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  85. <article class="h-entry">
  86. <header>
  87. <h1 class="p-name">Can computers think?</h1>
  88. </header>
  89. <section data-field="subtitle" class="p-summary">
  90. Thinking is a non-trivial process to make a computer develop one. In
  91. its true essence “thinking” is what a being is capable of. A…
  92. </section>
  93. <section data-field="body" class="e-content">
  94. <section name="1609" class="section section--body section--first">
  95. <div class="section-divider">
  96. <hr class="section-divider">
  97. </div>
  98. <div class="section-content">
  99. <div class="section-inner sectionLayout--insetColumn">
  100. <h3 name="bbbc" id="bbbc" class="graf graf--h3 graf--leading graf--title">Can computers think?</h3>
  101. <p name="20b6" id="20b6" class="graf graf--p graf-after--h3 graf--trailing">Thinking is a non-trivial
  102. process. To make a computer &#39;think’ is thus a non-trivial problem. In its true essence thinking is
  103. what a <em class="markup--em markup--p-em">being</em> is capable of. A sophisticated process which
  104. involves past knowledge and <em class="markup--em markup--p-em">free will</em>. Experiments involving
  105. thoughtful actions can be used to differentiate a machine from human.<br>Computers cannot spawn a <em
  106. class="markup--em markup--p-em">thought-process</em> like humans.</p>
  107. </div>
  108. </div>
  109. </section>
  110. <section name="5556" class="section section--body">
  111. <div class="section-divider">
  112. <hr class="section-divider">
  113. </div>
  114. <div class="section-content">
  115. <div class="section-inner sectionLayout--insetColumn">
  116. <h4 name="b9b0" id="b9b0" class="graf graf--h4 graf--leading"><strong
  117. class="markup--strong markup--h4-strong">Any form of computation is mechanical and doesn’t
  118. need thinking</strong></h4>
  119. <p name="3f43" id="3f43" class="graf graf--p graf-after--h4"><em class="markup--em markup--p-em">If
  120. computers can think then what qualities would they express or possess?</em><br>They would converge to a
  121. decision based on experiences and presuppositions. There would be a bias in its choices for rationality
  122. may not always be an outcome.<br><em class="markup--em markup--p-em">What is thinking, where does it
  123. originate, and how does it perpetuate?</em><br>Thought, as a random occurrence in our mind, should have
  124. a simpler<br>circuitry for computers. Can computers rewire their thoughts by manipulating its programs to
  125. decide and make choices through their own <em class="markup--em markup--p-em">free will</em>? This process
  126. may not have a finite number of steps. This discussion hints at self awareness and most importantly <em
  127. class="markup--em markup--p-em">consciousness</em>. Consciousness in simpler terms means self-awareness.
  128. The computers becoming self-aware of its existence cannot happen unless programmed to do so. To program
  129. this, a programmer would have to define cases as to what constitutes consciousness and specify when can we
  130. arrive at a result to indicate that a being <em class="markup--em markup--p-em">is</em> conscious. This
  131. may not be an exhaustive list and hence a futile attempt in making computers <em
  132. class="markup--em markup--p-em">aware</em>.<br><em class="markup--em markup--p-em">What is consciousness
  133. and how are thoughts related to it?</em><br>When we say that a computer can think and take actions, we
  134. say that<br>it does with minimal programming or human intervention. It can sense the surroundings through
  135. its sensors, interpret the physical quantities and formulate actions based on experience.</p>
  136. <p name="8886" id="8886" class="graf graf--p graf-after--p"><em class="markup--em markup--p-em">What makes a
  137. computer, thoughtful?</em></p>
  138. <p name="025c" id="025c" class="graf graf--p graf-after--p graf--trailing">An example that could be thought
  139. here is of a lawn mower. It cuts down<br>grass to keep a garden tidy. So, a lawn mower operated by a
  140. gardener would just cut down whatever it can get in its way — insects, grass, weed, flowers, anything and
  141. everything. The onus is on the gardener to control its movement and how much time it spends at a
  142. particular location. A further advancement to this machine is — whether it can operate in a certain area
  143. without gardener’s involvement. The gardener’s task is only to fix the boundaries for the mower to
  144. operate. The mower is now capable of measuring distance from its starting point and gauge the area of
  145. operation. Also, the gardener may fix operational hours and just let it be. This mower now operates under
  146. certain program but still cannot make decisions on which grass to cut, whether to skip any earthworms, and
  147. mow parts depending on a optimal path. The mower with an autonomous computer that could think, would have
  148. to think like a gardener. For example, the gardener senses environment around them and mows based on
  149. external factors such as weather and soil conditions. To achieve this same result as the gardener, the
  150. machine would have to rewire and register memories of new events and pictures of the environment around
  151. it. It needs to think and assess surroundings; to not get in contact with any insect or human. What
  152. happens when unknown conditions in environment affects the machine? Would it know when to stop and
  153. restart? Can it make a decision on its own? Can machine understand and allocate for its own survival and
  154. longevity? Can a machine consider itself as a living being and take action to nurture itself and avoid
