Can Computers Think?

This is a discussion on Can Computers Think? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; But biology is just another view of the physics which apply equally to humans and computers which makes dealing with ...

  1. #46
    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
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    But biology is just another view of the physics which apply equally to humans and computers which makes dealing with the particular nature of humans (and related creatures) easier to understand. Biology is an artificial construct. Electrons don't care if they are in an organic neuron or the processor of a computer. The same laws apply. Granted, computers have not been developed as much or with the same complexity of human brains, but there is no barrier saying they can't.
    The word rap as it applies to music is the result of a peculiar phonological rule which has stripped the word of its initial voiceless velar stop.

  2. #47
    King of the Internet Fahrenheit's Avatar
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    We don't even understand our own brains yet, so how do you expect someone to create a brain for something else?

  3. #48
    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
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    I'm not saying its particularly feasible, I'm saying its possible.
    The word rap as it applies to music is the result of a peculiar phonological rule which has stripped the word of its initial voiceless velar stop.

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    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    But biology is just another view of the physics which apply equally to humans and computers which makes dealing with the particular nature of humans (and related creatures) easier to understand. Biology is an artificial construct. Electrons don't care if they are in an organic neuron or the processor of a computer. The same laws apply. Granted, computers have not been developed as much or with the same complexity of human brains, but there is no barrier saying they can't.
    ... biology is merely the study of specific phenomena: self replicating chemical systems capable of mutation that have evolved over the past 3.8 billion years.

    However we are arguing across points, i think that there probably is no barrier to computers (as we think of them today) becoming conscious.

    On the hand there might be something currently unknown that makes brains and computers very different.

    Ultimately we ARE machines, so conscious machines ARE possible, we just don't know how they work.

    The main problem with the conscious mind is that it seems fundamentally different from everything else, it appears impossible to invisage how conscious experience could be created from the physical processes available to the universe, and yet it is.

    I suspect that our main stumbling block is how we are thinking about the problem.
    Last edited by Clyde; 06-30-2003 at 06:29 PM.

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    The essence of thinking as mentioned before is really knowing the definition or the semantics of symbols; computers can maniputlate symbols but do not know the semantics since symbol manipulation and calculations is solely based on syntax and has nothing to do with the definition of the symbols.

    now, remember, i did not ask if a machine can think. of course, in a sense, we are all machines since we all can manipulate symbols to perform some sort of operation; moreover we can all think!

    the actual question here is can a digital computer think! remember than thinking is more than manipualating meaningless symbols, it involves meaningful semantic contents. contents that make sense to the "machine" or the "performer/manipulator".
    Medical Robotics: "Pursuing perfection in healthcare through innovations in robotics and information technologies for medicine and surgery."

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    Right now computers just follow instructions.. their instructions never change... Just the variables. That's not to say their instructions can't change, mabe atach a compiler with the programm and 'teech' it to program.

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    >> and 'teech' it to program.
    We probably should teach it to spell too.
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    Don't veiw my website if you hate spelling.. I have my fixed version on a computer - unoperational though. My computer should learn to fix spelling and programm on it's own

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    >>Don't veiw my website if you hate spelling
    man, you're site has a lot of spelling errors

  10. #55
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    Right now computers just follow instructions.. their instructions never change... Just the variables. That's not to say their instructions can't change, mabe atach a compiler with the programm and 'teech' it to program.
    Why the compiler? I'm working on a couple of different version of an AI program right now that associates ideas and then puts what it "learns" into a batch file, or a CGI program, (I'm writing a version for each). As long as the original is compiled, you can circumvent most of the security concerns. Speaking of which, do batch files work on Windows XP and all that? Is their a Linux equivalent?

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    And while you're not too far away from the discussion on the fact that the brain functions just like a computer when you break it down. True. No one can argue with that. The mind is what you guys have to worry about. I just got a book about this, and there's some really interesting stuff. Computers today, not just the most advanced ones, can emulate the brain in concept, but not yet in performance. Like someone else said, it may not be feasible right now, but it is possible. The problem emerges when you learn that almost all sensory information, which most people can recall for years, travels to the center of the brain and then disappears. It enters the energy field that surrounds your body. Whether you want to cal this your spirit, the "force", or whatever, it's got some pretty interesting implications with the subject. The field takes the shape of what you will be as an adult when photographed (I forgot the technical term for the technique used to photograph this, I apologize) as a baby, diseases make it change shape, it's powerful enough to set off general use light detectors like the ones on street-light systems, and if it can retain memory better than a CD, it's gotta be useful if we can harness the power that makes it tick.

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    define mind!

    would you say mind=conciousness? if so, computers have no minds since they are not conciouss meaning not aware of their existance? or are they? hmmm....
    Medical Robotics: "Pursuing perfection in healthcare through innovations in robotics and information technologies for medicine and surgery."

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    >It enters the energy field that surrounds your body.

    If you believe that, you'll believe anything.

    With a couple of exceptions, you're all talking in circles.

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    Correct. I believe you're an idiot.
    Last edited by sean; 07-01-2003 at 04:07 PM.

  15. #60
    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
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    >> With a couple of exceptions, you're all talking in circles.

    Indeed. Any discussion like this is bound to go in circles, by the very nature of our language. We can't concretely define anything. We just have to make assumptions that some things are understood.

    I can't say I know much about what your saying Sean, but I have heard about it.
    The word rap as it applies to music is the result of a peculiar phonological rule which has stripped the word of its initial voiceless velar stop.

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