15 April 2011

'Flanked by beast and machine'

The brain, [Bronowski] understands, is not just an instrument for action. It is an instrument for preparation; it both drives the human hand and is driven by it; it is an instrument wired to learn, control speech, plan and make decisions.

...[Bronowski] reminds us that from the printed book comes "the democracy of the intellect" and that humans are primarily ethical creatures.
-- from Tim Radford's review of the reissued Ascent of Man.
In a 2006 article about the Turing Test, the Loebner Prize co-founder Robert Epstein writes, “One thing is certain: whereas the [human decoys] in the competition will never get any smarter, the computers will.” I agree with the latter, and couldn’t disagree more strongly with the former...

...No, I think that, while the first year that computers pass the Turing Test will certainly be a historic one, it will not mark the end of the story. Indeed, the next year’s Turing Test will truly be the one to watch—the one where we humans, knocked to the canvas, must pull ourselves up; the one where we learn how to be better friends, artists, teachers, parents, lovers; the one where we come back. More human than ever.
-- from Mind vs. Machine by Brian Christian

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