Not Artificial

  • Thread starter Mentat
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Is the intelligence, of a man-made computer, artificial?

  • No, I agree with Mentat

    Votes: 4 26.7%
  • No, but for different reasons than Mentat's

    Votes: 6 40.0%
  • Yes, because...

    Votes: 5 33.3%

  • Total voters
    15
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Re: Re: Not Artificial

Originally posted by Psychodelirium
Rest assured that fake intelligence is not what McCarthy had in mind when he coined "artificial intelligence", nor is it what any researchers in the field have in mind now (at least not in any skeptical or derogatory sense). Now there is a very uncontentious sense of "artificial" under which it just means "created by an artificer", and AI is clearly that. But part of the implication of the term is that AI models don't need to have psychological realism to be AI models. We use them to study animal cognition, and animal cognition only seems intelligent when all of its relatively stupid and unintelligent parts start working in unison. So it's not surprising that there are AI programs that have no psychological realism at all, or seem utterly stupid, but still count as AI. They count as AI because they help us learn something of how our own minds work.

Perhaps once we have full-blown general intelligence of a human level, calling it AI may suddenly seem inappropriate because of this implication. But since we are nowhere near such models as of yet, it's artificial intelligence, and not artificial intelligence.
And yet we don't consider a child's intelligence to be "artificial" in this sense, do we? I think this is a flaw in human reasoning: We made it, so it must be less real. And yet, we make humans all of the time, and those humans are not nearly as intelligent as we are (yet), but of course they aren't "artificial" because they're organic.
 
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Originally posted by screwball
yes artificial
as in not natural
as in not occuring in nature

But if we were to create a fully self aware AI i dont think it should be treated differnetly than any other individual.
Are humans "unnatural"? The fact that we make it, instead of random occurance (or God, however you want to think of it), makes it less natural?
 
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Originally posted by MajinVegeta
It would first be wise to define what geniune intelligence is. So then we could answer this question according to the definition we come up with.
I did:

First Post of This Thread:
Merriam-Webster definition of "intelligence"
Main Entry: in·tel·li·gence
Pronunciation: in-'te-l&-j&n(t)s
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin intelligentia, from intelligent-, intelligens intelligent
Date: 14th century
1 a (1) : the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations : REASON; also : the skilled use of reason (2) : the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (as tests)...

5 : the ability to perform computer functions
 
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Originally posted by heusdens
Anything that is man-made, wether this is a car or a computer, is artificial.
Perhaps, but anything that is man-made is ALSO natural. The opposite of natural is not artificial, but supernatural.

It seems to be nothing more than human arrogance to regard a house as 'artificial' and a beehive as 'natural'.

Everything is natural (unless you believe in a supernatural God, in which case whatever God did 'against the laws of nature' would be supernatural) - humans are natural creatures, and human intelligence is natural intelligence - so why are the products of these natural ingredients 'unnatural'?

Seems to be a bias to exclude humans from 'nature', to elevate humans above the rest of the universe. Surprisingly this line of thinking is common in environmentalists who claim that humans are 'arrogant' in tinkering with 'nature' - perhaps it is the environmentalists who are arrogant in seeing themselves as distinct from the 'natural world'?
 

Siv

Gold Member
84
5
Re: Re: Re: Not Artificial

Originally posted by Mentat
And yet we don't consider a child's intelligence to be "artificial" in this sense, do we? I think this is a flaw in human reasoning: We made it, so it must be less real. And yet, we make humans all of the time, and those humans are not nearly as intelligent as we are (yet), but of course they aren't "artificial" because they're organic.
We dont make humans ... as in, we dont code their DNA.
But we do make computers - hardware and software. There's a difference.

As PsychoD explained, in the term AI, the emphasis is not on the quality of intelligence, but who codes/designs it. If it has been done through natural selection and random mutations ... then its "natural" and if it has been coded/designed by the brain of an entity who has been coded/designed by natural selection, then it is artificial.
The term has no other significance beyond that.

- S.
 
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Not Artificial

Originally posted by Siv
We dont make humans ... as in, we dont code their DNA.
But we do make computers - hardware and software. There's a difference.

As PsychoD explained, in the term AI, the emphasis is not on the quality of intelligence, but who codes/designs it. If it has been done through natural selection and random mutations ... then its "natural" and if it has been coded/designed by the brain of an entity who has been coded/designed by natural selection, then it is artificial.
The term has no other significance beyond that.

- S.
Then why do so many people use "Artificial" in the derogatory form? They think that the fact that it is "artificial" (man-made) is evidence of it's not being genuine.

Besides, we don't make the pieces of metal, or the electric currents, that we make use of in computers. The material is there, and what programs it shouldn't be a determining factor of whether it is genuine or not. Besides, Neandertal Man (for example) doesn't exist anymore because of Natural Selection, right? If this is so, then why do some assume that it had something to do with more intelligent humans? It's because Natural Selection can make use of intelligence, and has in the past. So, one shouldn't call something that is not a random occurance "unnatural", when it was caused by a force of Natural Selection (humans).

