Sub-topic: Strong vs. Weak AI
There are two schools of thought on the subject of Artificial Intelligence.
One says: build a powerful enough computer and it will think and act indistinguishably from a person.
The other says: there ain’t no computer powerful enough, and there never will be.
I used to be a strong AI kind of guy. Computers are getting faster and faster, AI seems to be getting better and better, etc. How else could our brain work except by some kind of massively parallel procedural method? i.e. it could be shown to be equivalent to a Turing machine. Douglas Hofstadter (Goedel Escher Bach) is a strong AI guy and a very interesting writer.
Then I read The Emperor’s New Mind by Roger Penrose. Seems he’s a weak AI guy. His contention was (basically…haven’t finished the book yet) that we don’t know how the mind works but it’s something somehow more powerful than how a computer works; i.e. you can’t simulate it with a Turing machine.
Any thoughts on this issue? It would be nice to have a debate about something not religiously charged for a change.