In this lecture Rolf Pfeifer presents some first steps toward a “theory of intelligence”., followed by guest lectures by Vincent C. Müller (Anatolia College, Greece) on computers and cognition, and Alex Waibel (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany/Carnegie Mellon University, USA) who demonstrates a live lecture translation system.
Vincent C Müller: Computers Can Do Almost Nothing – Except Cognition (Perhaps)
The basic idea of classical cognitive science and classical AI is that if the brain is a computer then we could just reproduce brain function on different hardware. The assumption that this function (cognition) is computing has been much criticized; I propose to assume it is true and to see what would follow.
Let us take it as definitional that computing is ‘multiply realizable’: Strictly the same computing procedure can be realized on different hardware. (This is true if computing is understood as digital algorithmic procedures, in the sense of Church and Turing.) But in multiple realizations only the syntactic computational properties are retained from one realization to the other, while the physical and semantic properties may or may not be. So, even if the brain is indeed a computer, realizing it in different hardware might not have the desired effects because the hardware-dependent effects are not computational: Just computing can’t even switch on a red light; a computer model of an apple tree will not produce apples. But perhaps cognition is different. Is cognition one the properties that are retained in different realizations?
Alex Waibel: Bridging the Language Divide