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Can Computers be "intelliegnt?" Can a computer "think?"
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Posted 2004-03-29, 10:41 PM
"She is intelligent." You can interpret that sentence in many different ways. Some people would interpret this as "she thinks fast," while others will take this is "she knows a lot." Personally, I find both of these definitions somewhat lacking. Someone can know a whole lot but be incapable of putting things together in an innovative fashion; others could think fast, yet be extremely stupid. A more satisfactory way to define it is "someone who can adapt their actions to a particular situation." Of course this is overly generalized, and therefore might not prove satisfactory to some people.

There are many important aspects when it comes to human intelligence, which I believe most people could agree on, such as: the ability to use intuition, common sense, creativity, judgement, logical reasoning, and a strong base of knowledge. While human intelligence is powerful, it has it's limits. For instance, humans have a limited knowledge base. Another example is that humans process information of a serial nature much slower than the computers we have today. Human intelligence is not infallible.

Two ways that people demonstrate their intelligence is by communication, and by demonstration of previous knowledge.

In order to communicate effectively, one must be able to synthesize a message in such a way as to express one's meaning to his intended audience. Doing this usually require some judgement calls by the person sending the message, such as predicting the level of sophistication of a recepient. Likewise, understanding a message also requires intelligence. A listener must know most of the words a speaker is using, and he must have some basis of knowledge about the content that a speaker is talking about. Additionally, the listner must then pull everything that the speaker has been talking about together, and put it in context.

Next we must define learning. For the purpose of what we are talking about, we will define it as the ability to adapt one's behavior to new situations. The ability to learn is generally considered a vital component of intelligence.

Now that we have broadly defined intelligence, we can go on to our next question: Can a computer be intelligent?

Philosiphical and ethical questions also arise. People often feel threatend by the possibility that a machine can think. This has been heavily debated for a long time.

Obviously, a computer on it's own would be incapable of thinking. A program must run to tell the computer what to do. So how do we diffrentiate between an "intelligent " program from a "non-intelligent" program? If you were to stay with a strict, dictionary definition of intelligence, then you could conceivably argue that all programs are intelligent, since computers are exceptionally well suited for apprehending facts, propositions, and relations. However, is it possible for a program to reason with these facts? If you define manipulating data as reasoning, then yes, most all programs are intelligent. But obviously not all programs can be intelligent. Here's an example: A database program does not think the same way a person thinks. However, when a file clerk does the same task it does require intelligence. Hence, a paradox arises.

Here's another example. If you could get your dog to fetch your newspaper, you might call it intelligent. But I doubt it would be too difficult to construct a robot programmed to handle the same task. However, most people will say the robot isn't smart because it is simply doing a task, not thinking about it. Also, many people will say that this isn't an intelligent program because they can understand what the robot is doing.

There is also the question of free will. Thought has always been connected with the concept of free will. Only an entity with the will to think can think. The question "Can a computer choose to do something" is hotly debated. For example, in a game of chess, a computer evaluates many possible combinations of moves, and picks the best one. Did it not just choose the move? But it was programmed to do so, so did it really have a choice?

There are compelling arguments on both sides. What do you think about it? Sorry if I have presented this information in a lacklustered manner. It is late and I am sleepy. I will edit this thread tomorrow.

Last edited by Demosthenes; 2004-03-29 at 10:52 PM.
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Posted 2004-03-29, 11:32 PM in reply to Demosthenes's post "Can Computers be "intelliegnt?" Can a..."
errrr not really making sence to me... ya computer is intelligent, no computer doesn't think it only calculate or do what directly told to do so.

I find my calculator intelligent because without it, I going to fail college.

Last edited by Ganga; 2004-03-29 at 11:34 PM.
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Posted 2004-03-30, 04:41 AM in reply to Ganga's post starting "errrr not really making sence to me......"
Computers can't "think" outside the limits of their own programming.

A computer isn't going to wonder where the universe came from.
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Posted 2004-03-30, 05:35 AM in reply to Grav's post starting "Computers can't "think" outside the..."
Grаν¡tоnЅurgе said:
Computers can't "think" outside the limits of their own programming.

A computer isn't going to wonder where the universe came from.
10 PRINT "WHERE DID THE UNIVERSE COME FROM?"
20 GOTO 10

----------

But yeah, I think iintelligence is being able to look at a problem and not just see the answer and the steps it took to get there, but also see WHY it works that way. A chess computer is actually pretty stupid - it still calculates the result of, say, sacrificing your queen to get a pawn all the way to the end of the "game" it's currently calculating, whereas a person would look at it and say "WHY would I do something like that?".
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Posted 2004-03-30, 11:23 AM in reply to BlueCube's post starting "10 PRINT "WHERE DID THE UNIVERSE COME..."
Same as the "Can a machine think?" question we had when I took Epistemology during my last semester.

