Sunday, May 10, 2009

96 Alan Turing

In the 30s of the twentieth century there was an unbelievable development in mathematics. Really breath taking. Not that I understand much of it, but I think I understand the philosophical undercurrent.

Why all that mathematics in those days? I have a hunge. From my highshcool period I remember the physics classes. They tried to make you understand all kinds of formulas regarding volumes, electric currents, waves, movements, chemical processes.

And always there was that mathemetics: law of Ohm, Ampere, resistance, pressure and whatever. A waste on me in those days, but now I see that in the beginning of the 19th century we discovered how well natue could be described and predicted my all kinds of mathematical calculations.

And maybe we must see alll that frantic mathematical research and theory development from that perspective. The world was mathematical study mathematics and physis can go on with its research!

Really, when you look at the amount of publications and at the brilliant minds that produced it all, you really wonder, what is happening here? And in particular, what is the philosophical importance of it all?

It is of great philosophical importance. My only problem is: how to tell you....^_^ .... in a way that we dont need to be an Einstein and yet understand what it is al about. I guess it will work, if I do it my way.

The German David Hilbert, one of those super brilliant minds, was working on the axiomatization of mathematical issues. Let's first investigate the meaning of axiomatization.

The axiomatic method is the method of studying a subject by beginning with a list of undefined terms and a list of axioms and then deriving the truths of the subject from those axioms by the methods of formal logic.

For example, I have the undefined terms, pino, pano and puno and I have the axioms (i) pino is pano and (ii) puno is infinite. Then I could logicaly deduce by using the axioms and the rules of logic, that pino is not infinite.

It wouldnt surprise me when all mathematicians now are rolling outloud laughing on the ground,, but I hope you get the main philosophical question here: it is beautiful that you can deduce all these statements from your axioms, but where did you get these axioms?

Here again we are at the heart of our epistemological quest. I could quote William James: "In my opinion are all laws of nature the product of our psychological need to feel comfortable with nature." So all concepts that transcend sensory experience are of my own making for that purpose.

Can you understand that when my axioms are the result of my interaction with nature and from my axioms I can deduce EVERY statement and proof its truth, that I have the perfect and absolute knowledge of nature and thence absolute control over it?

However, I get into serious trouble when it is possible that I can deduce two statements from my axions, which are both true individually but can not be true together at the same time: we have a contradiction in our system! So my axioms must be incomplete.

There must be something wrong with my axioms or in other words sensory experience doesnt lead to absolute knowledge. Somewhere in the process something goes wrong. That was what Gödel demonstrated and that was what made Hilbert cry (in a manner of speaking:-).

What next? Sensory experience isnt sufficient. Then where do all these terrific mathematical ideas come from? Gödel was convinced that the human mind was capable of "inventing" truths --- and axioms are regarded as unproven true statements --- which can not be proven by any formal or mechanical or sensory procedure.

If you are still with me, here you hear the echo of Popper's view that hypotheses are the product of human creativity and imagination for instance. If you add a metaphysical touch you could think of the slave of Meno and how he 'recalled' the truths. Gödel was a convinced platonist.

This all leads to a sensational conclusion. The only way to achieve a growth of knowledge depends on what creatively pops up in our mind to speak ..out of the blue or to speak with Plato depends on what we are able to recall.

The conclusion : artificial intelligence isnt possible, if it is understood as equivalent with our intelligence as humans. Keep in mind that within this intelligence you also have to think of our moral sense and ethics.

Then there is Alan Turing. He was one of the first to point at a weakness in Gödel's argumantation. It may be true that a machine which uses a formal language has its limitations.But it is without question assumed that the human mind is not subjected by such limitations.

But in the light of I have said I begin to wonder how interesting Turing is at the end. First of all we come in the moor of definitions of 'consciousness', 'mind', 'intelligence'.

And second, the only thing that Turing wanted to proof is, that when you have a conversation using only MSN and you do not discover that the answers and questions come from a machine, you must admit that the machine is equal to man in respect to intelligence and that a machine can think

We'll take a break and you all do the Turing test. Go to : and tak to Eliza. You have 5 minutes to discover that there is a lovely girl at the other keyboard.

Turing was a brilliant mathematician, but given the present level of the debate on the philosophy of mind, I think his Turing-test is a bit outdated,as well as its philosophical importance.

Turing worked for British intelligence. He was a code breaker in World War II. He died in 1954 and was found with an apple poisened with cyanide. They said it was suicide, but others say he was murdered because he knew too much.

There is a story that the logo of Apple Computers, an apple with one bite missing, is a secret hommage to Alan Turing. According to his biographer, Andrew Hodges, is this not the case. A pitty...such a nice story.