Also, not all forces of Natural Selection (even excluding humans) are random (e.g. Sexual Selection).
 

selfAdjoint

Staff Emeritus
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I voted yes, artificial, but I distinguish two situations.

1) Some human artifact, say the web, becomes conscious without humans intending it. Then I could see the case for calling that intelligence natural. The hardware was constructed but not (specifically0 the intelligence.

2) Humans build some artifact that is intended to be conscious, and it works. Then the intelligence is just as much an artifact as a vacuum cleaner.

I believe the first - very primitive - forerunner of case (1) occured at Christmas time in 1963 or '64. The telephone network became saturated with calls, and it was later found that the switching network had devised and used a completely unexpected path from the east cost to the west using remote small-cap phone nets in Montana and such to bypass the congestion of the main circuits. The techs were flabbergasted. A mighty titan had stirred in its sleep.
 

FZ+

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This raised a point. Is mankind artificial, as we made our children through our actions? (eg. copulation, pregnancy etc etc)
 

RuroumiKenshin

Artificial is usually used to describe non-biological things that don't occur in nature, naturally.
 
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Yes, and people are continuing to refer to that definition of "artificial". Let me make it clear (again) that I absolutely agree that anything man-made is artificial, in that sense. Let me also clear up (again) that the definition of "artificial" that I don't think applies to man-made computer intelligence, is "not-genuine".
 
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Humans are not the end-all be all of creation.

Therefore just as humans were created by nature... what humans create are a part of nature as well.

My definition here is that there is no such thing as "artifical". The universe has created all that is... including humans. Humans merely continue the process.

If "man-made" described artifical... then Mentat... and everyone else... is artifical.

Computers are tools of humans, so far... "artifacts"... per sey. At some point they may become independant of humans... but for now they are artifacts of the human species.

Philosophically,logically and in the large picture of things "artifical" does not exist.
 
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I have abit different view on artificial. Maybe non-conventional understanding though.

Artificial is any system that is forced into existence by means that increase thermodynamic entropy.
Natural is any system that "condensates" into existence by means that decrease thermodynamic entropy.

In a closed system, balance of the two is maintained, thus entropy of a closed system doesn't change much.

Don't want to go in too deep, but basic idea is that to reshape a given stable system, external force must first act destructively to the internal balance of a system. This act is also destructive to external system, the result is increase of entropy.
When system is left alone, inside it localised condensates of stable subsystems emerge purely due to limited freedom imposed by laws compared to infinite freedom implied by randomness. Thus, entropy gets reduced spontaneously, creating stable systems. Think ice formation for eg. When entropy of a system is too high, formation is not possible, as it would be destructed immediately. Think about phase shifts, they are related to change in entropy.

So, to me it appears that definition of artificial depends on frame you consider as a system. Every time lighting strikes into mud, it artificially reshapes it. But earths ecosystem as a whole, its natural process.

Manmade computer is extremely destructive process at all levels around that box itself thats finally the product. So there is nothing genuine about it. Even software creation is as destructive.

Despite that, when software runs iteratively, and produces shapes or systems that are result of software rules rather than direct forcement, those shapes are genuine, natural. If they can become complex enough to "think", then so be it, natural intellect.

Unfortunately, current computers work by principle that makes this naturalness impossible. Computers are extremely destructive machines - every single bit of information is forced to a new state by destroying stable state of millions of electrons. There is absolutely no naturalness inside computers, except maybe that abstract program flow. This destructiveness is btw the main reason why computers consume increasingly more power and produce increasingly more heat.
And overwhelmingly most of the time computer is exactly as dumb as its programmer is.

From this reasoning its very difficult to say whether human baby is artificial body or not, but its intellect most probably is natural.
 
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Originally posted by wimms
I have abit different view on artificial. Maybe non-conventional understanding though.

Artificial is any system that is forced into existence by means that increase thermodynamic entropy.
Natural is any system that "condensates" into existence by means that decrease thermodynamic entropy.


The Second Law of Thermodynamics postulates that the entropy of a closed system must increase or remain constant. This would thus be the "natural" way, would it not?
 
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Natural is here in meaning of non-artificial, genuine, nonforced.

Not to open can of worms, but I'm kind of guy who disrespects 2nd law of entropy anywhere else but in closed-system cyclic heat engine, applicable to specifically heat only...

If you mean on wide scale, then imo "natural" is that entropy remains same. In reality, it somewhere decreases, with corresponding increase elsewhere, and it is assumed that in general, it increases. I'm slightly surprised why ambient temperature is going down then. But its such a perverted term that its hard to make sense of it.

But with several semiclosed systems interacting, from perspective of a system, increase of entropy is not natural, its destructive. Of course, afterall, death is very natural phenomena..
 
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Originally posted by wimms
Natural is here in meaning of non-artificial, genuine, nonforced.

Not to open can of worms, but I'm kind of guy who disrespects 2nd law of entropy anywhere else but in closed-system cyclic heat engine, applicable to specifically heat only...

