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The Nonsense of AI

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1 year 4 days ago #1 by Terry Bourne
The Nonsense of AI was created by Terry Bourne
Your computer is a Machine.

Concorde was a (Flying) Machine.

Birds were seen flying - over the years man learned from this and created Concorde.

If Concorde had existed before Birds, could man have learned the opposite way in order to create them?

Just a thought.

And here's another:

I have a car with manual transmission. When approaching a road junction I (intelligently) change gear and put foot on brake.

If I were to change to an automatic, I'd no longer have to change gear. Does that mean intelligence has been transferred to the car?

Terry

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1 year 4 days ago #2 by Phil Hepburn
Replied by Phil Hepburn on topic The Nonsense of AI
Hi Terry,

Yep! - this is my gripe - the vast over-use of the term 'AI'. Real 'AI' is a rare thing indeed, the rest is some sort of machine learning, at best. And machine learning often just means keeping previous data from 'outcomes' and therefore searching more data next time.

Getting a machine to write an algorithm and then update and improve it as time goes by, is a whole different ballgame.

One area in which I would like to see some machine learning is for my spellchecker to learn as I go, and notice the words/vocabulary I use and then offer me different (and more intelligent) choices as time goes by - the dumbness of any spell checker I use in the .NET / Windows platform annoys me intensely ;-0)

If birds and come after Concorde then they would be flying faster - or have I misunderstood your analogy ?

Cheers,
Phil.

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1 year 4 days ago #3 by Terry Bourne
Replied by Terry Bourne on topic The Nonsense of AI
Hi Phil

Faster Birds is a next step, yes. But my real point is that (forgetting about some weird physical Bird-like structure built around Concorde) it is impossible to produce a real bird, or devise a way of doing such a thing.

That says to me that what you refer to as "Real AI" is not just rare, it is impossible to achieve.

Machine Learning, too, is nonsense, although I can just about accept its use. But "Learning" is something a machine just cannot do.

Following very complicated algorithms, provided you can think of them in the first place, say your desired spell-checker, are things a computer can do very well and at high speed.

Terry

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1 year 4 days ago #4 by Karl Faller
Replied by Karl Faller on topic The Nonsense of AI
Guys,
while usually i'm all with you, i found an article in the latest c't journal about AlphaZero rather disconcerting - a programm without cleverly written alghorythm (talk about spellcheckers <g>), which "learns" by teaching itself.

Karl

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1 year 4 days ago #5 by Chris Pyrgas
Replied by Chris Pyrgas on topic The Nonsense of AI

Terry Bourne wrote: Following very complicated algorithms, provided you can think of them in the first place, say your desired spell-checker, are things a computer can do very well and at high speed.


OK, I'll bite :)
So what does "real" intelligence do differently?

Chris

XSharp Development Team
chris(at)xsharp.eu

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1 year 4 days ago #6 by Phil Hepburn
Replied by Phil Hepburn on topic The Nonsense of AI
Hi Chris / guys,

'Real' intelligence sees from the outset, that there is a 'need' to have a better spell checker, and how it should operator from the users point of view !

Probably 'real' intelligence is what we call 'thinking outside of the box' !?

Leonardo had 'real' intelligence - would like to see someone put him "in a bottle"!

My 2 cents worth,
Phil.

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1 year 4 days ago #7 by Terry Bourne
Replied by Terry Bourne on topic The Nonsense of AI
Hi Chris

What does "real" intelligence do differently?

The simple answer is everything.

Basically intelligence is something that belongs in the animal kingdom. It is a function of the brain which allows us to think of things in an unlimited number of ways and quickly "see things" clearly. Things which would otherwise be so complex that even the most intelligent person on earth would not see them (ever).

Look at it this way: our brains and their functioning are integral to each and everyone of us as individuals. They enable us to function in the real world. They enable us to "look" forward and predict things.

