Re: Character identities

From: Michael \(michka\) Kaplan (
Date: Mon Oct 28 2002 - 22:12:45 EST

  • Next message: John Cowan: "Re: Character identities"

    All this talk about the letter "A" reminded me of something from Hofstadter:

    "The problem of intelligence, as I see it is to understand the fluid nature
    of mental categories, to understand the invariant cores of percepts such as
    your mother’s face, to understand the strangely flexible yet strong
    boundaries of concepts such as “chair” or the letter “a“ … The central
    problem of (artificial intelligence) is the question: What is the letter ‘a’
    and ‘i’? ...By making these claims, I am suggesting that, for any program to
    handle letterforms with the flexibility that human beings do, it would have
    to possess full-scale general intelligence."

    -- Douglas R. Hofstadter, from one of his Metamagical Themas articles

    The notion that we could ever capture the essence of "A-ness" has already
    been discussed at length and dismissed as impossible without an AI
    breakthrough. :-)


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