anthr_of_comp6 - 21A.350 SP.484J STS.086 The Anthropology...

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21A.350 / SP.484J / STS.086 The Anthropology of Computing Fall 2004 MIT Today’s topic ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE and the beginning of presentations! ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF COGNITION AND GENDER Lecture 6. October 25 Let me begin by finishing up a few points from Edwards. Constructing Artificial Intelligence “AI established a fully symmetrical relation between biological and artificial minds through its concept of ‘physical symbol systems.’ Instead of modeling brains in computer hardware — the central goal of cybernetics — AI sought to mimic minds in software” (p. 239). FROM VON NEUMANN TO TURING “From the EDVAC on, programs themselves were coded as binary numbers and stored in memory along with the data” (p. 246). intelligence as software “Newell and Simon [RAND people] … began to displace the cybernetic computer- brain analogy with the even more comprehensive computer-mind metaphor of artificial intelligence. The two metaphors shared concepts of coding and information. But where the cyberneticians’ ideal systems were weakly structured, self-organizing, and engaged with the environment, AI systems were highly structured, manipulating pre-encoded and pre-organized knowledge rather than building it through sensory encounters. Instead of feedback, reflex and neural networks, the AI theorists thought in terms of instructions, languages, goals, and logical operations. The physical machine became little more than an arbitrary vehicle for the interactions of pre information” (p. 252). AI had developed a new approach: “Instead of General Problem Solvers, researchers constructed simple microworlds” (p. 294) e.g. SHRDLU. Knowledge Representation. The program/mind started to contain its own world: the mind became a closed world . Let me show you an excerpt from a film that I think well illustrates this transition: 2001 , another Kubrick film. Here, we see the HAL computer, which is both a disembodied mind and coextensive with the closed world of the spacecraft, which he (and why is it a HE ?) oversees, manages. This is the kind of machine Alan Turing had in mind when he wrote
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Turing , Alan. 1950. Computing Machinery and Intelligence. Mind 59(236): pp. 433- 460. Online: What are digital computers (and discrete state machines)? What does Turing mean when he says that digital computers are universal? What is Turing Test? How does Imitation game answer question “Can a Machine Think?” by rephrasing it as: “Are there imaginable digital computers which would do well in the imitation game?'” “It is played with three people, a man (A), a woman (B), and an interrogator (C) who may be of either sex. The interrogator stays in a room apart from the other two. The object of the game for the interrogator is to determine which of the other two is
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anthr_of_comp6 - 21A.350 SP.484J STS.086 The Anthropology...

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