Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 17th Jul 2006 22:47 UTC, submitted by Eugenia
Geek stuff, sci-fi... "Artificial intelligence is 50 years old this summer, and while computers can beat the world's best chess players, we still can't get them to think like a 4-year-old. This week in Boston, some of the field's leading practitioners are gathering to examine this most ambitious of computer research fields, which at once has managed to exceed, and fall short of, our grandest expectations."
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RE[2]: The brain is not a CPU.
by falemagn on Wed 19th Jul 2006 18:41 UTC in reply to "RE: The brain is not a CPU."
falemagn
Member since:
2005-07-06

> This begs a question if we really have free will

Of course we don't.

If it all happens by chance, then there's no free will by definition.

Otherwise, if I decide something about something else in this very moment, whatever decision I take has only two origins:

1) it's the result of all that happened to me and all other decisions I've taken since I was born (notice the recursivity, here), things that have shaped me and made me become the way I am now, and that have, therefore, made me take that decision and not another one.

2) it's the result of the way my DNA is coded

Either way, I don't see space for free will.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Tom Janowitz Member since:
2005-12-05

Of course we don't.

I can assure you, that nothing is so sure about it.


If it all happens by chance, then there's no free will by definition.

You said it : "if". How do you know, that you really don't have _any_ influence in what you do, if everything you do contradicts this notion. You always make choices, but the questions is: is it really _you_ who makes the decision, or just laws of physics do it for you. I am inclined to believe, that even though on a basic molecular/subatomic level almost everything seems to be ruled by quantum mechanics i.e. probability, but on a bigger scale it's not that simple anymore. Brain is a much bigger structure, and QM doesn't apply that simply to it (it doesn't domintate it's functioning as a whole). Even the synapses are to big to be directly and relevantly influenced by QM. The question is (again): how is the transfer from the micro world to macro world performed with regards to cognitive processess and ability to think and what is the role of QM in it. I really doubt that I don't have any real control over my actions (not that I couldn't live with such a consiousness).

Reply Parent Score: 1

falemagn Member since:
2005-07-06

> I can assure you, that nothing is so sure about it.

It's a matter of logic. Find a flaw in my reasoning, and you may have a point. Otherwise, the logic is on my part.

> You said it : "if". How do you know, that you really
> don't have _any_ influence in what you do, if
> everything you do contradicts this notion.

I said "if" in the sense that if that's the case, then there's nothing to discuss because the matter is already settled. Then I went on with the other two possible cases.

Let's recap.

There are 3 cases to be considered, when I take a decision. I take a decision either

1) because of chance

or

2) because my dna is coded that way

or

3) because all my past experiences led me to take that decision and not another one.

This is a recursive definition of "causality of a decision": 3 is defined in terms of 2 and 1, and 2 and 1 can happen independently.

I can't see any more cases to consider, can you? And none of those cases contemplates free will.

Reply Parent Score: 1