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Sorry, AI can’t do our thinking for us

J. C. Derrick asked Robert J. Marks whether AI can outthink people or make humans immortal

Life was never meant to be that easy.

On a recent episode of The World and Everything In It, J. C. Derrick interviewed Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks, asking, “Should we be afraid or excited about AI?”

In a wide-ranging discussion, they tackled topics such as AI invasion of privacy, AI-created art, and whether AI can outthink people or make humans immortal:

From the rush transcript:

DERRICK: Well, one thing that’s also been discussed is the possibility that AI could eventually outsmart humans—advance beyond us. Do you see that as any sort of possibility?

MARKS: Well, I’m humbled by my calculator. It’s certainly has outpaced me in terms of addition. But in terms of becoming smarter and computer programs writing better and more powerful computer programs, which in turn write better and more powerful computer programs, no.

Computer programs, in general, do not have the capability of being creative. And in order to write a better computer program, you have to display creativity. And that creativity can only exist if the programmer places that creativity directly within the computer program, which means that the computer program itself is not creative. It’s actually the computer programmer, which is supplying that creativity.

So that’s where any creativity comes from—any smarter program. Somehow I don’t believe that it will happen.

I also know that people who looked at writing smarter programs using genetic algorithms and evolutionary programming have abandoned their search in large because they’ve tried a bunch of different things and nothing seems to work. They can’t get smarter programs that way.

But I also know people that are very excited about trying other ways. I don’t think they’re going to work, though.

Here are the Show Notes.

Further reading on practical limits to AI intelligence:

Machines cannot take over: Even if some people would like them to. Here are some reasons why not. (a quick list)

Could AI think like a human, given infinite resources? Given that the human mind is a halting oracle, the answer is no. (Eric Holloway)

The flawed logic behind “thinking” computers (a three-part series by Eric Holloway ):

Part I: A program that is intelligent must do more than reproduce human behavior

Part II: There is another way to prove a negative besides exhaustively enumerating the possibilities


Part III No program can discover new mathematical truths outside the limits of its code.

Also: Software pioneer says general superhuman artificial intelligence is very unlikely. The concept, Chollet argues, shows a lack of understanding of the nature of intelligence

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Sorry, AI can’t do our thinking for us