Can a robot think? Ask one.

Now we’re getting somewhere.


  1. acilius

     /  April 3, 2009

    Interesting! I like the distinction between “bad drudgery” and “good drudgery.”

  2. cymast

     /  April 3, 2009

    Yes, that’s nice. I like a certain amount of physical as well as mental drudgery.

    My main question would be “Is there a threshold of independent robot-generated human-like thought looming on the horizon?”

  3. acilius

     /  April 3, 2009

    To which I would add the question, how can we tell if thought is independent, or the result of programming? Also, how much if any human thought is independent, and how much is the result of conditioning that we could fairly call programming?

  4. cymast

     /  April 3, 2009

    All excellent questions.

    “how can we tell if thought is independent, or the result of programming?”

    I guess we would have to study the programming, perhaps from a philosophical standpoint . . or maybe ask a computer specifically designed to answer that question . .

    “how much if any human thought is independent”

    This is where I get lost in the question of free will. It’s rather depressing to think that every action, thought, twitch, and blink is predestined.

  5. acilius

     /  April 3, 2009

    And of course there’s also the question of what we mean by “independent”- independent of what?

  6. cymast

     /  April 3, 2009

    Perhaps “independence,” like “altruism,” exists only in theory.

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