Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence
robot sit down and thinking
3d rendering android robot sit down and thinking

How Do You Explain That Machines Won’t Really Think Like People?

Computation cannot become non-computational thought but it is difficult to prove that something can’t happen.

You could try a subtle approach, as one Oxford researcher did. He proposes a different model from “artificial general intelligence” (think like people). Rather, he introduces “Comprehensive AI Services” (CAIS), relying on the work of Eric Drexler, author of Engines of Creation:

Instead of relying on some unforeseen breakthrough, the CAIS model of AI just assumes that specialized, narrow AI will continue to improve at performing each of its tasks, and the range of tasks that machine learning algorithms will be able to perform will become wider. Ultimately, once a sufficient number of tasks have been automated, the services that an AI will provide will be so comprehensive that they will resemble a general intelligence.

One could then imagine a “general” intelligence as simply an algorithm that is extremely good at matching the task you ask it to perform to the specialized service algorithm that can perform that task. Rather than acting like a single brain that strives to achieve a particular goal, the central AI would be more like a search engine, looking through the tasks it can perform to find the closest match and calling upon a series of subroutines to achieve the goal.

Thomas Hornigold, “An alternative theory of artificial general intelligence” at Singularity Hub

AI analyst Jonathan Bartlett comments for Mind Matters News,

If you read between the lines, the “new model” of general AI being proposed is that we won’t develop a general AI. Framing this as a “new model” of general AI is simply to avoid being labeled as a pessimist.

So they won’t think like people but it will seem that way.

Computation cannot become non-computational thought but it is difficult to prove that something can’t happen. And many will resist the conclusion. We resort to roundabout explanations.

Note: Thomas Hornigold also hosts a podcast on physics, Physical Attraction.

See also: Why I doubt that AI can match the human mind (Jonathan Bartlett)

If you think common sense is easy to acquire. Try teaching it to a state-of-the-art self-driving car. Start with snowmen. (Brendan Dixon)

and

Could AI think like a human, given infinite resources? (Eric Holloway)


Mind Matters News

Breaking and noteworthy news from the exciting world of natural and artificial intelligence at MindMatters.ai.

How Do You Explain That Machines Won’t Really Think Like People?