November 22nd, 2003


Computer chess and the simulation of intelligence

A couple of things recently came into conjunction to get me started thinking about artificial intelligence -- Russ recently posted about a recent set of chess games between Gary Kasparov and X3d-Fritz, and there's a thread on rec.arts.sf.composition discussing artificial intelligences and what they hypothetically could or could not be programmed to do.

So, I ended up writing a fairly substantial usenet post about this, and decided that it might also be of interest to post here (with a bit of editing) as well. The subject, primarily, is what the differences are between "weak AI" and "strong AI", and in particular whether or not it's necessary to emulate human capability to "think" on the inside in order to produce something that's functionally equivalent on the outside, and whether it is in fact valid to distinguish between the two.

My conclusion on the matter is that there is a very distinct difference between having intelligence and acting with an outward appearance of the same, and that it is quite possible to produce the latter by having a capability to do a vast amount of simplistic things that are not themselves (either individually or in the aggregate) an actual intelligence.

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Two recommendations?

So, according to recent news, the music database is going away as of December 2. There are some suggestions about picking it up, but that doesn't seem anywhere near guaranteed.

This inspired me to go poke around at it, and see what it had to offer before it went away. And mainly what I discovered was a vast long list of songs, without any way to tell much about them before downloading them. The same problem occurs to me in music stores, so I don't suppose this was too surprising ... and I suppose the solution is the same; one figures these sorts of things out based at least in part on recommendations from other people. So, in this spirit, I'll offer some of the things that I've found there, and ask for recommendations from anyone else who's reading this and has found interesting stuff.

Flight of the Dragon Riders, Symphonic Chronicles. It's electronic classical, in a very dramatic movie-score sort of style; very much the sort of thing that I enjoy listening to on my way to work in the morning.

Thunderstorm, Guy in the Woods. A very nice recording -- recording montage, actually -- of a thunderstorm. Very nicely done, and no distracting instrumentals stuck over it like most of the storm recordings sold in stores.

Internet Cello Society. A collection of various classical cello pieces, mostly old standbys.

Tomo Iwakura. Classical guitar; pieces by various composers.

Anyone else have things they'd suggest?