Sony Expert Says Turing Had it Wrong
Posted 17 Aug 2002 at 05:14 UTC by steve
According to Luc Steels,
director of the Sony Computer Science
Lab, Alan Turing had it all wrong when he proposed that a successful
artificial intelligence should be able to converse like a human. Steels
believes robots will develop their own type of intelligence through
interaction with their own kind and their own culture. For more details
read the CNet
I just had to post this story in light of the controversy of the last
one. Not only because he mentions the "E" word a few times but because of
this ironic quote:
"It's like saying you want to make a flying machine, so you produce
something that is indistinguishable from a bird. On the other hand, an
airplane achieves flight but it doesn't need to flap its wings."
"E word", posted 17 Aug 2002 at 21:31 UTC by robodave »
You forgot to mention Evolution
Robotics with their image recognizing and navigating robot, not
dissimilar in construction from Rog-o-matics computer chair.
Unfortunately for Mr. Steels (and maybe ourselves), the only metric we
presently have for gauging intelligence is our own.
Turing said that machines would attain "intelligence" when they would
become indistinguishable from a human in conversation. I think this
was his 29th argument out of 150, and has come to be called the "Turing
Yes, perhaps some new kind of intelligence could <cough> "evolve".
But, 1) How would we know, and 2) Has this happened, but we are
incapable of understanding it?
Maybe computers will someday conjure up a "Steels Test" to see if
humans are intelligent...
Honestly people, if I wanted to build robots that formed their
own "culture" and developed their own "minds" I would simply have more
What I want is a robot that will do exactly what I tell it to do in
just the way I intended it. When I say "mow the lawn" I expect the
whole lawn to be mowed front AND back neat and proper. No discussion,
no "I want to do it this way", it just gets done and my 'bot tucks
itself safely away without demanding a higher allowance.
Sometimes I wonder what color the sky is the world of some of these
I'm not sure what color sky they do see, but perhaps this is a next
Robots at present can be programmed and built to accomplish specific
tasks, from moving a side panel of a car from a feeder to an assembly,
to mowing a lawn.
But what about an unspecific task? Mowing your neighbors lawn?
Mowing without touching the flower bed? Crossing the street to get to
the neighbors? Knowing that it's time to mow the lawn with respect to
grass height and the sprinklers aren't running and it isn't raining and
the noise won't wake the neighbors and no one is playing on the lawn?
Avoiding the misthrown newspaper? These are all pretty specific and
could be programmed for.. Hedge trimming.. Noticing pests.. edging..
lawn health.. Cleaning the pool.. checking pool water.. getting me an
ice tea.. the tasks begin to multiply.. Hold a conversation, there's
the Turing part, a start of engaging a person, entertainment as sought
by Sony with the Aibo and SDR-4X robots. Is conversation, entertainment
a specific task? Can a robot be specifically programmed to maintain
human interest, to inform with new information, to enrich a humans
social life? If you say that this task is un-needed, when was the last
time you (or I) visited a retirement home? Talked with your kids? Do we
need robots to help us with the caring we should be doing? Is this
where a generalized robot starts to come in, one that might query as to
specific needs and accomplish them "just the way I intended it"?
Ya know, looking back at this and rereading it, it does sound
pretty weird. Just some different ideas on what "robot" can mean to
different folks. People generally can't define what specifically a
robot is, hence we have BEAM robots, Battlebots, and discussions as to
whether our microwave is a robot.
If robots could interact and develop their own intelligence, then...
1. We'd have to figure out how to translate their communications.
(What's that movie about Guardian and what was that other computer's name?)
2. Phlisophers would have to spend eons deciding if the computers
really were thinking or not and if they were alive or not.
3. We'd wonder what they think of us.
4. We might finally stop calling it "artifical" intelligence.
5. They'd decide our fate in a microsecond, they'd build skynet and
we'd soon be replaced by them.
6. The dalecs would then exterminate all life.
7. If that were to happen would God hit the reset button.
8. We'd go through eons of chkdisk.
9. We'd reboot into Windows.
10. Ultimately that would bring us to the blue screen of death.
Of course, you know the answer is 42.
von Neumann is the father of all robos, Alan Turing is the mother of all
beautiful minds. that's my 2 cents.