Artificial Intelligence Intelligent Design

Present philosophy behind artificial intelligence is false

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Says Karl J. Stephan, offering a parable at MercatorNet:

“For one low price,” the magician said, “I can give you the power to change your servants into perfectly obedient machines. They’ll look just like they do now, but you won’t have to feed them or let them sleep or rest. And they will do your every bidding exactly the way you want.”

“Hmm,” said the king. “Sounds too good to be true.”

“I have references!” said the magician. And he pulled out a sheaf of letters written by kings of nearby kingdoms, some of whom King Minsky even knew. They all swore by the magician’s abilities and said they were delighted with what he was offering.

“Well, all right, how would it work?”

“We have several options.” After looking at the magician’s brochure, the king chose the magic-touch option. More.

See also: Godzooks? (David Berlinski)

4 Replies to “Present philosophy behind artificial intelligence is false

  1. 1
    EricMH says:

    If humans are not AI, then there is a precise task humans can perform that cannot be replicated in theory or in practice by an algorithm.

  2. 2
    doubter says:

    EricMH, your statement looks like an implicit assumption that consciousness is one and the same as computation, since algorithms are computation. Of course that (unwarranted) assumption is also held by most researchers in AI.

    But this assumes what Stephan’s parable puts in contention. Plus it ignores a lot of very deep problems, starting with Chalmer’s “hard problem”.

  3. 3
    ScuzzaMan says:

    “real” AI is 20 years away, and has been since before I was born, over half a century ago.

    When you’re wrong for 50 years plus, sooner or later somebody should notice.

  4. 4 says:


    Yes, that human task is called creativity:
    1. Call it automaton, golem, automatic pilot, robot or artificial intelligence (AI), the idea that the inert can turn into the living is not new. And if God can make this happen, why can’t the human? While everything is possible in fiction of course, even some of the actual human creations have been advanced enough for their times to amaze the uninformed into believing these devices have actually crossed the impossible barrier and come alive. But once the uninformed becomes informed, the performance becomes less compelling if still amusing. In essence we are witnessing an arms race between human imagination and human creativity.

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