Re: Singularity and AIs -software

From: John Casey (
Date: Mon Jan 28 2002 - 15:17:29 MST

>To me this seems true, silicon, and new nanotechnology relentlessly
>hardware. But software seems more of the same. I think it is less
>to automation than say wafer fabrication.

Gregory Bateson used to say, I think, that intelligence basically was the
ability to find the pattern that connects two objects or events. I'm curious
why we've had so little luck devising programs that can do this.

Here in Singapore, as elsewhere in Asia that I've lived (and that's a lot of
places), it's consensus that Asians (meaning people reared in Asian
educational systems) tend not to be as creative as people from "western"
backgrounds. (Don't blame me, I didn't make this up - one highly educated
Indian has a bestseller called "Can Asians Think?" and another bestseller
I've seen wriiten by a Chinese chap is called, get this, "Why Asians are
less creative than westerners.") And to be sure, the weight of the evidence,
at least as far as modern technology is concerned, would seem to suggest
that western cultures have the jump on innovation.

But. If intelligence includes innovation, then innovation also would seem to
involve generating and testing "patterns which connect." It ought,
therefore, to be possible to construct an algorithm for pattern generation
and testing, and thereby to create a bona fide intelligent machine. I don't
think I'm on new ground here, at least not on the "is it possible?"
proposition. Maybe a bit more so on the question of why we ain't done it

Penrose wrote that book, which I never got round to reading, which purported
to prove why it wasn't possible. I ignored it at the time, believing that
since identifying a connecting pattern was a simple exercise in going meta
to the two objects or events, it was missing the point on what intelligence
really was. But that was ten years ago, and nothing much seems to have
happened on the AI front since then. Thoughts?

Because if we can create a pattern-generating algorithm, we can commoditise
innovation itself. That solves your software development problem overnight,
and we can move on to cooler issues like pattern-generating algorithm
generators. Wherein we find the very essence of reality.

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