Posted by: depthcharge101 | February 24, 2009

Speaking Minds

Speaking Minds: Interviews with Twenty Eminent Cognitive Scientists is a book on the history on AI, with heavy AI critiques like Dreyfus and Searle (both incidentally philosophers) giving their opinions on how AI has failed and will continue to, and you also get to read view points from AI pioneers like Newel, etc.

The book is fairly interesting, it shows how computer science initially started out and all sorts of factions it used to have – behaviourism, symbolism, connectionist, etc.  I have always thought that computer science is the study of programming and the aim is to be able to code but in that sense there is nothing “science” about it. The actual story is that it did began as a computer “science”, learning the capability of computer, researching on the possibility of creating intelligence in machine, etc.

Although reading the book did infuriate me at some points, I find it silly to read the lectures given by the philosophers on the philosophy of the mind, and various other views or opinions given by social scientists, linguist on Artificial Intelligence. Do you seek the opinions of philosophers when you’re learning physics? I don’t believe the mind is some special entity that can not be explained or described in a scientific way. Dreyfus is probably a good example – he used to assert that no AI will be able to beat him in chess, ever. But he was proven wrong. And then he said no AI will be able to play chess at master level. And then he was proven wrong. Now there’s no dispute that the best chess AI program will be able to consistently outplay a human player in chess. Sure, you might argue it might not have “intelligence”, but the point is that the statements made by philosophers are usually based on intuition and also the lack of understanding on the actual field.

Nerdy book aside, Rozen Maiden Strings Album is scheduled to be released tomorrow (25th February). Hopefully it doesn’t take a whole month to appear on the Internet like the piano album. Hyped.


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