X-Message-Number: 8218
From:  (Thomas Donaldson)
Subject: Re: CryoNet #8203 - #8204
Date: Sat, 17 May 1997 21:57:19 -0700 (PDT)

Hi again!

Deep Blue was a very good programming effort, for which the programmers 
involved (and if they consulted any other grandmasters to write the program,
the chess people involved) did a very good job.

Well, my hand calculator can add up a long string of numbers much faster than
I can, and (given that my finger doesn't slip) more accurately too. Given the
rules of chess, we have no more than a very big job of calculation. Certainly
it will require some heuristics, as do many computer calculations. I'm 
sure that the men and women doing the programming thought long and hard about
how they could prune the tree of POSSIBLE moves to get down to a set of 
GOOD moves.

As for a mind, the mind that Kasparov saw was that of the programmers, no
more and no less. Ho hum. Much simpler programs can convince some who face
them that they are talking to a person ... can and have. 

I would be the last to claim that we cannot build DEVICES which will really
be intelligent, just as we are. I'm a whole lot more doubtful that we can
make COMPUTERS --- at least in the present sense of the word --- very
intelligent at all. As for making those devices, it seems not only unwise
but cruel --- cruel to the devices, which would have a human brain and
human desires in a body incapable of satisfying them. But after all, human
beings have done many cruel things in the past, so why not this one?

As for the uses of similar devices, which are NOT like us because they
have no desires, I'm sure that such devices will become very useful. Without
desires they will have no consciousness. Since they are built for our use
rather than their own, a lack of desires is important. No doubt they will
be a great help to us on many different occasions and situations, extending
our brains just as the invention of speech, writing, printing, and all those
other inventions have done.

			Long long life,

				Thomas Donaldson

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