My thoughts on this matter is, No. A computer cannot think. And... Computers are digital computers, which is capable of Storing, Executing, and Controlling. Storing is simply the storing of data, Executing is the carrying out of the commands, and Controlling has things to do with the "If, Else," "Goto" statements.

Also, my understanding of intelligence is... well, or I should have said, a person who is potentially intelligent means one who is capable of thinking. Therefore, if someone cannot think, we can deduce that the person is not intelligent.

Like... someone who said, "Not until a machine can write a sonnet or compose a concerto from thoughts and emotions," could we say that machine is capable of thinking.


11:49 Skurai said:
I don't have to study for math, I'm technically a genius, just don't care to show.
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Posted 2004-03-30, 11:29 AM in reply to Senesia's post starting "Same as the "Can a machine think?"..."
Im not sure dude If D2BS is all that insolence says it is. Computers may be pretty close to thinking for themselves.. j/k
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Posted 2004-03-30, 11:53 AM in reply to kockblocker1's post starting "Im not sure dude If D2BS is all that..."
Computer can think. It's just that they can't think beyond their limits.

If a man built a computer to think exactly like a man, to program it with everything a man would say, think, do, than it will think only in the big programmed circle. Computers aren't stupid. It's just people made them to take orders from people. But if a computer was made to automatically do things on its own based on the peoples actions around it, then it can (according to the Terminator series) kick your ass and say "Asta la vista, baby." I don't know what I'm talking about I'm just thinking and typing what I think maybe its the high talking but the moral of the story is:

DON'T FEED YOUR COMPUTER AFTER MIDNIGHT! AND DON'T POUR WATER ON IT OR IT WILL MULTIPLY!
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Posted 2004-03-30, 12:02 PM in reply to kaos's post starting "Computer can think. It's just that they..."
"can't think beyond their limits."

"Computers can't "think" outside the limits of their own programming."


11:49 Skurai said:
I don't have to study for math, I'm technically a genius, just don't care to show.
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Posted 2004-03-30, 12:10 PM in reply to Demosthenes's post "Can Computers be "intelliegnt?" Can a..."
At the risk of reiterating others thoughts, yes, computers are intelligent, but no, they can't think for themselves. No thought process is carried out by a computer, but rather it performs how it is programmed to perform. If you program a computer to say that (4*0=9) and it spits out, "Bullshit", then you could argue that it can think.

A computer only knows to the extent of its programmer. It doesn't go through a process of thinking to get a final answer. It just goes through the steps of the program and spits out pre-programmed results from formulas given, set responses, etc. It doesn't have human qualities beyond that.
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Posted 2004-03-30, 12:25 PM in reply to Titusfied's post starting "At the risk of reiterating others..."
Some people argue this by:

Let's think of a really stupid person that you know. He does thing according to what was told to him. And he only knows to the extent of what is being taught to him, and will not go beyond that.

Can we say that the person can't think? Or should we say he can, because he is a human and have a working brain?


Or let's say you have a friend, and he talks and behaves normally just like everyone else you know. You have discuss matters with him, and you consider him to be an intelligent person. One day, this friend of yours got hit by a car and his head cracked open. You found in his head not water and blood and brain, but tangling wires and other electrical devices.

Would you now say the person (computer) cannot think? Or is it that we have never seen a computer that can think, but in fact computers have the potential to think, even though it still follows the same concept of how all digital computers work (does not go beyond what's programmed)?

What if computers are fully capable of self-learning? (the only problem is the computers have limited storage, but if assuming that they have unlimited storage, and have a always expanding database?)

I always hated the Mind-Body question...


11:49 Skurai said:
I don't have to study for math, I'm technically a genius, just don't care to show.
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Posted 2004-03-30, 12:52 PM in reply to Senesia's post starting "Some people argue this by: Let's..."
So your saying computers are stupid?
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Posted 2004-03-30, 01:45 PM in reply to Demosthenes's post "Can Computers be "intelliegnt?" Can a..."
No, they cannot think, as they cannot introduce a new process by themselves without a program or external source telling it to do so. The computer is the ultimate in WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get).

You can program enough Boolean strings into a program to where it would appear to think, but it would still not be able to cope with anything it does not recognize.

That is what I believe MJordan was getting at, that true intelligence is the ability to encounter the unknown and decide what to do with it.
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Posted 2004-03-30, 03:41 PM in reply to Vollstrecker's post starting "No, they cannot think, as they cannot..."
The human brain is a very complex biological computer. If a computer were sophisticated enough, it could question things and think freely.

Il papa caca nei legno?
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