Essays

Essays


[Deep Blue]
He's 1.8 ton, and only eight years old (at the time of his greatest challenge), but he's a pretty mean chess player.
[The first match]
An easy win for Kasporov, after he had sussed his silicon-based opponent.
[Deep Blue Wins!]
Well they had to win sometime, didn't they? Every 18 months or so they double their processing power, and memory capacity, but good old humans stay the same. So Gary let them win a little. Well anyway he was up against a super supercomputer who could compute a million times faster than the best human, which didn't just have one processor it had a whole array of them. And, of course, it has it's technical team with it (just in case it made a wrong move). [Video clips] I think it's amazing that humans have managed to bear computers at chess for this long. Well we'll just have to find another game that they're not so good at. Maybe one that involves running, as they're not so good at that, especially when they're plugged into the mains.
[The RS/6000]
Fed up of getting socks and ties for your Christmas? Well this could be the best Christmas present you've ever had. It can even beat the best mind on the planet.

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In 1950, Alan Turing declared that one day computers have the same intelligence as humans, and proved it with a special test. For this, he asked human testers to ask a human and a computer random questions. If the computer gave the correct answer, the testers could not differentiate between the human and the computer.

At present, computers and humans each have advantages over each other, but as computers become faster and contain more memory, they can replace humans in many situations. In Arthur C.Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey, the spacecraft's on-board computer, HAL, played the captain at chess. The computer won and then took over the ship. Thus, if a computer could beat the best human intellect at a game which provided one of the greatest human challenges then they are certainly capable of taking on the most complex of problems. This become a reality when, on 10th February 1996, Deep Blue, a computer developed by IBM, beat Gary Kasparov at chess in a match in the USA. It was a triumph of Artificial Intelligence (AI) over human intelligence. Gary actually went on to beat Deep Blue by four games to two, but the damage had already been done. It would only be a matter of time be-fore a computer would beat the chess champion, as, on average, they increase their processing capacity by 50% each year, as well improving their operation and the amount of information they can store. Thus, in a rematch in May 1997, Deeper Blue, the big brother of Deep Blue, beat Gary by 3½ to 2½. The best computer had finally beaten the best human brain. In reality, it was unfair challenge. Computers have a massive number of openings programmed into it, and can search through an almost infinite amount of situations. Kasparov knew the only way to beat the computer was to get it away from its opening encyclopedia as quickly as possible, he thus made moves which would be perceived as bad when playing against another human. An annoying feature of playing against a computer is that it never makes mistakes, as humans do. Computers also process data faster than the human brain and can search billions of different options to find the best.

Claude Shannon, in 1949, listed the levels in which computers could operate, each with a higher level of intellectual operation. Figure 1 outlines these, and Figure 2 shows how humans fair against computers. Fortunately humans have several advantages over computers. These are:

Learning. Humans adapt to changing situations, and generally quickly learn tasks. Unfortunately, once these tasks have been learnt, they often lead to boredom if they are repeated repetitively.

Strategy. Humans are excellent at taking complex tasks and splitting them into smaller, less complex, tasks. Then, knowing the outcome, they can implement these in the required way, but can make changes depending on conditions.

Enterprise. Computers, as they are programmed at the present, are an excellent business tool. They generally allow better decision making, but, at present, they cannot initiate new events.

Creativity. As with enterprise, humans are generally more creative than computers. This will change over the coming years as they programmed with the aid of psychologists, musicians and artists, and will contain elements which are pleasing to the human senses.

 

billatnapier)

There are seven main components of human intelligence, which, if computers are to match humans, they must implement:

Spatial.

This is basically the ability to differentiate between two- and three-dimensional objects. Computers, even running power image processing software, often have difficulty in differentiating between a two-dimensional object and a three-dimensional object. Humans find this easy, and are only tricked by optical illusions, where a two-dimensional object is actually a three-dimensional object, and so on. The objects on the right-hand side are a mixture of two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects. Humans can quickly determine from the simple sketches that the top two objects are three-dimensional objects, which have been drawn as a two-dimensional object, and the lower one is either a two-dimensional object, or that it is a three-dimensional object that has been drawn from above. A computer would not be able to make these observations, as it would not understand how these sketches relate to real-life objects, and that they were actually three-dimensional objects. Which objects in the graphic are 2D and which are 3D?

Perception

This is the skill of identifying simple shapes from complex ones. For example, humans can quickly look at a picture and determine the repeated sequences, shapes, and so on. For example, look at the picture on the right-hand side, and determine how many triangles that it contains. It is relatively easy for a human to determine this, as they have great perception skills. This is because the human brain can easily find simple shapes from complex ones. Imagine writing a computer program which would determine all of the triangles in an object, then modifying it so it finds other shapes, such as squares, hexagons, and so on. How many triangles are there in the picture?