If you mean on wide scale, then imo "natural" is that entropy remains same. In reality, it somewhere decreases, with corresponding increase elsewhere, and it is assumed that in general, it increases. I'm slightly surprised why ambient temperature is going down then. But its such a perverted term that its hard to make sense of it.

But with several semiclosed systems interacting, from perspective of a system, increase of entropy is not natural, its destructive. Of course, afterall, death is very natural phenomena..
Exactly. It's destructive nature is precisely what makes is natural.
 
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Originally posted by Mentat
Yes, in the sense of "artificial"'s meaning "man-made". However, the definition that I argue against, is that of not being genuine, or being "fake".
The argument then is not about the word "artificial" but about the word "inteligent". Can something articial be inteliigent?

I would assume it can.
 

RuroumiKenshin

I agree. Something artificial can be intelligent. Computers in particular (there are other artificial things besides computers) can be intelligent, in the sense that they posses knowledge. They could attain knowledge, but not on their own. Is this genuine intelligence? What makes intelligence geniune?

Mentat, I'm starting to get the point. I apologize for not paying enough attention to the main point.
 
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In view of the definition of "artificial" provided in the beginning of this thread, computers would most certainly be artificial, but that is not to say that they will not be capable of intelligence. In my opinion, saying that a computer will always be inferior to human beings in its ability to think is an insult to our own aspirations and abilities.

I recently had to write a paper for my high school critical thinking class about AI. If anyone is interested:


http://www25.brinkster.com/aleksey/paper.htm
 
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Originally posted by Mentat
Exactly. It's destructive nature is precisely what makes is natural.
What you mean, that there is no such thing as 'artificial', that everything is natural? That would destroy distinction between concepts of genuine and artificial. I'd still find them useful.

To go slightly further, consider degeneration of an intellect. Its natural by means of destructive environment. Consider knowledge obtained by experience - its genuine, selfmade, natural, opposed to destructive natural environament. Consider learned knowledge - its artificial, enforced from outside. Consider new induction made based upon that artificial knowledge, its genuine again. Consider you tell that knew knowledge to me, its artificial to me. And so on, these concepts are in constant relation and exchange.
 

RuroumiKenshin

What you mean, that there is no such thing as 'artificial', that everything is natural? That would destroy distinction between concepts of genuine and artificial. I'd still find them useful.
Well, think about it. Everything that we make is created with essentially natural things. I could make a catapult and call it artificial, but technically, since I built it with wood, it is natural.
A computer is made up of microchips, which are made of silicon, which is made of (if I remember correctly) highly compressed sand. Sand is natural, therefore, it is tenable to say that silicon is natural since its basic existence was based on 'nautral' products. Natural in this sense could be subjective, do you think?
 
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Originally posted by heusdens
The argument then is not about the word "artificial" but about the word "inteligent". Can something articial be inteliigent?

I would assume it can.
No, the argument is about thinking of artificial intelligence as somehow less genuine than animal intelligence.
 
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Originally posted by MajinVegeta
I agree. Something artificial can be intelligent. Computers in particular (there are other artificial things besides computers) can be intelligent, in the sense that they posses knowledge. They could attain knowledge, but not on their own. Is this genuine intelligence? What makes intelligence geniune?

Mentat, I'm starting to get the point. I apologize for not paying enough attention to the main point.
Don't be, most people didn't get the point, at least not on their first post. I probably just wasn't clear enough with the question.

Anyway, your last two questions really strike the crux of the matter, and so I hope that they will get answers.
 
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Originally posted by wimms
What you mean, that there is no such thing as 'artificial', that everything is natural? That would destroy distinction between concepts of genuine and artificial. I'd still find them useful.
Yes, everything is natural, because everthing exists within "Nature".

To go slightly further, consider degeneration of an intellect. Its natural by means of destructive environment. Consider knowledge obtained by experience - its genuine, selfmade, natural, opposed to destructive natural environament. Consider learned knowledge - its artificial, enforced from outside. Consider new induction made based upon that artificial knowledge, its genuine again. Consider you tell that knew knowledge to me, its artificial to me. And so on, these concepts are in constant relation and exchange.
You are misusing the word "artificial" here. Perhaps you should look it up in a dictionary. No offense implied, I just think you should reconcile your reasoning with the actual meaning(s) of the word "artificial".
 
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Originally posted by Mentat
Yes, everything is natural, because everthing exists within "Nature".
It is of course true that "artificial" is an artificial concept itself, nature does not have the concept of "artificial", but humans do. Yet, to humans, it is a meaningfull concept, and distringuishes between things that exist within nature (including man itself) that did not in any way depend on the existence of humans, for modifications to the natural reality.
Houses do not come into existence because of Nature alone, but because humans build them, despite the fact that all materials and even the energy used when building a house, arrive from nature.
 

RuroumiKenshin

Yes, but how about artificial intelligence?

What heusdens said is key to answering the above question. Artificial intelligence is the result of human innovation. Like computers have a certain extent of artificial intelligence. They have artificial intelligence because they were built by humans.

What is artificial intelligence?

artificial intelligence classifies something that was created by humans, and posesses intelligence.

can intelligence really be artificial?

uhh....your turn!
 

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