For your information, "ELIZA - A computer program for the study of natural language communication between man and machine"(1966), was an article written by Joseph Weizenbaum, who was a MIT professor.

The Discussion

[13:34] Herman Bergson: this concludes my lecture on Turing
[13:34] Aya Beaumont: And mathematically, he was part of the group of people who worked with developing the theory of imaginary numbers.
[13:34] Herman Bergson: Yes Aya..
[13:34] Alarice Beaumont eyes sparkle
[13:34] DPM Trenchcoat: J squared and all that
[13:34] Qwark Allen: i guess was a 3rd crash in a row
[13:34] Aya Beaumont: Ooooh yes. =)
[13:34] Andret Beck: (have u never tried eliza? .. I did .. it is possible to downolad it by the internet ... anyone knows some AI program to download free by the internet?)
[13:35] Herman Bergson: know a site where you can get the Javascript version
[13:35] Siggi Piek: go to Pandorabots
[13:35] Aya Beaumont: I think the main point of the Turing test today is to say that YES, an artificial intelligence IS possible.
[13:36] Aya Beaumont: But perhaps we have to judge that by what output it gives us.
[13:36] Herman Bergson: So far only in a limited way
[13:36] FelixAlbatross Nostram: It is not possible to develop a "real" turing test.
[13:36] Andret Beck: (thx! .. ;))
[13:36] FelixAlbatross Nostram: too subjective
[13:36] KirShan Andel: , so, is the argument that AI is just a matter of language? or by our perception of the output?
[13:36] Qwark Allen: gemma crashed 3 times, trying to tp here
[13:36] Alarice Beaumont: oh geeze...
[13:36] Herman Bergson: This is a point KirShan
[13:37] Alarice Beaumont: sl that bad today?!
[13:37] Qwark Allen: i know
[13:37] Herman Bergson: AI can be judged by its actions, just like a human being too
[13:37] Aya Beaumont: The argument is that it IS possible.
[13:37] Samuel Okelly: the suggestion that a growth of knowledge depends on what creatively pops in to our mind out of the blue requires a huge leap of faith don't you think herman?
[13:37] FelixAlbatross Nostram: we won't really know, untill we fall in love with a robot.
[13:37] Herman Bergson: Oh yes Samuel....across a huge gap even
[13:38] KirShan Andel: fallin in love is a subjective emotion; on the other hand, AI proposes to be independednt of its maker
[13:38] Aya Beaumont: See Spielberg's and Kubrick's "AI". Good movie, that.
[13:38] Herman Bergson: that is where Kuhn and Feyerabend come in
[13:38] Andret Beck: (I know in SL a NY society made a AI Bot who interacted with people.. i don't remember the name)
[13:38] Rough Jewell: AI is still being created by humans putting in rules, on human built machines... so in a way we can say it's man trying to recreate him or herself... but failing to give feelings like sense of humour which make us all what we are
[13:38] KirShan Andel: this begets an important distinction and thus a question:
[13:38] Rough Jewell: yet I know many people who are less interesting than Eliza !
[13:38] FelixAlbatross Nostram: But a truely AI being could "trick" you into it.
[13:38] KirShan Andel: distinction is emotions vs logic
[13:38] FelixAlbatross Nostram: Using language.
[13:38] KirShan Andel: question is - what are emotions?
[13:38] Mickorod Renard: if you look at the natural world, many major changes have been down to a mutation,,,not just plain evolution
[13:38] Herman Bergson: Yes
[13:38] Andret Beck: eheheh ...
[13:38] KirShan Andel: can they be encoded?
[13:38] Andret Beck: what r emotions? who knows?
[13:39] Andret Beck: chimical process?
[13:39] Aya Beaumont: Emotions are states of the processor. They can certainly be encoded.
[13:39] KirShan Andel: that is too determinist
[13:39] DPM Trenchcoat: more than that
[13:39] Mickorod Renard: I see a likeness to the arguement that it takes more than just passin around the same information to create something new
[13:39] FelixAlbatross Nostram: then it is all academic. If a machine cannot induce emotions as well as thought, intelligence and self awareness, then it is not truely AI.
[13:39] KirShan Andel: are emotions something that are inscribed onto our being, it having a tabula rasa nature?
[13:39] KirShan Andel: or a collective unconscious?
[13:39] Aya Beaumont: What emotions do is they affect the probability of various actions taken.
[13:40] DPM Trenchcoat: true
[13:40] KirShan Andel: but here we are not inquiring into the nature of actions
[13:40] Rough Jewell: emotions can be mimicked by a robot... remember also the movie Bicentennial Man.. when they were giving personalities to robots
[13:40] DPM Trenchcoat: thst was a film!
