This morning I had a dream that I was reading Tesugen, Peter Lindberg’s cogent and pregnant blog. Specifically, there was an entry about artificial intelligence and how modern software emulates thinking to such a degree that perhaps we should call it thinking. You know, a rose is a rose is a rose.
As if that wasn’t strange enough, I then started to dream about a reply blog entry here. I mean I was even dreaming about doing a <a> tags and everything. I woke up and was a little creeped out, so naturally I come over to my office and blog about it.
Incidentally, dream Peter, I think that appearances are superficial. It can emulate a process of thought, but that doesn’t make it the activity. Only when the activity matches the essence of thought can we say that it is thinking. Software can embed a process of thought, but it can’t diverge from that process without programming another process in there. What is the essence of thought? Unfortunately, I woke up as I was getting to that. If I had to say, I would go back to Ayn Rand’s theory of epistemology but unfortunately that stops at concept-formation and doesn’t delve into the meat of adult thinking—i.e., how we use those concepts to make decisions, process new inputs, or form conclusions.