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DPRG: Re: Little Ricci 2

Subject: DPRG: Re: Little Ricci 2
From: David Beckham dbeckham at bectec.com
Date: Wed Jan 7 16:35:50 CST 1998

Kevin Ross wrote:
> Warning: Dangerous and slippery slope ahead!
> The very core problem with calling something intelligent is a lack of
> definition of what intelligence actually means. This is one of those
> philosophy problems that people have been arguing about for all time. In my
> experience, this argument turns normally rational people into blithering
> fools who will make outrageous claims that can't be proved or disproved.
> I had one college professor make an extremely convincing argument that
> overhead projector was intelligent based on the behaviour it demonstrated
> when dropped on the floor. In response to external stimuli, it managed to
> destroy itself according to the laws of physics that it learned during its
> construction. He was able to defend his argument with incredible logic, and
> nobody in the room (of 35 pretty good computer scientists) was able to
> create a proof that he was wrong.
> The key (and fallacy) to his argument is that the word intelligence has an
> abstract definition, not a measurable one. His claim that the object was
> intelligent could not be disputed in any rational or measurable way.
> Moral to the story:  Intelligence is a subjective quality.  There is no way
> to argue about a subjective quality since there is no basis for measurement.
> Rule of thumb:  My own personal habit is to replace the word Intelligent
> with the word Beautiful whenever I read it in a paper. This keeps my mind
> from trying to defend my own 'intelligence', and also allows me to
> understand the authors views while taking into account the subjective nature
> of the claim. I read 'The robot demonstrated intelligence as it interacted
> with the environment. ' with the factual equivalent 'The robot demonstrated
> beauty as it interacted with the environment.'
> Kevin

Ah, but while I (and no doubt many other Amateur Roboticists) would
agree, "Beauty" too, is in the eye of the beholder, and therefore more
subjective than factual. :-)
- -- 
	David Beckham
	Home of ARBE-ONE the "Model T" of Mobile Bases.
	Now offering TCOMP tiny computers by Ray Butts,
	(ARBE-ONE's inventor).


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