[13:40] Ninjah Valeeva: ha ha ha
[13:40] Aya Beaumont: Somewhere along the line... they aren't robots anymore.
[13:41] Aya Beaumont: I believe there have been a few things said on that matter.
[13:41] Andret Beck:
[13:41] Mickorod Renard: but if we think of creation and creativity then it is nature
[13:41] Herman Bergson: Well.....nice debate , but let's get back to the point
[13:41] Rough Jewell: yes... DOM.. it was a movie... but really it is coding a different set of vocabulary into a bot, uploading millions of jokes and funny quoes, and before you know it.. a bot is a comedian !
[13:41] Herman Bergson: OK?
[13:41] KirShan Andel: let's take identity; it is a collective of our memories and personality; the personality is something that is grown into us, and yet, children even babies display distinct personalities, not just needs
[13:41] Herman Bergson: OK....
[13:41] Ninjah Valeeva: My vacuum cleaner has no emotion but i feel some compassion for him, lol
[13:42] KirShan Andel: that is subjective
[13:42] Herman Bergson: the philosophical issue here is an epistemological one
[13:42] Herman Bergson: plz...!
[13:42] Aya Beaumont: Yes.
[13:42] KirShan Andel: i'm trying to figure out something higher; SL can be understood as the aphex of plato's idea of the cave
[13:42] DPM Trenchcoat: must go, thanks
[13:43] Topaz Arai: yeah i need to go too
[13:43] KirShan Andel: where the body is no longer there, imprisoning ideas - knwoledge
[13:43] Herman Bergson: As Samuel said is a leap of faith to put all your cards on creativity and imagination of the mind
[13:43] Rodney Handrick: bye topaz
[13:43] KirShan Andel: but - SL or VR in general is pure ideas, pure knowledge
[13:43] Herman Bergson: Could you plz end your personal debate
[13:43] KirShan Andel: but can't, using aristotelian logic, we understand creativity as a process that can too be put in lines
[13:43] KirShan Andel: ?
[13:44] Mickorod Renard: humans can have a sort of mutation of thought,,,can a computer?
[13:44] KirShan Andel: why not?
[13:44] Mickorod Renard: soz
[13:44] FelixAlbatross Nostram: Self modifying programs are already a reality.
[13:44] Herman Bergson: Can I have your attention plz
[13:44] Rodney Handrick: a computer is a logical device
[13:44] KirShan Andel: Yes, Herman
[13:44] Rodney Handrick: everything is either black or white
[13:45] Herman Bergson: This is not ...for those who are unfamiliar with the procedings in this class, a free dabating group
[13:45] Aya Beaumont: herman, what is the epistemological issue here?
[13:45] Herman Bergson: As Samuel said is a leap of faith to put all your cards on creativity and imagination of the mind
[13:46] Herman Bergson: The mathematicians devised axiomatic systems, which even showed to be incomplete
[13:46] Herman Bergson: and it still leaves us with the fundamental question. where do our axioms come from?
[13:47] Ninjah Valeeva: Intuition
[13:47] KirShan Andel: but maths is authorative knowledge, shoving aside other forms of logic; other forms of logic do point out an answer, or at least, suggest it
[13:47] Herman Bergson: Yes Ninjah...there has been a school named intuitionism in mathematics
[13:47] Herman Bergson: but intuition is just an other word for questionmark to me
[13:48] Aya Beaumont: If I may...?
[13:48] Herman Bergson: sure
[13:48] Aya Beaumont: The axioms... everyone assumes they are so strange and big things.
[13:48] Ninjah Valeeva: axioms are limited for a system
[13:48] Aya Beaumont: They are actually very simple rules that we all know, and can probably accept.
[13:49] Aya Beaumont: For example. a*1=a.
[13:49] Herman Bergson: YEs Aya, you said that before....
[13:49] Aya Beaumont: Anyone feel like challenging that one?
[13:49] Aya Beaumont: I did.
[13:49] Herman Bergson: but it is easily said, everyone probably accepts them
[13:49] Aya Beaumont: Note that disproving that one would require a situation where a*1 is not a.
[13:49] Herman Bergson: but what tells us that?
[13:50] Aya Beaumont: My point is... the axioms are very much also definitions.
[13:50] Aya Beaumont: 1,0, +, *
[13:50] Herman Bergson: I mean....we also have to go on and device our moral rules, based on what.....?
[13:50] Herman Bergson: axioms most people probably accept?
[13:50] Ninjah Valeeva: Not only
[13:50] Aya Beaumont: Morals aren't that simple, and never have been.
[13:51] Herman Bergson: No, but we have to live with them, justify our actions
[13:51] Aya Beaumont: Morals aren't like mathematics.
[13:51] Aya Beaumont: Mathematics is a formal system. Morals is not.
