Can Robots See God? And Other Mind-changing Questions

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Can Robots See God? And Other Mind-changing Questions
« on: January 05, 2008, 12:26:59 AM »
Can Robots See God? And Other Mind-changing Questions

Each year Edge asks one question of
the world's smartest people. This
year's question was "what have you changed
your mind about and why?" Of the 164 responses, the ones that
interest us most are, of course, those touching on cognition, AI, and
robotics. Rudy Rucker has
gone from believing machines will never fully emulate the human mind to
believing they will eventually do so to the extent of having
even mystical and religious experiences. But his
optimism is matched by Roger C. Schank's
 pessimism. Schank once believed machines would be as smart as
humans within his lifetime. Now he thinks it's so far off even his
grandchildren won't see it. Somewhere in between is Daniel C. Dennett's
new approach to the homunculus temptation that faces cognitive
scientists and may even have a bearing on why many people still suffer
from the folk intuition that a computer could never "care" about things
in the same way as a human. Rodney Brooks
thinks it's time to go beyond the computer as a brain metaphor. The
brain is like a clock, a telephone switchboard, a digital computer, why
not like the World Wide Web? Going beyond machine
evolution to human evolution, Steven Pinker
says new evidence has
convinced him that the human genome is still under heavy evolutionary
pressure, revising his earlier opinion that human evolution ground to
halt with the coming of agriculture. For more changes of opinions on
politics, science, philosophy, art and religion see the article.


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