
Michael Egnor responds:
Feser is right. There’s not a shred of intelligence in a computer. Human beings are intelligent and we use computers to represent and leverage our human intelligence. All of the logic “in” a computer is really human logic, represented in a computer. All of the mathematics, all of the literature, all of the thought in a computer program is really just human thought, represented in the computation. Michael Egnor, “Computers are no smarter than tinkertoys” at Mind Matters News
Yes, that Ed Feser, the one who has been anti-ID. Michael Egnor is planning to interview him. Should be interesting.
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See also: Are electrons conscious?
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