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Humanist Archives: Oct. 27, 2019, 6:53 a.m. Humanist 33.349 - what we're not ready for

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 349.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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    [1]    From: Jim Rovira 
           Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.346: what we're not ready for (18)

    [2]    From: Jim Rovira 
           Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.346: what we're not ready for (24)

    [3]    From: Bill Benzon 
           Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.346: what we're not ready for (53)

        Date: 2019-10-26 14:52:47+00:00
        From: Jim Rovira 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.346: what we're not ready for

PS The link to Bill's paper needs to be corrected to:

And the link below appears to be dead. The blog is down. But I think this
is it here:


Jim R

> "What's in a Name? -- 'Digital Humanities' [#DH] and 'Computational
> Linguistics' and here's the link: https://new-
> savanna.blogspot.com/2016/05/whats-in-name-digital-humanities-dh-and.html

        Date: 2019-10-26 14:47:56+00:00
        From: Jim Rovira 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.346: what we're not ready for

Thanks for responding, Bill. Of course I plan to read your paper soon. I
hope you see from my previous post that I would never take issue with this

"In the post where I raised issue I very carefully said 'literary studies
people could begin ... to think about literary processes as somehow, in
some measure, computational in kind.' I didn't say that literature was
computational in kind, but only that it was 'somehow, in some measure'

But then further down in the same post you slip into this language:

"In that paper I set forth some ideas about the computational nature of
literary form that are the result of three decades of research."

There it is again, "the computational nature of literary form." It's very
easy to slip out of your qualifying statements as you go on, and very easy
for all of us to do so, but then it inevitably raises objections. Still
plan to read your paper, though.

Jim R

        Date: 2019-10-26 13:16:49+00:00
        From: Bill Benzon 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.346: what we're not ready for


> --[3]------------------------------------------------------------------------
>        Date: 2019-10-25 07:55:40+00:00
>        From: William Pascoe 
>        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.343: what we're not ready for
> Trying not to write 100000 words in an email.... some thoughts on 'strong' AI,
> and meaning, (not just useful applications modeled on human intelligence like
> neural nets for image matching):


> .... 'Flight' is a great analogy for thinking about AI.
> Like 'intelligence' it is an *ability* not a substance or a property. It works
> as an analogy in many ways, but one of them is that you can implement flight
> biologically with birds, but you can also implement it with metal and internal
> combustion etc, so long as you have forward propulsion and an aerodynamically
> shaped wing. Surprisingly, flight doesn't require flapping wings - so too we
> might have artificial 'intelligence, Jim, but not as we know it'. Also it's
> as if there is a thing called flight inside a bird or aeroplane that can be
> added or removed - rather it is an outcome of the functioning of a system.

YES. Shrewd point. I like to think of intelligence as something like the
acceleration of an automobile. Both are measures of performance. But it"s the
performance of the whole system, not some one component of the system.

If a team of engineers is charged with improving the acceleration of a car, what
are they doing to do? There are lots of things they could do. We know that
because acceleration equals force times mass, that anything in the car that has
mass affects acceleration. So, reduce the mass. Not only that, there"s
friction between the car and the ground and atmosphere, and that"s
"outside" the equation between force, mass, and acceleration. So, reduce
external friction. And, of course, increase the available force -- more power
in the engine, better transmission, whatever. But there isn"t some one thing
in the car that is the acceleration system.

Bill Benzon





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