Can Computers Think?

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    Can Computers Think?

    .... and would it be fair to say that a software is like the human mind where the body is the hardware?

    Ben
    p.s. B.T.W. did you know that the first programmer was a female; Augusta Ada Byron (1815-52) the English Mathematician?!
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    Rad gcn_zelda's Avatar
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    No. The computer cannot use logic without human programming. Scientists, according to MIT's Technology Review magazine, are creating ImoBots(Immobile Robots), that can sometimes use logic better than humans, so computers can be very smart when programmed well, but computers have disadvantages. They can't learn by sight/hearing/smell/touch/taste because they have no senses, and they only can contain a certain amount of data.

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    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
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    Well, I suppose it can be considered to think if it can pass the Turing test (of course, I can think of several people who would fail it).

    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.
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    Just one more wrong move. -KEN-'s Avatar
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    You can probably make an AI program that mimicks the human brain fairly well and "learns", but no - computers can only do what they're told. No more, no less.

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    Someday, computers might have AI's good enough that they could really be considered to think, but for now I'd say I'd say you're taking the analogy too literally.

    <tangent philosophical="true">But a new question arises if computers have advanced to being capable of true intelligent thought and humanlike or better mobility: What will we the humans do? Most of our life is ultimately spent dealing with work and the problems that arise from it. If machines could do virtually all the tasks humans needed done, what would we occupy our time with? How/Would we need to educate ourselves? How would our society be structured?</tangent>

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    C++ Developer XSquared's Avatar
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    >>If machines could do virtually all the tasks humans needed done, what would we occupy our time with?

    Sex.
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    Amen.
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    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
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    You'd think that'd provide programmers with a lot of incenive to get that AI up to par.
    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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    Pursuing knowledge confuted's Avatar
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    You would think so... but how many programmers get it anyway? What if we're just creating the ultimate party tool for everyone else, and we're doomed to maintaining our creation?
    Away.

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    C++ Developer XSquared's Avatar
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    >> doomed to maintaining our creation?
    Wouldn't that involve extensive testing?
    Naturally I didn't feel inspired enough to read all the links for you, since I already slaved away for long hours under a blistering sun pressing the search button after typing four whole words! - Quzah

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    Registered User DDPhoenix's Avatar
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    Well, you might be able develop an AI that thinks "like a human being", but how aware are we of the way we think?

    Can you teach a computer to have a purpose:
    1. beyond self-preservation?
    2. and beyond definition/determination by a human entity?

    Much of our thoughts has nothing to do with improving our lives on a strictly biological level. Or. . . are they? If so, can computers/AI be taught to develop complex relationships with other entities, such as:
    1. the human's manipulative role over its environment
    2. the emotional connections between humans and others humans, their world, other organisms, etc.

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    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    Define 'think'.

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    Code Monkey Davros's Avatar
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    >computers can only do what they're told. No more, no less

    I would disagree. If you argue that computers cannot think because they are only following the rules of their programming, then you must conclude that humans cannot think because our brains are only following the rules dictated by physics.

    Some people argue that there is some quantum mechanical magic going inside the brain, and it is this which leads to consciousness. I think that's rubbish. Even if it where true, I don't see why some quantum mechanical hardware couldn't be integrated into a machine.

    As for the Turing Test, it is not considered so important in many circles. It is more a test of humaness, rather than intelligence. Would some hypothetical technologically advanced alien pass the Turing Test? Or would we conclude that it wasn't really thinking.

    There are some species of spider (Salticedae) which have excellent stereoscopic vision and display remarkable problem solving intelligence (including forward planning). If a robot could be built which displayed the same ability, many people would conclude it was intelligent. But would it be? It certainly wouldn't be human, that's for sure.

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    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
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    >> Define 'think'.

    Hmm... That is a rather big problem.

    >> Can you teach a computer to have a purpose:
    >> 1. beyond self-preservation?
    >> 2. and beyond definition/determination by a human entity?

    Does any person really know what their purpose is, aside from biological aspects, if there is one?
    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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    Code Monkey Davros's Avatar
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    >Define 'think'.

    Good one. I can't. Don't know if anyone can.
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