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Re: <nettime> Essay-Grading Software
Newmedia on Fri, 26 Apr 2013 18:58:27 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Essay-Grading Software


Patrice:
 
> Made me think of this very issue, where 'Hubos' 
> (Human robots) would presumably make 'automated
> grading' even  more efficient, and acceptable.

Yes but this is based on another MISTAKE  -- that "robots" are at all 
anything like *humans* (typical mistake  #3).
 
The "meme" that lingers after 50 years of *failure* by the Artificial  
Intelligence crowd (now represented by Ray Kurzweil and his clueless epigone at  
Google etc) is based on a fundamental misunderstanding about humans 
(typical  mistake #1).
 
As historian of technology George Dyson correctly insists, these machines  
are part of a *diffferent* UNIVERSE from both the humans and our other  
"non-digital" inventions (including society/culture).
 
As he says in the preface to his 1997 "Darwin Among the Machines," "In the  
game of life and evolution there are three players at the table: human 
beings,  nature and machines."  He then updates this three-part distinction in 
his  2012 "Turings Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe," by  
distinguishing computers from other machines.  
 
If we can't adequately understand these distinctions, then we will have  
little chance of sorting any of this out!
 
Machines will *never* become "conscious" or "emotional" or "spiritual"  
because none of that is "programmed" into them.  They weren't "designed" to  do 
any of this -- indeed, we couldn't include any of this precisely because  
these qualities cannot be reduced to something we can design (i.e. a result 
of  typical mistake #1).
 
Imagining that "robots" will become like humans, as the Swedes have in  
"Real Humans," is a typical device for science fiction that is designed to  
amuse humans . . . and of no "interest" to the machines themselves -- no  
matter how much processing power they might have.
 
Mark Stahlman
Brooklyn NY


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