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The concept human considering and desktop computing are "radically a similar" offers the crucial subject matter for this marvelously lucid and witty booklet on what synthetic intelligence is all approximately. even if offered solely in nontechnical
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Extra info for Artificial Intelligence: The Very Idea
But the meani1lgs of those symbols are not material obj ects (they are "abstract" or "conceptual" or some thing). The trouble is, they still have to affect the operation of the mechanism for the manipulations to be reasonable. Hence all the old embarrassments return about exerting forces without hav ing any mass, electric charge, etc. : meanings as such simply cannot affect a physical mechanism. But suppose this problem could be resolved . ) Would that finish the matter? Not quite; for the status of the manipulator remains disconcertingly unsettled.
Whether a given technique is positive depends heavily on what would count as success . Imagine, for instance, carefully measuring off six feet on a board, drawing a perpendicular line there with a square, and then sawing right along the line. Is that a positive technique? Well, it depends. If the specified goal is to get a board between five feet eleven inches and six feet one inch, then the technique can succeed totally; so it's positive. But &�i'JJsMa�� exactly six feet long, then 54 Chapter 2 t h e method is not positive, since it could succeed at best approximately.
But many important formal systems are important for reasons quite apart from amusement (computers being a salient case in point). A simple example of a formal system not involving competi tion (but still having a goal position) is the familiar solitaire game played with pegs on a board with a cross-shaped array of holes in it. The starting position appears below. The solid dots represent • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 0 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • holes with pegs in them, and the circle in the center represents an empty hole ( the only one in the starting position).
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