Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis
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What Do Thoughts Weigh?

Robert Marks thrashes out with Michael Medved why our minds are neither meat nor software
Robert J. Marks

Here’s Robert J. Marks, director of the Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence, back again with Michael Medved to talk about the way in which human intelligence differs from both animal intelligence and artificial intelligence:

For all that understanding human exceptionalism is central to Discovery Institute’s mission, I’m not sure that until now I’ve heard a discussion, in one sitting, of the issue with respect to both animals and computers. Because when our contemporary culture seeks to demote humanity, as nothing special, it does so by insisting both that nothing much (other than the chin, that chance evolutionary “spandrel”!) distinguishes us from beasts, and that computers are fast closing in on being able to replicate and exceed any human achievement. We’ll soon be ruled by AI. That is mankind’s future!

Not so fast, explains Dr. Marks. There are fundamental, unbridgeable chasms on either side, animal and machine. David Klinghoffer, “Great Minds: Marks, Medved on Human Exceptionalism’s Two Frontiers” at Evolution News and Science Today

Human intelligence sits between fundamental, unbridgeable chasms on either side: animal and artificial intelligence. The capacity for creativity, for one thing, stands permanently outside the reach of algorithms. In a wide-ranging conversation, Robert Marks and Michael Medved tackle questions like what it means for something to be not just unknown but “unknowable.”

Here’s the podcast.

See also: Robert J. Marks Talks Computers with Michael Medved. Computers can magnify what we do, he says, and that’s the real threat


Human consciousness may not be computable One model of consciousness would mean that conscious computers are a physical impossibility. (Robert Marks)

What Do Thoughts Weigh?