Thursday, May 17, 2007

Philosophy of Machines

I really love philosophy, and the concept of what makes reality, what makes us intelligent, what makes us conscious. Part of that conversation must always include the idea of artificial intelligence; what makes a machine "intelligent?" Can we make machines conscious? Will we get to the point that we cannot distinguish between a human being and a machine?

We are always pushing the limits of machines, making computers process more and more quickly, trying to make them mimic us as a way of understanding ourselves and also exhibiting our own intelligence.

This website is an interesting account of what happens when you pit "chatbots" (computers that use sets of rules to converse with people through instant messaging programs) against one another. They fed one machine a "seed question" and then let them run on their own, talking with each other. The results are surprisingly existential and enjoyable to read.

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