Thursday, June 30, 2016

#182 / Say What You Mean

This brief little article (click the link), published online by the University of California, Santa Cruz, is all about how students and professors at UCSC are working together to try to find ways to make machines understand what we mean (when we say what we mean). 

Human languages are subtle, says the article. If we work at it, we can find ways to convey some of those subtleties to our computers. 

The article does not suggest that we can actually make a machine that is "like" us, and that is capable of thinking like us. I'm with what Robert Epstein says in his article on "The Empty Brain." We are not machines, we are "organisms." 

Mysteries, in other words. 

If that offends your feeling that we should always be "in control," let me refer you to Epstein: Get over it! 

Image Credit:


  1. False dichotomy. What we call are "organisms" are literally the machine bodies genes use to survive and replicate.

  2. Organisms are not mysteries. We understand how they come about (natural selection), the operation of their parts (molecular biology), and the language in which schematics for building their robot bodies are written (the genetic code).


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