Kurzweil on Wolfram

Kurzweil on WolframBlogged a few days ago on the Ray Kurzweil comments and discussions from last year on Wolfram’s ANKOS. A long set of discussion threads now exist on this work. First off here are some Kurzweil / Wolfram quotes …

Kurzweil [Quote] Personally, I find Wolfram’s enthusiasm for his own ideas refreshing. I am reminded of a comment made by the Buddhist teacher Guru Amrit Desai, when he looked out of his car window and saw that he was in the midst of a gang of Hell’s Angels. After studying them in great detail for a long while, he finally exclaimed, “They really love their motorcycles.” [Unquote] And on the subject of how progress arises from catastrophe.

Wolfram [Quote] From such a repetitive and deterministic process [CA – Cellular Automata], one would expect repetitive and predictable behavior ….. Whenever a phenomenon is encountered that seems complex it is taken almost for granted that the phenomenon must be the result of some underlying mechanism that is itself complex. But my discovery [ WTF !!?!?! ] that simple programs can produce great complexity makes it clear that this is not in fact correct. [Unquote] But surely this is well known chaos, complexity and fractal stuff as, of course, Kurzweil proceeds to comment. Kurzweil’s basic conclusion is that Wolframs CA’s cannot possibly drive all natural behaviours mechanistically without the kind of complexity generated by evolutionary drives and mechanisms. I’d have to agree, interesting, stimulating discussion, valid thoughts, but not new, and certainly not ANKOS nor Life the Universe and Everything.

Kurzweil’s site also hosts many thoughtful “MindExchange” threads, prompted by his article. See this thread with Karun Philip.

Karun Philip [Quote] creative conjecture procedes solely by a process of analogy …. Syllogism itself is an analogy to causality (whether such causality is real or apparent is unimportant) [Unquote] Analogy and metaphor again. [Quote] AI, in my opinion, is useless, practically speaking. We might as well hire someone from China [Unquote] Is this a deliberate Chinese Room allusion ? And for an encore his book Zen and the Art of Funk Capitalism [Quote] …. purports to tell the story of what is true of the universe in which we live. If we are to tell the story of what is true, we must then begin with an investigation of what constitutes valid knowledge and what does not. Indeed, what do we mean by the word knowledge ? (epistemology) …. ends with a proposal that I claim will largely get rid of extreme global poverty …. giving people the knowledge and philosophy of how to maximize the chance of building a successful small business. [Unquote] I’m all for high-minded aims. Mine are merely to improve business organisational decision making. Intriguing stuff. K-Capital is Karun Philip’s business venture.

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