# Pocket Calculator

1. Nov 27, 2004

### Ian Rumsey

A pocket calculator is programmed but cannot think.
I could provide the same answers but I am not programmed.
How could one show the difference between these two situations?

2. Nov 27, 2004

### bjr_jyd15

thinking requires more than specific, pre-defined functions. pocket calculators have the answers because they already exist in there. you have the answers because you create them.

3. Nov 28, 2004

### NoTime

Available data disagrees with this proposition.
In particular, the ability to do math requires both a language that has number designations and that you learn mathematical operators.
You are born with neither and have to be taught (programed).

4. Nov 28, 2004

### The Idiot

Something programmed will do the same thing in the same way every time.

I, however, while providing the same answer, might go about it in different ways each time I am asked. One time, for example, I may actually go through the long division, while another time I may use a shortcut I remembered.

5. Nov 29, 2004

### NoTime

Computers can be programed to randomly select different methods

6. Nov 30, 2004

### matthyaouw

I'd shout formatC:
if you can then no longer answer basic math problems, then you were programmed.

7. Nov 30, 2004

### NoTime

So why do they have math 99 in college

8. Dec 2, 2004

### The Idiot

No they can't. They can be programmed to appear to randomly select different methods. They use a fixed set of mathematical equations to generate a "random" number. Often they'll use the time on the computer to make it appear more random, but they'll always use the same set of calculations to generate the "random" number that would be used to "randomly" select different methods.

9. Dec 2, 2004

### NoTime

Now the problem is to prove that your "random" selection is more random than the computers or even random at all.
Also there are hardware randomizers that are not subject to the limits of the calculations you refer to.

10. Dec 2, 2004

### Ian Rumsey

Gentlemen, you are avoiding the question.
How could you SHOW the difference between these two situations.
Just 3 simple questions will suffice.

11. Dec 2, 2004

### Up_Creek

The calculator needs a person to input the data.
The person does not need the calculator to solve the problem.

12. Dec 2, 2004

### NoTime

I'm not avoiding the question,

>I could provide the same answers but I am not programmed.
I simply think your second proposition above is false.

While you personally are most likely to be able to replicate the mathematical functions of a computer, this is not universally true.
Even your ability to count a simple sum appears to be tied to the language you learned, as recently obtained data shows.

13. Dec 8, 2004

### T@P

actually i think the difference is that if you ask a calulator to do 1+1 2 million times it wil do it until it runs out of batteries, while a person, (in the *most* polite contingency), will just leave you to do it yourself.

14. Dec 10, 2004

### RandallB

Will you always give the same answer to the same question?

15. Dec 10, 2004

### T@P

actually one simple question: multiply 1 by 1 until your batteries run out. if the *object* does it it is a calculator if not it is a person.

16. Dec 10, 2004

### RandallB

So if a person happens to die while working this question we'd declare them a pocket calculator and use a trash can? Got to be a better Question!

Ian - is anybody even getting a little close?

17. Dec 11, 2004

### Ian Rumsey

I don't think there is an absolute answer, but the best so far seems to be-

Say the pocket calculator had a ten digit display.
Question 1.
1234567890 times 1
Calculator 1234567890 - immediately.
Me 1234567890 - almost immediately.
Question 2.
1234567890 times 8
Calculator 9876543120 - immediately.
Me 9876543120 - after some time.
Question 3.
1234567890 times 9
Calculator ERROR
Me 11111111010 - after some time.

I feel this identifies human thinking time and limits of the program.

I am trying to identify intelligence levels of insects which are half programmed by innate knowledge, the remainder being the manipulation of local knowledge, by thinking, aquired after birth. I thought I might practice on a pocket calculator first.
Ian

18. Dec 11, 2004

### NoTime

There was some work on autonomous robots with this guy at MIT.
Unfortunately I can't remember the name right now.
I think there may be some useful parallels in this work along your line of interest.

Enjoy

19. Dec 11, 2004

### RandallB

So this is not a Brain Teaser with an answer?
but a real question to work on a problem?

You might have said so

Note on your best solution ???

Incorrectly probed the limits of the programing which faild for both devices. The calculator didn't have the programing to display an answer on ten digit display. (Many ways to do that)

Nor did the programing of the human (You) when the response required a ten digit answer yet you just pumped our an eleven digit response that didn't fit on the page.

I'm not sure what area to best ask this.

20. Dec 13, 2004

### T@P

personally if someone did multiply 1 by 1 until s/he died, i would consider him a trash can, but that really depends on your point of view i guess. seriously though, i think intelligence (at least partially) depends on the iritability of the subject and of him/her/it asking "why am i doing this?"