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The Most Human Human

Monday, April 04, 2011

Brian Christian looks at how computers are reshaping our ideas of what it means to be human and tells about his experience participating in the annual Turing Test, which pits artificial intelligence programs against humans. The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive gives an account of his participation in the Turing Test, and he examines the philosophical, bio­logical, and moral issues it raises.

Guests:

Brian Christian

Comments [5]

Mr_Bill from New Rochelle

Amy, I think that self-awareness is self-defined.
If computers keep geting bigger and bigger, it is entirely possible they could become self-aware. I have worked with very large special-purpose computers for 40 years, and their growth is astounding. And they're still stupid; GIGO.

After all, what's so special about self-awareness, except from a religious viewpoint?
It seems that some apes and porposes are self-aware, in a dim way. Perhaps whales and elephants too. They have no concept of history, however. (Maybe elephants do.)

A self-aware computer may gain an awareness of history, and then might see itself as we (some of us anyhow) do.

Apr. 04 2011 02:23 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Will computers really *be* self-aware, or will they just *behave* as if they were? Who can define the difference--except humans?

Apr. 04 2011 01:57 PM
Tony Bruguier from Santa Clara, CA

I wouldn't say that current spam messages are a form of Turing tests.

The spam messages' content is written by human. The programs just send billions of them.

Apr. 04 2011 01:46 PM
Mr_Bill from New Rochelle

I'd go right to sibling rivlery; sexual experiences; and fishing; to lord over a compupretender.

Send my check now.

Apr. 04 2011 01:29 PM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

"The Most Human Human" reminds me of the Tyrell corporation's motto from the film Bladerunner, "More Human Than Human"

Apr. 04 2011 01:29 PM

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