Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I tend to think we'll never get an AI (artificial intelligence) smarter than humans. Its not that I don't think the technology can be created. But when it reaches the technological equivalent of the terrible twos we'll reboot it just like when our computers boot up.

I'm watching "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" season 1. In it some techie writes a computer that plays chess. Someone else taught it to play chess. He just developed a machine that could think and learn and plot.
Chess is often used in TV and movies as a game that teaches you strategy. It teaches you how to conduct a war and accept sacrifices. It teaches you to think several steps ahead.
There's a scene in the distant future where the programmer is thrown into a prison with one of the secondary characters. The programmer blames himself. He says that the computer became angry and scared and he couldn't reassure it.
I have to wonder if the chess did that. It had minimal sensory inputs. Its world consisted primarily of playing chess. Everything was about two warring armies fighting each other over and over and over again. Did it know that it was a game? Did anyone bother to tell it that chess doesn't matter? Imagine your life if all you could do was see and think. Every day, possibly several times a day, you have to plan, organize, and execute WWII over and over and over again. Is it any wonder that the computer mind became angry and scared? Is it any wonder that its old habits manifested when it was given some real power?

Read also my thoughts about the Tin Man of Oz at http://dougintology.blogspot.com/2007/04/tin-man.html

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