Re: Can you learn computer science from a school?

On May 24, 11:37 am, Aatu Koskensilta <aatu.koskensi...@xxxxxxxxx>
On 2007-05-24, in comp.lang.lisp, Bob Felts wrote:

Aatu Koskensilta <aatu.koskensi...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

What do you take "humans are Turing machines" to mean, then, if not the
trivially false claim?

I said that I'm not convinced that humans are Turning machines, i.e. we
may not be able to make computers do what we do.

We can't make computers eat hamburgers so trivially we may not be able to
make computers do what we do.

`Koskensilta's variant' of the standard Turing test.

The domain of discourse is not usually this prosaic.

In order to evaluate the claim that "humans
are Turing machines" it must be explained what exactly is meant by this.
This is not a trivial task and in much of the relevant literature the idea
is just bandied about without paying attention to what it is actually
supposed to mean, often leading to rather queer arguments. As an example,
when considering Gödelian arguments against AI often we find people talking
about "mathematical statements in principle acceptable to humans" with total
disregard to such questions as whether there is any definite totality of
such principles, or what it means for a mathematical statement to be "in
principle acceptable", and so on and so forth.

It is true that you can get lost in these arguments, but the gist of
the argument is that there is something distinctly special about human
reasoning that transcends what is commonly considered computable. The
question seems to make sense without getting into esoteric detail.


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