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; It enters the energy field that surrounds your body ...... i rather think not....

  1. #61
    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    It enters the energy field that surrounds your body
    ...... i rather think not.
    Last edited by Clyde; 07-02-2003 at 02:53 PM.

  2. #62
    Banned frenchfry164's Avatar
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    With the introduction of RAM, AI can "think". Period.

  3. #63
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    computers don't think because they aren't capable of enough processing power yet. But eventually they'll be able to out process humans, and eventually neural nets (no joke) will be used in such a way to allow them (with special software of course) to learn and evolve on their own. This will all take place well after Moore's paradigm of computing runs out, and instead of computing power doubling it will be increasing at an even higher exponential rate using nano technology and three dimensional processors (some even say after that quantum mechanical computers).

    EDIT:
    As for consciousness; a computer cannot feel, so I'd say no, it can't be programmed
    You cannot possibly define consciousness. You can always examine sequences and patterns of impulses, for example in the human brain, but how do you define the subjective experience? Nobody here can without a doubt say that I am conscious, they can only make objective observations and rationalizations but they cannot possibly ever examine or share the subjective experience. Rather, my subjective experience cannot be explained or proved to exist. It will get to a point with computers that they will say they are conscious, and we will believe them for the same reason you'd believe me if I said "I'm conscious, believe me"

    EDIT1:
    The problem is that a computer is too logical. Think of how many discoveries have been made by someone doing something wrong or making false assumptions that led to new knowledge.

    Software is too logical, and too rational to be considered equivalent to a human mind.
    Neural nets will be used and be just as functional and capable and logical as the human brain (the human brain is a neural net where each neuron connects to approx 1,000 other neurons, and each pathway can send approx 200 impulses per second, which results in about 200GB theoretical bandwidth per second, but this is a loose number so don't correct me). The way that neural nets work is that something is passed in as an input, and then it is send along these path ways. The original signal is sent to the first neuron(s), but from then on the signal is altered based on the function of each neuron. The output is a completely different signal that determines a reaction. For example, one person may look at a soap opera and begin to cry because of his/her neuron configuration, but another person (like me) may look at a soap opera and laugh based on his/her neuron configuration. Imagine you have a computer, but instead of a single 1.5 - 3.5 inch processor you have 90 trillion molecule sized processors, each 80 billion times more powerful than the computer you are currently typing at. The same logic problems could be solved the same way the human brain solves logic problems, and these computers will be able to learn by calibrating each part of the neural net (so each 'neuron' knows how to change the signal when it is passed to itself), but there will have to be software that directs the calibration of each part of the neural net.
    Last edited by Silvercord; 07-02-2003 at 06:55 PM.

  4. #64
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    Silvercord,

    do you believe that you exist? if so you, do you believe that you have an internal life that is solely yours and private to the external world? do you experience things the way you, and only you, experience them? if so, then you are concious!!

    based on the above questions, the problem here is that we can no longer solve the relation of conciousness to our brain simply by asserting the reduciton of conciousness to brain processes or our behaviour. i think what you mean is we cannot explain conciousness scientifically hence we can altogether forget about conciousness. well, this is what elimintaive materialists do! they eliminate talks about things that cannot be explained conciously!

    when it comes to conciousness we have to ask ourselves: "what is it like to be X?" and if you know what the answer is then you are aware of the existance of X, hence X is conscious. what i mean here is conciousness is the source of our own feeling of what it is like to be X.

    now with regards to computers, well, they are simply not aware of their existance. they do not have feelings and experiences the way you and i do. hence they are not concious.

    the difference between us and computers is really about conciousness that is shaped by our qualia(experiences) and feelings! and thinking is a part of our concious lives; but we still dont have a complete definition of what thinking is and how it relates to our conciousness.

    lastly, we simply dont understand what thinking involves because we cannot turn this subjective point of view into an objective one in order to use scientific data and experiences to provide a logical explanation.

    tnx,
    Ben
    Medical Robotics: "Pursuing perfection in healthcare through innovations in robotics and information technologies for medicine and surgery."

  5. #65
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    if so, then you are concious!!
    But how do you know if I'm conscious. You would just have to rely on what I'm telling you. You'd also have to just rely on what the computers tell you, otherwise the only way you can prove I'm conscious is by examining the patterns in which my neurons fire.

  6. #66
    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
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    >> Neural nets will be used and be just as functional and capable and logical as the human brain... software that directs the calibration of each part of the neural net.

    The point wasn't that current software is not as logical as humans, it was that humans are not as logical as current software. Granted a large enough artificial neural network could mimic a human, they have not yet evolved to the point where it could easily develop its own 'opinions' if you will.

    >> now with regards to computers, well, they are simply not aware of their existance

    And how exactly do you know this. I know you were arguing against this type of question, but what does it mean to be aware of one's self? You can ask, but that only works if you both speak a common language. Its not a solid test. Computers, in a way, are shaped by their 'experiences'. For example, they behave much differently with an upgraded OS, or a loose memory card, or new software.
    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.

  7. #67
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    benny, prove to me and zach that you are conscious.

    zach, what i meant by this comment:
    but there will have to be software that directs the calibration of each part of the neural net.
    all that means is we would basically just write enough software so that the computers would be able to teach themselves, with no limit to their learning. This means that even if we gave them no arms or body, they would eventually be able to figure out how to manipulate their environment first with electrons (the only thing they have access to), then to somehow create bodies for themselves (sorry, I dont' know the implementation details )


    and ben i wasn't joking about the part about you proving you are conscious. As far as I'm concerned you are just a mindless being that produces text and images just like

    the ones at this site

  8. #68
    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    Silvercord i cannot prove that you're conscious but i can prove that I am conscious and hence it is a reasonable assumption that you are conscious too since we both have human brains and we both display conscious like behaviour.

    For a computer displaying conscious like behaviour there are two possibilities:

    A) It is conscious or
    B) Its not conscious, it is merely programmed to fake conscious behaviour.

    There is no problem with B, there is a big hole in our understanding around A, which is where the debate springs from.

    However I, like you, suspect computers are capable of becoming conscious (as in A) at some point.
    Last edited by Clyde; 07-03-2003 at 08:42 AM.

  9. #69
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    but i can prove that I am conscious
    Prove it to whom? Yourself?
    Last edited by Silvercord; 07-03-2003 at 09:28 AM.

  10. #70
    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    yes

  11. #71
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    This guy claims to be conscoius:

    yes, it's just a bunch of messages done in console mode, but, it certainly proves a point, considering all of you are only producing text messages, and I cannot be completely certain that any of your are conscious.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  12. #72
    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    But you know YOU are, therefore it seems reasonable to suppose we are too.

    Nice prog. btw - Though on occasion, it can't spell all that well =)
    Last edited by Clyde; 07-03-2003 at 09:44 AM.

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    I think you guys ought to read this

    It basically discusses, in a lot more detail, the options described by Clyde.

    Appologies if this has already been mentioned, but this is a long thread.

  14. #74
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    Nice prog. btw - Though on occasion, it can't spell all that well =)
    Yeah I know, what's up with my silly computer?


    everyone here should read Age of Spiritual Machines by Ray Kurzweil, it directly discusses this stuff.

  15. #75
    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    think you guys ought to read this
    I am not a great fan of Penrose's theories on conciousness i've skimmed through an Emperor's new mind and it seemed rather far fetched.

    I've just started "Consciousness Explained" by Daniel Dennet, so far its been very good.

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