View Single Post
Old 05-23-2019, 01:41 PM
wolfpup's Avatar
wolfpup is offline
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 11,508
Originally Posted by RaftPeople View Post
What if that same transformation was performed by HMHW's light switch box - would that be considered a computation?

Is that transformation always a computation regardless of the nature of the machinery that performed it?
It depends on what question you're asking. If you're concerned about whether a device is Turing equivalent, you need to understand what it's actually doing. But when computation is viewed simply as the output of a black box, it's always reducible to the mapping of a set of input symbols to a set of output symbols. So I take the view that any black box that deterministically produces such a mapping for all combinations of inputs has to be regarded as ipso facto computationally equivalent to any other that produces the same mapping, without reference to what's going on inside it. Of course, the mechanisms involved may be trivial, like a simple table lookup, that may not provide any insights into the nature of computation and may not be Turing equivalent.