Re: WAS: Re: Economic (ignorance) Nativism and me

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Mon Mar 26 2001 - 10:07:35 MST

On Mon, 26 Mar 2001, Eugene Leitl wrote:

> And they're only doing sequence yet. Very little structural work so far.

Thats not quite true. PDB is on an exponential growth curve as well --
its just at a lower starting point. They are going to 'assembly-line'-ize
3D protein structural analysis but its going to take another 3-5 years
to get there (you have to do purchase/build the necessary hardware
and assemble the teams for this).

> Are you talking about robust AI Minsky or Lenat style? That's pure snake
> oil they're peddling.

I've seen a presentation by Lenat, and he nicely documented an analytical
problem solved by their approach that was not solved by humans. And
of course I know you are aware of the group at either ORNL or Argonne
that has proved mathematical conjectures that were previously unproven
(computers can exceed the depth of thought (most) humans seem capable of.)

Minsky pointed out at the same conference that Lenat was speaking at that
the brain may use a dozen or so 'heuristics' to determine the distance
and size of an object it 'sees'. We have yet to see a computer that
incorporates those dozen strategies and effectively learns to select
between conflicting results.

I'd strongly doubt you can call what they are doing 'snake OIL'.
They are laying the foundation in different areas for parrallel or
even novel ways of doing some of the things that the brain does.
Divide and conquer.

But if you want true self-conscious AI --

[NOTE: And here I will make a prediction -- "When" we understand
completely what 'consciousness' is; we will say 'Is that all it is?'
and it will cease to hold the "high" position that it now does
in terms of discussions like 'rights', 'simulations', 'zombies',
etc. We will view 'consciousness' as just something else the brain
can do -- just as the visual neural system has the ability to
assemble lines, merge them into complete 'shapes', map them onto
recognizable objects, etc.]

-- then IMO you need to look carefully at what William Calvin has
been saying about the need to simulate yourself as the actor in
the internal view of the 'scene'. That combined with a better
understanding of how one 'talks to oneself' will yield the necessary


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:59:43 MDT