Memory

This is the skill of memorizing and recalling objects which do not have any logical connection. Humans have an amazing capacity for recalling previous objects, typically by linking objects, from one to the next. Computers can implement this with a linked-list approach, but it becomes almost impossible to manage when the number of objects becomes large. For example look at the picture on the right-hand side for 30 seconds. Then, cover it up, wait 1 minute, and then try and name the objects that were in it.

The person would try and visualize the picture by creating an imaginary story of the picture, such as:

A black horse jumps over a frog and then is eaten by a furious lion.

A magician comes along on and turns the lion into a rabbit, which he pulls out of his hat.

A shark suddenly jumps out and starts to bite the magician on the head.

"Time for bed", announces the tortoise, and magician falls asleep.

Imagine trying to get a computer to recognize these objects. The memory required on the computer would be massive, as it would not really be able to simplifying the picture the way that a human would. Imagine how difficult it would be to get a computer to identify which object had been taken away, especially if they were in the wrong order, and they have been changed in some way (see picture on the right). Humans can also remember other things, apart from the types of objectives that they are, such as:

Was the magician happy or sad? (How do you differentiate between happy and sad?)

What did the magician have in his hands? (How do you tell a computer what hands are, and how they hold onto things?)

Was the magician happy or sad? (How do you differentiate between happy and sad?)

Without looking, name the objects in the picture?

Numerical

Most humans can manipulate numbers in various ways. Humans are by no-way as fast as computers, but humans can often simply complex calculation, but ap-proximating, or by eliminating terms which have little effect on the final answer. For example: What is the approximate area for a room that is 6.9 metres and 9.1 meters? [Many humans would approximate this to 7 times 9, and say that it is approximately 63 meters squared, whereas a calculator would say 62.79 meters squared]


Verbal

This is the comprehension of language. Many computers now have the processing capability to speech in a near-human form. It is also now possible to even computer computers accents, but it will be a long time before computers automatically learning verbal language without requiring the user to train them.


Lexical

This is a manipulation of vocabulary. Why is it that Winnie the Pooh more interesting to read than a Soccer match report? It's all down to lexical skill. Currently virtually all of the most of the creative writing in the world has been created by humans, as humans understand how sentences can be made from a collection of words, and in a form which is interesting for someone to read. Computers are very good at spotting spelling mistakes, and even at finding grammatical errors, but they are not so good at actually writing the material in the first place. When was the last time that you read something that was originated by a computer? Have a look at the text in the box on the right-hand side of this paragraph. One of the sentences is active and interesting, while the other is passive and dull. Writing which is passive becomes boring to read, and most readers loose interest in reading it. Write two pieces of text: one with an active style and the other with a passive style.

Reasoning

This is induction and deduction. Humans can often deduce things when they are not given a complete set of information. For example, what is happening in the picture on the right-hand side? Most humans would reason that the two women had just attended a graduation ceremony, whereas a computer would have little perception about what the picture contained. If someone was asked a few questions, most people would reply with fairly positive answers, as they could reason things from this picture.

Are they male or female? Female.
Did they pass? Yes, they have parchments.
Are they pleased? Yes, they are smiling.
Are they friends? Yes, they seem to be.
Have the graduated with a degree? Yes, I think so. They have mortarboards on.
Was it a PhD? I don't really know, but I would say that it was just a degree, as they don't look old enough to complete a PhD. Anyway they look as if they are in a class together.

Try getting a computer program to answer these questions, and you would require a whole team of expert psychologists, computer scientists, software engineers, image processing engineers, and so on.

 

Essay of the Week Page [Home - Essay - How to Measure Intelligence]
bill@napier, 2002

Computers normally run a fixed program, and which cannot change whe nthe controlled system changes. Humans learn from their mistakes and easy adapt to varying conditions.Humans have  a great knack of developing long-term strategies from complex situations. For example, in a chess program, a computer will generally search many combinations to find the best one, whereas a human will play with a strategy, which is ever changing.Most new ventures are initiated by humans. It is difficult to program computers to create enterprise, as it is a complex subject with many inputs, which vary over time, and can have many results.Humans have different motivations than computers. Humans are driven by many different things, such as love, beauty, money, hate, spite, and so on. These make humans both predictable and unpredictable. It is extremely difficult to program computers to be creative. A human brain takes several milliseconds to sense changes and even longer to react to them. Fast computers can react to changes within a millionth of a second (or, in some cases, a billionth of a second)This is because they react to events in a predictable way, which is dictated by their computer program. Any errors can be quickly corrected.Computers will generally work 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. They also do not stop for lunch, do not tire over the day, or need holidays.Computers, like dogs, are loyal servers. They have no interest in moving to other jobs, or demand better working conditions (apart from requiring air conditioning and a clear power supply).