piclist 1997\09\08\215535a >
Thread: metaphysical wanderings
face BY : Eric Smith email (remove spam text)

Andrew G Williams <spamBeGoneAGW01spamBeGonespamspamAOL.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

       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.

In reply to: <970904151443_691126011@emout20.mail.aol.com> (message from Andrew G Williams on Thu, 4 Sep 1997 15:18:03 -0400)
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