[13:51] Mickorod Renard: morals are what lead to the greatest degree of order
[13:51] Herman Bergson: I dont think that is the question
[13:51] KirShan Andel: morality is a superstucture to society; in postmodernism and post structuralism, moralities are very debatable
[13:52] KirShan Andel: order? isn't that another word for power?
[13:52] Ninjah Valeeva: But if you think about "les droits de l'homme ?"
[13:52] Alarice Beaumont: morals are rules made by humans
[13:52] Aya Beaumont: Mickorod: nuking the earth, killing everything living on the planet would be desirable?
[13:52] Ninjah Valeeva: Human rights
[13:52] KirShan Andel: but rights are a language too
[13:52] Aya Beaumont: Because THAT is the maximum possible order.
[13:52] Herman Bergson: Yes Ninjah....we have tried to come to some agreement oon that indeed
[13:53] Mickorod Renard: greatest degree of order for the most amount of people living together]
[13:53] Herman Bergson: But I want to see it in a deifferent light...
[13:53] Aya Beaumont: Okay, Make sure everyone is sleeping, or paralyzed?
[13:53] KirShan Andel: colonial africa was not ordered
[13:53] KirShan Andel: somalia is not ordered
[13:53] Aya Beaumont: Still more order than any sort of society.
[13:53] KirShan Andel: but somali agree on disorder
[13:53] Rough Jewell: morals are also subjective
[13:54] KirShan Andel: point taken Rough
[13:54] Samuel Okelly: confusion results when axioms are assumed (and actually not agreed)
[13:54] Herman Bergson: That, Rough, is a problematic statement
[13:54] Herman Bergson: Yes Samuel
[13:54] AristotleVon Doobie: Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting over what is for lunch.
[13:54] KirShan Andel: but quite relevant
[13:54] Herman Bergson: nice one Aristotle
[13:54] AristotleVon Doobie: Ben Franklin
[13:55] Rough Jewell: my morals and your morals are different according to our own past experiences in life. It's not immoral for the wolf to eat a lamb
[13:55] AristotleVon Doobie: if you are animals or primoridal
[13:55] Mickorod Renard: u dont need to have democracy if u keep to the morals
[13:55] AristotleVon Doobie: the application of morals in any tribe is democratic
[13:55] KirShan Andel: not that, aristotle, rough is talkingn about culture as well
[13:55] Herman Bergson: That would be true if we know what morals are Mickorod
[13:56] KirShan Andel: morality and culture go hand in hand
[13:56] Aya Beaumont: You won't have morals in government if you have no insight into the workings of said government.
[13:56] KirShan Andel: animals have a niche
[13:56] Rough Jewell: thanks kirshan.... you understood me
[13:56] Herman Bergson: Ok.....well enough...
[13:56] KirShan Andel: yvw
[13:56] Herman Bergson: let's get back to our epistemological basics here
[13:56] Mickorod Renard: most know wht are morals but dont think they are humble enough to accept them
[13:57] KirShan Andel: we're liiving in an age where 'morality' itself is subject to even ontological debate
[13:57] Herman Bergson: What we have seen sofar is that in epistemology the debate still hasnt been conclusive..
[13:57] KirShan Andel: for postgender is a reality more than ever
[13:57] AristotleVon Doobie: no one shoud be humble
[13:57] Qwark Allen: got to go to work
[13:57] Qwark Allen: cya later
[13:57] Qwark Allen: ty herman
[13:58] Christiana Zenovka: whats postgener?
[13:58] Christiana Zenovka: gender?
[13:58] KirShan Andel: postgender, sorry
[13:58] Herman Bergson: in the 30s because of the tremendous development of formalism people thought the solution would come from that side
[13:58] Samuel Okelly: i need to leavce early too, thanks again herman :) tc every1 :)
[13:58] Alarice Beaumont: bye Samuel... by Qwark
[13:58] Mickorod Renard: bye sam
[13:58] Rough Jewell: bye sam and quark
[13:59] Mickorod Renard: quark
[13:59] Herman Bergson: and we may conclude that mathematics didnt answer our fundamental questions either
[13:59] KirShan Andel: taking into account cybernetics, one can't use the same framework as post-war philosophers
[13:59] KirShan Andel: Existentialism had a point though
[14:00] KirShan Andel: in that responsibility is axiom for human beings to interact, and this is something that later philosophers like foucault debated a lot
[14:01] Mickorod Renard: yea,,but some think responsibility end with onesself
[14:01] Herman Bergson: Regarding the fact that people have to leave, I thank you for your participation
[14:01] Herman Bergson: Class dismissed...^_^

Posted by herman_bergson on 2008-10-18 11:44:21

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