  155. conflict with nature for its survival? The programming of a machine and its dynamic wiring to make a
  156. choice or action depends on this process of thinking known as a <em
  157. class="markup--em markup--p-em">thought-process</em>. It is the key to any problem solving — by using
  158. one’s experience to pave way for newer solutions. Only by past solution to similar problems can humans
  159. tend to innovate on solving existing ones. Moreover, after finding a solution how can machine evaluate and
  160. reassess for its correctness without a verification model designed autonomously?</p>
  161. </div>
  162. </div>
  163. </section>
  164. <section name="7b68" class="section section--body">
  165. <div class="section-divider">
  166. <hr class="section-divider">
  167. </div>
  168. <div class="section-content">
  169. <div class="section-inner sectionLayout--insetColumn">
  170. <h4 name="6fcd" id="6fcd" class="graf graf--h4 graf--leading"><strong
  171. class="markup--strong markup--h4-strong">Turing test and its effectiveness</strong></h4>
  172. <p name="2628" id="2628" class="graf graf--p graf-after--h4"><em class="markup--em markup--p-em">Is the
  173. Turing test[1] meaningful and valid?</em></p>
  174. <p name="41b8" id="41b8" class="graf graf--p graf-after--p graf--trailing">Turing suggested that if a
  175. computer and a human being were hidden behind a screen, and another human being were given the task of
  176. interrogating each of them, it would be reasonable to conclude that the computer was conscious if the
  177. interrogator could not distinguish it from the human being [4]. There have been many variations of the
  178. Turing test proposed over years, some by Turing himself, and there are annual contests based on Turing
  179. test. Thus far, no computer has passed the Turing test (by general consensus), although some have come
  180. close. Several plausible characteristics have been proposed — free will, restricted access (only the
  181. thinker experiences his thoughts), incorrigibility (only the thinker knows with certainty the content of
  182. his thought), qualia (raw sensory experience), etc [2]</p>
  183. </div>
  184. </div>
  185. </section>
  186. <section name="82b2" class="section section--body">
  187. <div class="section-divider">
  188. <hr class="section-divider">
  189. </div>
  190. <div class="section-content">
  191. <div class="section-inner sectionLayout--insetColumn">
  192. <figure name="e79f" id="e79f" class="graf graf--figure graf--leading graf--trailing">
  193. <div class="aspectRatioPlaceholder is-locked" style="max-width: 250px; max-height: 320px;">
  194. <div class="aspectRatioPlaceholder-fill" style="padding-bottom: 128%;"></div><img class="graf-image"
  195. data-image-id="1*FF0Zl7VaunapNP_-L3zf_g.png" data-width="250" data-height="320"
  196. src="../img/Turing_Test.png">
  197. </div>
  198. <figcaption class="imageCaption">The “standard interpretation” of the Turing Test, in which player
  199. C,<br>the interrogator, is given the task of trying to determine which player — A or B<br>- is a
  200. computer and which is a human. The interrogator is limited to using the<br>responses to written
  201. questions to make the determination. (Image adapted from<br>Saygin, 2000[4])</figcaption>
  202. </figure>
  203. </div>
  204. </div>
  205. </section>
  206. <section name="ba33" class="section section--body">
  207. <div class="section-divider">
  208. <hr class="section-divider">
  209. </div>
  210. <div class="section-content">
  211. <div class="section-inner sectionLayout--insetColumn">
  212. <p name="f076" id="f076" class="graf graf--p graf--leading"><strong
  213. class="markup--strong markup--p-strong">Intentionality behind computation</strong></p>
  214. <p name="2e0f" id="2e0f" class="graf graf--p graf-after--p graf--trailing">The classic argument that
  215. computation inherently lacks intentionality (meaning) can be inferred from Searle’s Chinese Room analogy
  216. [3]. Intentionality is a primary characteristic of human mind. The actions are driven by it and thoughts
  217. are the fuel. In case of a computer, it manifests the intentionality of its programmer. The programmer
  218. could be another program recursively. Yet, the base program would be the one of a human programmer. So it
  219. derives the intentionality from a human in principle. Searle concludes through his analogy that
  220. computation has no intrinsic intentionality, but only secondary intentionality imparted by programmers.
  221. Thus, computation is not <em class="markup--em markup--p-em">thinking</em>, but a mechanical process.</p>
  222. </div>
  223. </div>
  224. </section>
  225. <section name="98a9" class="section section--body section--last">
  226. <div class="section-divider">
  227. <hr class="section-divider">
  228. </div>
  229. <div class="section-content">
  230. <div class="section-inner sectionLayout--insetColumn">
  231. <p name="0944" id="0944" class="graf graf--p graf--leading"><strong
  232. class="markup--strong markup--p-strong">References</strong><br>[1] A.M Turing, Computing Machinery and
  233. Intelligence, Mind, Volume LIX, Issue 236, October 1950, Pages 433–460<br>[2] Michael Egnor, Can a
  234. Computer Think?, Evolution News, March 2011</p>
  235. <p name="a00f" id="a00f" class="graf graf--p graf-after--p graf--trailing">[3] Searle, John. R. Minds,
  236. brains, and programs. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 3 (3): 417–457<br>[4] Saygin, A.P.; Cicekli, I.;
  237. Akman, V. Turing Test: 50 Years Later, Minds and Machines, 10 (4): 463–518</p>
  238. </div>
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