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Yes, no, maybe
By Nigel Morris-Cotterill  |  Jun 20, 2022
Yes, no, maybe
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What is artificial intelligence really, and how does it work? AI has drawn much attention in recent years, but all the hype and the potential surrounding it often obscure the true situation. AI’s dominance is far from preordained or inevitable, and one must step back and assess things from time to time, as these four characters A, B, C, and D do here.


“Artificial Intelligence is neither artificial nor intelligent” 

- Professor Ian Angell, London University, ca. 2000.


A: Computers are dumb. Computers recognise only two states: on and off, one or zero, black or white.

B: If that’s the case, how do we get yes, no or maybe : that’s the basis of fuzzy logic that has become a topic du jour now that FinCEN has announced it’s going to use it.

C: Fuzzy logic was first described in a paper in the 1970s. By the 1980s we had it in toasters and washing machines. FinCEN is behind the times.

A: Is fuzzy logic a state?

C: Well, it’s not on or off so if it’s a state, it’s a third state.

B: I don’t think it’s a single state. I think it’s just nested states. Like those Russian Dolls. Each of them is on or off, doll or not doll. But maybe it’s also parallel decision making. So it’s looking in more than one set of dolls at the same time and using the information from all of them to reach a decision.

A: Like this: is the toast burned yet? Is the toast burned yet? Is the toast burned yet. Oh, bugger. It’s burned.

C: Well, yes. But it still needs a human to decide how thick and how dry the bread is and how brown he wants it. Then he sets the instruction and leaves the toaster to act as instructed, when the circumstances i.e. the bread is toasted as instructed, and then pops up.

A: So it’s not thinking, is it?

B: No, it’s not thinking at all but it is doing more than ones and zeros.

A: But is it? Is it ready? No. Contin

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Nigel shared with us a broad picture of AI. Today, we still feel not easy to judge the intelligence and the artificial of AI. Lots of characteristics of machine learning are not clear. I like Nigel's piece, similar to an ancient Greek drama. People are expecting what is on the stage. It's a question.
Thanks. Wait the character expand on why computers are like golf balls :)