[NetBehaviour] New developments - On Being/"exist.pl"

Pall Thayer pallthay at gmail.com
Fri Jul 25 14:15:23 CEST 2008

james jwm-art net wrote:
> Just a quick thought:
> how about a client/server model? so there could be several components
> communicating with each other?
Actually, I see that as a later step. The program will eventually want 
to explore outer space and that's where networking can come into the 


> On 25/7/2008, "Pall Thayer" <pallthay at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> We do not create the structure of our own brains, we receive their
>>> design via evolution (or from God, but either way we don't make them
>>> ourselves). But we eventually take credit for using them.
>>> The structure of a neural net isn't determined by the program itself
>>> either. *Legally* the program's conclusions would be yours, I think.
>>> But *philosophically* is there a reason other than the simplicity of
>>> the program that means credit for its discoveries should go to the
>>> author instead?
>>> AI programs are texts, they are scores. They are more like the writing
>>> games of the Oulipo or the Surrealists or the Beats than a simpler
>>> static text. If they produce "strange loops"
>>> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strange_loop) then this could be at
>>> least an analogue to or metaphor for self-awareness.
>>> - Rob.
>> Points taken and sure, they could justify taking such a step in this
>> project, which is purely conceptual and must therefore adhere to the
>> original concept of creating "a computer program that performs an
>> introspective metaphysical and ontological examination of its own
>> existence and being".
>> I've always seen something wrong with the idea of "AI". It just sounds
>> absurd to me that a machine can be made to become "intelligent" as we
>> define it in regards to humans. Based on the limited reading I've done
>> on the subject, some of the largest steps towards realizing AI have more
>> or less involved redefining what "intelligence" is. So here's my
>> proposal: The fundamental element of intelligence is an innate desire to
>> be aware of one's existence and state of being. This is the basis of
>> intelligence and without it nothing can emerge that can be called true
>> intelligence.
>> Obviously, my program has no desire to be aware of its existence and
>> state of being. That's why I have to tell it to do so and how to go
>> about it. A computer program can be made to know certain things and even
>> to make logical deductions based on that knowledge but that's not
>> synonymous with intelligence. It will never be able to make reasoned
>> decisions based on an intelligent understanding of things. A child who
>> can rattle of the product of any two numbers between 1 and 10 isn't
>> showing signs of intelligence. They're simply repeating something they
>> know. It's not until they start dealing with numbers that they haven't
>> managed to memorize that they may display intelligence through
>> understanding and this understanding is acquired through their desire to
>> be aware of their existence and state of being. That's essentially why
>> they went through the trouble of acquiring the understanding needed to
>> multiply those numbers.
>> So, that's where I'm at right now. I'm not extremely well read in these
>> matters and it could very well be that I'm simply repeating something
>> that philosophers have been saying for the last 100 years. But this is
>> what I'm learning from my work on exist.pl
>> Pall
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