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Re: [ontolog-forum] some of the challenge(s) ontologists face

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 2015 10:07:58 -0400
Message-id: <55A90C3E.3030303@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On 7/17/2015 1:33 AM, Pat Hayes wrote:
> I was thinking more of the fact that actual computer behavior
> often depends on real time of responses, which is a critical
> aspect of computer science and computer engineering which is
> completely invisible from the perspective of the theory of
> Turing computability.    (01)

That's true.  But oracles meet that criterion:  they are completely
invisible from the Turing machine, either a-machine (algorithmic)
or o-machine (a-machine + oracle).    (02)

In Turing's brief remarks about oracles, he put only one constraint
on the use of oracles:  the algorithmic part of the o-machine makes
the first move in asking for info from the oracle.  But there is no
guarantee that the oracle's answer is relevant -- it's like Google.    (03)

That's exactly what every digital computer does when getting info
from the outside.  They do periodic polling for input alerts (very
simple questions) before they "read" the input from the device.
That input may lead them to ask further questions.    (04)

Soare's paper is 70 pages long.  It's a very good survey with many
quotations by Gödel, Church, and others before and after Turing's
papers.  He also quotes remarks by Gödel as late as 1964 and some
important remarks by Turing in 1947.    (05)

> any identification of the living/computer contrast with any
> xxx/Turing-computable contrast, for pretty much any xxx, is
> probably nonsense. For a thorough debunking of one famous attempt,
> see http://www.ihmc.us/users/phayes/Pub/LaforteHayesFord.pdf    (06)

I agree, and so would Soare.  But a Turing a-machine is a model
of the proverbial "brain in a vat" which is given an infinite tape
and no other sensory or motor connections.  The sensory/motor
connections of every human (or other animal) make animal brains
into o-machines.    (07)

But Soare does *not* go into the debates about human vs. machine
intelligence, except for pp. 42 & 43, where he quotes Turing (1947).
I believe that brief discussion is more significant than the many
dead trees that have been wasted on the subject.    (08)

John    (09)

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