Re: PHIL/AI: Humongous Lookup Table

Max More (
Tue, 11 Feb 1997 10:40:55 -0800

At 04:39 PM 2/10/97 -0800, Hal wrote:
>My idea is to suggest that you're not "really" conversing with the table.
>I think that the HLT can be thought of in the same way. It is a conduit
>to the person or program which was used to create the HLT. When we talk
>to the HLT, we're really talking to that program.
>In this light, the HLT is not really a challenge to the Turing test because
>we're not really talking to the HLT at all. The HLT attracts our attention
>so that we forget about the program which was used to create it. That is
>where the mind actually is.

I like the way you put this, Hal, and it seems correct to me. The lookup
table case has always been annoying since it's hard to grant it true
awareness. However, it never really bothered me too much since I'm a
functionalist not a behaviorist. The Turing Test assumes functionalism.

The importance of the lookup table example also seemed less important
because it is surely implausible to build a functional intelligence that
uses a look up table. As you note, the number of possible conversations is
too large. Still, citing the lookup table as possible *in principle* left
it as a bothersome example (on the assumption of behaviorism). I think your
explanation of what's going on with a table puts the example to rest.


Max More, Ph.D.
President, Extropy Institute, Editor, Extropy,
(310) 398-0375