Artificial Intelligence Intelligent Design

John Steinbeck: Two men never created anything

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Computer engineering prof Robert Marks has had to reflect on what human creativity means, discussing the goals of the Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence, of which he is the director. He found his inspiration in Nobel Prize-winning American novelist John Steinbeck’s conviction: “The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man.”

He found his inspiration in Nobel Prize-winning American novelist John Steinbeck’s conviction: “The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man.”

And there are limits to what one can simply replicate in machines:

Some limits, he explained, are fundamentals of nature: “Now, in computer science, one of the first things you are taught is that some things are non-algorithmic. The classic one is the Turing halting problem. You can’t write a computer program that can analyze another arbitrary computer program to see whether that program will run forever or stop. It is a very simple, proven operation that is non-analytic; you cannot write code for that.”

But then he asked, “Are there things about human beings that you cannot write code for? Non-computable things people can do? And the answer, I would say, is yes. And I think the most interesting and the most testable is creativity.” “Mind Matters

See also: See also: Walter Bradley: Tell people about AI, not sci-fi His struggle to bring reality to“sci-fi” origin of life research is the Center’s inspiration. The Bradley Center hopes to have a similar effect by promoting more general knowledge of fundamental issues around “thinking computers and questions around the real effects of technology on human well-being.

4 Replies to “John Steinbeck: Two men never created anything

  1. 1
    Axel says:

    ‘“The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man.”
    Although I don’t remember the precise words, I believe Max Planck said something very similar.

  2. 2
    Ed George says:

    Two men never created anything

    I don’t know if this title was meant to be taken literally, but there are plenty of examples of the creativity of people being greater when there is another person in the loop. Gates and Allen, Jobs and Wozniak, McCartney and Lennon, Jagger and Richards.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    or related note: “”multiples” as instances in which similar discoveries are made by scientists working independently of each other.,,, Multiple independent discovery, however, is not limited to only a few historic instances involving giants of scientific research.”

    List of multiple discoveries
    Excerpt: Historians and sociologists have remarked on the occurrence, in science, of “multiple independent discovery”. Robert K. Merton defined such “multiples” as instances in which similar discoveries are made by scientists working independently of each other.,,, Multiple independent discovery, however, is not limited to only a few historic instances involving giants of scientific research. Merton believed that it is multiple discoveries, rather than unique ones, that represent the common pattern in science.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.....iscoveries

    In the Air – Who says big ideas are rare? by Malcolm Gladwell
    Excerpt: This phenomenon of simultaneous discovery—what science historians call “multiples”—turns out to be extremely common. One of the first comprehensive lists of multiples was put together by William Ogburn and Dorothy Thomas, in 1922, and they found a hundred and forty-eight major scientific discoveries that fit the multiple pattern. Newton and Leibniz both discovered calculus. Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace both discovered evolution. Three mathematicians “invented” decimal fractions. Oxygen was discovered by Joseph Priestley, in Wiltshire, in 1774, and by Carl Wilhelm Scheele, in Uppsala, a year earlier. Color photography was invented at the same time by Charles Cros and by Louis Ducos du Hauron, in France. Logarithms were invented by John Napier and Henry Briggs in Britain, and by Joost Bürgi in Switzerland. ,,, For Ogburn and Thomas, the sheer number of multiples could mean only one thing: scientific discoveries must, in some sense, be inevitable.
    http://www.newyorker.com/repor.....ntPage=all

  4. 4
    Belfast says:

    I do not know about the others who are supposed to have jointly made discoveries. However, Napier invented logarithms, and Briggs improved upon them in the sense that he simplified to base 10. After Napier had published Briggs called on him and the two collaborated to further Brigg’s simplification.

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