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'[OT] metaphysical wanderings'
1997\09\07@221654 by Andrew G Williams

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>Roger Penrose is an eminent British mathematician who has written a
>book, The Emperor's New Mind (concerning computers, minds, and the laws
>of physics), attacking the idea that computers will ever achieve
>consciousness. It's well worth reading.

And don't forget the sequel "Shadows Of The Mind" (1994), which corrects some
shortcomings of the original and answers many criticisms.

He was also responsible for working out the details of Black Hole theory with
some bloke called Hawking through 1965-1970.

Cheers,  Andy.

1997\09\08@215535 by Eric Smith

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Andrew G Williams <spam_OUTAGW01TakeThisOuTspamAOL.COM> wrote:
> Just read the Penrose books.

Brief summary of Penrose's position (with which I strongly disagree):

Computers can't have intelligence because they are specifically designed
to avoid randomness due to quantum uncertainty.  This was a mostly accidental
(but generally fortuitous) result of using large numbers of electrons, thus
getting statistically predictable behavior.

Humans, on the other hand, use neurons that might possibly demonstrate
macroscopic behavior influenced by quantum uncertainty.  Therefore, they
can't be simulated by computers.  Therefore computers can't be intelligent.

Obvious problems with his argument:

       does human intelligence really depend on quantum uncertainty?

       if so, couldn't there be another means to achieve equivalent
       intelligence without quantum uncertainty?

As near as I can tell, Penrose believes quantum uncertaintly is necessary
to intelligence because:

       all known naturally-occuring forms of inteligence involve quantum
       uncertainty

       we've never developed intelligent computers (circular reasoning)

       we can't predict the behaior of human beings, so they must be
       non-deterministic (false, increases in complexity of a system tend
       to cause exponential increases in the computation needed to model
       the system, so inability to predict the behavior of a system does
       not prove that it is non-deterministic)

However, "The Emperor's New Mind" is quite interesting reading even if the
logic underlying his conclusions is incomplete.  I haven't read his other
book(s) yet.

1997\09\09@013819 by mikesmith_oz

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On  9 Sep 97 at 1:49, Eric Smith wrote:

> Andrew G Williams <.....AGW01KILLspamspam@spam@AOL.COM> wrote:
> > Just read the Penrose books.
>
> Brief summary of Penrose's position (with which I strongly
> disagree):

Must check out the local library.

{Quote hidden}

Aren't scientist developing a so called 'quantum effect' computer,
anyway?

>
> As near as I can tell, Penrose believes quantum uncertaintly is
> necessary to intelligence because:
>
>         all known naturally-occuring forms of inteligence involve
>         quantum uncertainty

Thats like saying - "All life is based on the carbon atom, therefore
life based on other atoms is not possible"
(impossible to prove a negative, isn't it?)

>
>         we've never developed intelligent computers (circular
>         reasoning)

Kasparov was sounding rather hysterical on the subject.
MikeS
<mikesmith_oz@nosp*m.relaymail.net>
(remove the you know what before replying)

1997\09\09@131246 by Andres Djordjalian

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> Brief summary of Penrose's position (with which I strongly disagree):
> Computers can't have intelligence because they are specifically designed
> to avoid randomness due to quantum uncertainty.  This was a mostly accidental
> (but generally fortuitous) result of using large numbers of electrons, thus
> getting statistically predictable behavior.
> Humans, on the other hand, use neurons that might possibly demonstrate
> macroscopic behavior influenced by quantum uncertainty.  Therefore, they
> can't be simulated by computers.  Therefore computers can't be intelligent.

I read the book quite a while ago so I don't remember it well, but I
don't think Penrose's points were those. He rather has a belief (or
at least considers the idea) that our brains are non-deterministic,
and he uses quantum theory to back up this thought, showing a
hypotetical scientifically-approved source for this uncertainity.

> Obvious problems with his argument:
>         does human intelligence really depend on quantum uncertainty?

As I said, this is an hipotesis he uses to show that it is physically
possible to have a non-deterministic brain.

{Quote hidden}

You can say that if something can be predicted (to 100% accuracy) by
us then it is deterministic, but the counter-theorem is far from true
and not only because of what you're saying. I don't believe Penrose
will make such a big mistake, you must have misunderstood him. As an
example, the points that don't belong to a Mandlebrot set are
deterministic in nature but they can't be calculated.

Oh, here I am messing with this topic again! I don't think people in
the list will like it, sorry, I promise not to send another message like
this here.

Regards,

Andres Djordjalian
adjordjspamKILLspamaleph.fi.uba.ar

1997\09\10@031456 by mikesmith_oz

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On  5 Sep 97 at 20:16, Andres Djordjalian wrote:

>
> Oh, here I am messing with this topic again! I don't think people in
> the list will like it, sorry, I promise not to send another message
> like this here.

Its marked OT - they can't really  complain  - not with a straight
face, anyway.
MikeS
<mikesmith_oz@nosp*m.relaymail.net>
(remove the you know what before replying)

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