Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks will be speaking in Billings, Montana, at the Big Sky Conference, “Artificial Intelligence and Transhumanism: Unraveling Science from an Ideology Driven Agenda” held January 26–27, 2024, at Emmanuel Baptist Church Gym. His topic will be “Artificial Intelligence, Transhumanism, and Our Future.”
Dr. Marks is also a distinguished professor of engineering at Baylor University and the author of, among many other works, Non-Computable You: What You Do That Artificial Intelligence Never Will (Discovery Institute Press, 2022), a defense of human uniqueness in the age of artificial intelligence. He will focus on the way in which, while AI offers exciting possibilities, many claims for AI are provably overblown and there are some powers AI will never possess.
Reviewing Non-Computable You at The Federalist last February, David Weinberger commented,
To be sure, computers excel humans at many tasks — but only tasks that are “algorithmic,” or that entail step-by-step instructions to complete, such as calculating probabilities, retrieving information, or executing functions.
That is why advanced artificial intelligence (AI) systems have long surpassed humans in games such as Chess and Go. These games have more possible moves than there are atoms in the universe, and calculation optimization is crucial for success.
Nevertheless, many capacities of the human being will forever remain beyond the power of AI, capacities like understanding, sentience, creativity, emotion, and common sense. Why? Because these things are “non-algorithmic,” meaning they are not computable.David Weinberger, “Why Artificial Intelligence Can Never Outpace Humans,” Federalist, February 20, 2023
Precisely. As Marks often points out, many key acts of the mind, especially those involving creativity, are non-computable and AI doesn’t and can’t do them. Not that we will hear that from the boosters.
In fact, recently, there has been much angst in the computer industry over the tendency for AI programs, left to their own devices, to degrade into, say, babble about jack rabbits or completely false information about space bears. While some approach these chatbots with a sort of religious awe, it seems more likely that the lack of the qualities Dr. Marks identifies mean that they are interesting but ultimately a dead end.
In Non-Computable You, he tells us that AI is no more creative than pencil. All the creativity comes from the one who wields it.
For more information contact Dick Pence, Coordinator, Big Sky Worldview Forum, email@example.com
Some excerpts from Non-Computable You
Here are some excerpts from the book that will give you some idea what to anticipate if you can make it Billings for the last weekend of this month:
Why you are not — and cannot be — computable. A computer science prof explains in a new book that computer intelligence does not hold a candle to human intelligence. In this excerpt from his forthcoming book, Non-Computable You, Robert J. Marks shows why most human experience is not even computable.
The Software of the Gaps: An excerpt from Non-Computable You. In his just-published book, Robert J. Marks takes on claims that consciousness is emerging from AI and that we can upload our brains. He reminds us of the tale of the boy who dug through a pile of manure because he was sure that … underneath all that poop, there MUST surely be a pony!
Marks: Artificial intelligence is no more creative than a pencil. You can use a pencil — but the creativity comes from you. With AI, clever programmers can conceal that fact for a while. In this short excerpt from his new book, Non-Computable You, Robert J. Marks discusses the tricks that make you think chatbots are people.
Machines with minds? The Lovelace test vs. the Turing test. The answers computer programs give sometimes surprise me too — but they always result from their programming. When it comes to assessing creativity (and therefore consciousness and humanness), the Lovelace test is much better than the Turing test.
Machines with minds? The Lovelace test vs. the Turing test The answers computer programs give sometimes surprise me too — but they always result from their programming. When it comes to assessing creativity (and therefore consciousness and humanness), the Lovelace test is much better than the Turing test.
AI: The shadow of Frankenstein lurks in the Uncanny Valley. The fifth and final excerpt from Non-Computable You (2022), from Chapter 6, focuses on the scarier AI hype. Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” monster (1808) wasn’t strictly a robot. But she popularized the idea — now AI hype — of creating a human-like being in a lab.