Look at the exchanges here to see what I mean. My original "Birds" story was extended by Phil to the idea of a "fast" bird. Absolutely a logical extension. But when I wrote it I was thinking of the impossibility of it all, bypassing any thought of "fast birds". No doubt "impossibility" also crossed Phil's mind.

Many, many routes to the same conclusion.

And, of course, on the downside, potential routes to misunderstanding.

Computer logic has no room for misunderstanding, so some how we have to transform the ease of "conceptual" understanding to certainty if we are to "computerise" thinking into algorithms. Algorithms may be extremely complex, but they understand nothing.

Hope that makes some sense.

Terry

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1 year 4 days ago #8 by Arne Ortlinghaus
Replied by Arne Ortlinghaus on topic The Nonsense of AI
Perhaps we should avoid using the word "Intelligence". Instead we have already since over 20 years many machines that "learn" and adapt themselves and in the future we will have many more.

The best example is the motor electronic of fuel motors of cars. In contrast to old motors with working points defined by simple controllers or screws adjusted by repair mans the modern motors learn to run in optimized work points that always are reoptimized - this works so good that we do not even notice this or worry about. The times where we needed a choke to regulate work points for a cold machine have finished and nobody worried if the car would learn starting the motor.

Arne

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1 year 4 days ago #9 by Terry Bourne
Replied by Terry Bourne on topic The Nonsense of AI
Hi Arne

Yes I agree.

But do your machines learn?

Or is it the intelligence of the Engineers who have designed those machines such that they have no option other than to work the way they do?

If you hadn't explained things intelligently, as you did, but instead posted the specifications for your machines, I for one would have had no idea of what you were talking about.

A computer program, on the other hand, could not have understood your post, but could have been written to interpret machine specifications.

Terry

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1 year 4 days ago #10 by Arne Ortlinghaus
Replied by Arne Ortlinghaus on topic The Nonsense of AI
"Do your machines learn?"
Why not: Learning means analyzing information received in the near past and then changing (adapting) decision making instead of using fix rule based decisions. The new decisions will generate new data. Together with new information arriving from external this gives input to a new loop of adapting the decision making. In this sense living beings or machines can adapt a new behavior in a certain range of possible behaviors. And this can be called "learning".

Arne

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1 year 4 days ago #11 by Terry Bourne
Replied by Terry Bourne on topic The Nonsense of AI
Yes Arne

I totally agree adapting, as you describe, can be viewed as "learning".

It is why I can just about accept the term "Machine Learning". But it is generally used in conjunction with the term "AI" and this I cannot accept. i.e. Human Learning.

It is the imprecision of the English language that leads to discussions such as this.

I should have said "Do your machines learn in the way humans do"?

The progressive adapting you describe ties in very well with how comprehensible logic (in human terms) can be transformed to non-intelligent non-ambiguous algorithms.

Terry

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1 year 3 days ago #12 by Terry Bourne
Replied by Terry Bourne on topic The Nonsense of AI
Hi Karl

I've just looked at the topic title - Playing Chess.
Whist I can't give you a complete algorithm to do it, if you do not start off on the right basis you'll never achieve you goal. It serves as a good example of transferring thought to an unambiguous algorithm. And illustrates the likely complexity of that algorithm.

If you approach the task from the point of view of playing a game of chess as humans do you are on a geometrical progression leading to an infinite range of outcomes. Ugh!

However if you approach it from the point of view of outcome and work backwards you are on a converging sequence which ends in zero. By this I mean zero displacement of the chessmen from their initial places on the board.

You know the losing King will be on the board at the end. Put it on each of the 64 squares in turn working out for each opponent piece how it could be positioned to "take" the King.

You can see how this would become complex pretty quickly. But it is a logical converging progression. (I'll leave you to think it through).

The point is it is a converging progression. It is just the same principle as is used by visual studio when it shows which functions can instantiate a type. Look at the result and work back to the beginning!

Hope that makes some sense

Terry

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1 year 3 days ago #13 by Karl Faller
Replied by Karl Faller on topic The Nonsense of AI
Chess? You didn't read exactly enough AlphaZero plays Chess, Go and another sort, and NOONE provided "human knowledge", the prog knew only the rules...

