Saturday, December 09, 2017



D. R. Khashaba

AI and IT experts speak glibly of intelligent machines and of robots that will replace humans. Be that as it may, but let us at least think a little about the words we use.

It is a corruption of language to speak of a machine as intelligent. I know that our scientists and experts have their definitions, their technically refined definitions, but all of those definitions specify external marks that cannot reveal the essence of what we are speaking about. And the more sophisticated and intricate the definitions are, the more distant they are from the true nature, the inner nature, of the thing defined.

The understanding of a thing, I will not say comes from, but is none other than the light that shines from the self-evidence of what we are speakingabout. Understanding is a live experience. You understand when you have no need for any definition or explanation or proof.

I repeat: it is a corruption of language to speak of a machine as intelligent because the first mark of intelligence is spontaneity, and I find ‘spontaneity’ here more telling than ‘autonomy’. Our intelligence is spontaneity; our free will is spontaneity.

When I speak of intelligence in a human being or in any sensate being, I am not referring to the intelligence of an Einstein or of an Alan Turing, but of the intelligence of my granddaughter’s cats, each of which has a marked character and temper and caprices of her own and does what she does because — because of no because, but just that it suits her.

Lessing, if my memory serves me right, said “ Kein Mensch muss müssen”. In four little words he put his finger on the holy of holies of humanity, or rather of all life. Had Descartes had a pet cat he would not have committed the idiocy of saying that animals are automata.

The essence of life is intelligence and spontaneity, All ltfe is intelligent in a sense of intelligence that AI and IT experts and all the geniuses of physics and astrophysics and robot builders cannot comprehend because they seek intelligence where there is no intelligence. Where there is no life there no intelligence can be.

Dear Reader, I write in anger. Where there is anger there will be error. But if all my statements are proven to be riddled with contradiction I will still aver that in my error there is more truth that is in all the works of all Laplaces and all Turings put together.

D. R. Khashaba

December 9, 2017

Posted to xnd


Blogger jps said...

Totally agree. Interesting etymological point, 'intelligence' is derived from 'inte-legere', 'to read between', so has an essential connotation of interpretation or of seeing meaning. Which reminds me, the ancient and honorable word 'nous' is likewise the 'faculty that perceives what is real'.

2:15 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home