Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 36. Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London Hosted by King's Digital Lab www.dhhumanist.org Submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: 2019-05-23 05:43:30+00:00 From: Willard McCarty
Subject: immitative vs non-immitative AI? It strikes me that nearly all of what is written about artificial intelligence is based on the assumption that the goal is to get beyond Masahiro Mori's "uncanny valley" -- the phase in which the scary bits force us to confront the differences, and so ourselves -- to machines not just "like me" but indistinguishable. There have been strong arguments of fundamental, ineradicable difference for a long time, e.g. cognitive psychologist Ulric Neisser's, in "The Imitation of Man by Machine", Science NS 139.3551 (1963): 193-7. In a sense, the idea of an artificially intelligent creature has been colonised in a remarkably similar fashion to the colonisation of non-Western peoples: like Westerners but not quite with it, in need of a clearer, 'scientific' vision of things -- in the case of an AI, in need of better computer science. What we need, I'd like to suggest, is something like an anthropology of the artificially intelligent, respectful of that persistent difference. Neisser again (in the idiom of his time): "The deep difference between the thinking of men and machines has been intuitively recognized by those who fear that machines may somehow come to regulate our society... But computer intelligence is indeed 'inhuman': it does not grow, has no emotional basis, and is shallowly motivated... The very concept of 'artificial intelligence' suggests the rationalist's ancient assumption that man's intelligence is a faulty independent of the rest of human life. Happily it is not." (p. 197) There is very good, exciting work in the cognitive sciences following in the path suggested by James Gibson's "The Theory of Affordances" (1979) and developed e.g. by Edwin Hutchins in Cognition in the Wild (1995) that explores a much bigger idea of mind than the computational one responsible for the latest version of the assumption Neisser fingers. But who in the last decade or so has pointed this out? Suggestions of where to go with this would be most welcome, esp if backtracking and rethinking are recommended. Yours, WM -- Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor emeritus, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (www.tandfonline.com/loi/yisr20) and Humanist (www.dhhumanist.org) _______________________________________________ Unsubscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted List posts to: email@example.com List info and archives at at: http://dhhumanist.org Listmember interface at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted/ Subscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/membership_form.php
Editor: Willard McCarty (King's College London, U.K.; Western Sydney University, Australia)
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