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1 year 3 days ago #14 by Terry Bourne
Replied by Terry Bourne on topic The Nonsense of AI
Karl
I'll take another look, but my guess is that the human intelligence of the programmer "told" the program the rules. If that were not the case you'd have programs manifesting themselves out of nowhere and we'd all be redundant.

Terry

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1 year 3 days ago #15 by Terry Bourne
Replied by Terry Bourne on topic The Nonsense of AI
Hi Chris

You posed the question "What does real intelligence do differently"

I'd say it was the difference between a guess and certainty.

I look at it like this:

When developing software, except for the most trivial program, I tend to "guess" a way of coding things, a fairly educated guess maybe, but still a guess. I try it, horror - it fails, so I try it again until I get it right.

Now the future is always unpredictable, the past is certain. When I get the program right and it does what I want, all the development machinations have moved relatively into the past. Correct logic is now embedded in the program.

From a users point of view, the correct logic is already in the past.

Computer logic only works on certainty; it cannot guess because there will inevitably come a time when the guess is wrong.

So I tend to think of Intelligence as "pulling" towards an uncertain outcome until the future transitions into the past, uncertainty has transitioned into certainty, and logic "pushes" forwards under user action.

Hope that warped way of thinking helps rather than hinders.

Terry

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1 year 1 day ago #16 by Terry Bourne
Replied by Terry Bourne on topic The Nonsense of AI
Hi Arne – a more considered reply:
I would think of what you describe as “Product Development”.

“Adaptation” is what the computer hardware does – it would not be able to run different programs if it did not.
But different programs are produced by man – in this case the programmer.
Car motion adapts when we change gear.
Try taking man’s intelligence out of the loop in either situation.

There is also another point to note: the mechanics of your analogous machine(s) are constrained to work within the bounds of physical constraints, if they did not they would throw an exception – blow up?
So too, the computer would not work unless it were constrained to operate within certain constraints, or limits. In the computer case these limits are set by time. Within a few nano-seconds it cannot do anything other than what it was programmed to do. Timing, or relative timing is ensured by locking everything to a master oscillator.
Product Development is similar, I agree. But the timescales are totally different: years rather than nano-seconds, and the PRECISE outcome cannot be known in advance – it can only be guessed at.

Terry

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1 year 10 hours ago #17 by Arne Ortlinghaus
Replied by Arne Ortlinghaus on topic The Nonsense of AI
Two Microsoft collaborators now have published an interesting book: The future computed.
It can be downloaded from here:
msblob.blob.core.windows.net/ncmedia/201...-Future-Computed.pdf

They do not discuss the technology. They think about the future social changes that AI may bring us and what we will have to do.

Arne

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1 year 1 hour ago #18 by Terry Bourne
Replied by Terry Bourne on topic The Nonsense of AI
Thanks Arne.

Interesting points/thoughts.

Clearly I am wrong. Computers are intelligent. They must be if they join the AI Lawyers bandwagon.

On a serious note: there are some good points made, worth thinking about.

I can't criticise anyone who wants to think about computers as "thinking machines". Everyone should think of things in a way they can best understand.

Our natural way of building up understanding is for new facts to be absorbed and combined with what we already know. This forms a natural or exponential growth of comprehension.

But for that to lead to the idea that a machine (computer) can itself think is totally WRONG.

And I think that is what is implied in the chapter entitled "Can Computers Think?" or have I misread it?

Terry

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1 year 1 hour ago #19 by Karl Faller
Replied by Karl Faller on topic The Nonsense of AI
FWIW, i stopped reading, when i had absorbed the start - the necessity for an "intelligent" coffee-maker - firstly, there's already one (my wife)- nope, in reality it's me ;)
Second, some folks should consider reading the at least the essential part of St. Exupery's Little Prince - specially when the prince tells him, what he would do with all the time saved by swallowing a pill instead of drinking water.


Karl

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