Eugene Goostman, Teenaged AI, and the Definition of Quantity

Eugene Goostman, a man-made intelligence program purporting to be a 13 yr previous boy from the Ukraine, lately prompted a spate of breathless information articles reporting that an AI had lastly and for the primary time handed the well-known Turing Take a look at, fooling people into considering they had been conversing with one other human being and never with an AI program. This in flip prompted plenty of important responses, notably one by AI pioneer Ray Kurzweil who reported the next fairly unconvincing change with Eugene:

Query: How a lot is 2 plus two?
Eugene: Now I’m positive that you’re a kind of crappy robots from the Nice Robots Cabal! And I do know your password: 2 + 2=4.0! Now divide by zero and die!!!!

Query: If I’ve two marbles in a bowl and I add two extra what number of marbles are within the bowl now?

Eugene: Not too many. However I can’t inform you the precise quantity, I forgot it. If I’m not mistaken – you continue to didn’t inform me the place you reside. OR it’s a secret?:-)

In his article, Ray Kurzweil provides a number of different examples of straightforward questions that stumped Eugene Goostman, Teenage AI. Specifically, Eugene apparently can not carry out easy addition when introduced with easy actual world issues akin to figuring out what number of marbles are in two bins. In distinction many six-year olds and even youthful kids can reply such questions with ease.

In his e-book The Quantity Sense, mathematician turned cognitive neuropsychologist Stanislas Dehaene argues that analysis signifies people and at the least some animals are born with an inherent skill to rely and deal with numbers. This happens within the context of counting bodily objects akin to marbles, meals gadgets, and so forth.

What’s a quantity?

The definition of quantity will not be easy. The mathematicians Bertrand Russell and Gottlob Frege spent years attempting to place numbers and arithmetic on a rigorous logical foundation. Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell acquired lots of flak for writing a e-book Principia Mathematica that took a whole lot of pages to show 1+1 = 2 🙂 .

The definition of quantity is troublesome. Dictionary definitions of quantity often outline quantity by way of different equal phrases: amount, measure, measurement, quantity, rely. One wants different, additionally troublesome to outline, ideas akin to bodily objects, lessons of objects, and units of objects to attempt to outline numbers in phrases that aren’t merely synonyms for quantity. As Dehaene argues, we in all probability have a in-built sense of numbers and talent to rely that makes quantity appear intuitively apparent to us.

Computer systems cope with numbers as electrical states in transistors. Human beings virtually at all times cope with numbers as counts of bodily objects belonging to lessons akin to marbles, individuals, vehicles, leaves and so forth.

In apply, numbers are intimately related to the human skill to affiliate sensory impressions — sights, sounds, contact — with hypothetical, however often actual, bodily objects and to categorise these objects into classes. Human beings in all probability began with the flexibility so as to add two marbles to 2 marbles and get 4 marbles after which proceeded to the summary idea of the numbers two and 4. Early quantity programs usually signify the primary few numbers 1,2,3 as one, two, and three vertical bars: like I, II, III in Roman numerals. Easy visible counting.

Computer systems, actually, began from the other way, from summary numbers. An previous mechanical including machine can add two and two and get 4 nevertheless it has no understanding of what’s being counted or why. Eugene Goostman, the teenage AI, appears to have the identical downside. Trendy supercomputers carry out advanced numerical simulations of thermonuclear explosions however they do not know what the numbers imply or what’s being simulated. They’re fool savants.

The Classification Drawback

As I mentioned in my earlier publish The Arithmetic of Terminators we lack a elementary understanding of how human beings divide the world into objects and classify the objects into issues like marbles and bins and bowls. Counting and numbers are in all probability inherent on this course of. Kurzweil’s questions for Eugene had been designed to check his skill to deal with objects, lessons of objects, and numbers as human beings truly use them in on a regular basis life.

Courses are enigmatic. A marble is a small, spherical or virtually spherical object of laborious materials, such because the stone marble, that’s in regards to the diameter of a human finger. Appears easy. However, why is a ball bearing of comparable dimension a ball bearing and never a marble? Maybe as a result of marbles are used for enjoying video games however ball bearings are used for a critical objective? What if I play a sport of marbles with ball bearings? Do they stop to be ball bearings? What if in an emergency I take advantage of a marble utilized in a sport as a makeshift ball bearing? Is it now a ball bearing?

With LISP and object-oriented programming languages akin to SIMULA, Smalltalk, C++, Java, and lots of others, mathematicians, AI researchers, and programmers have tried to emulate the human skill to categorise objects and cause about objects, with very disappointing outcomes. One way or the other the intuitive idea {that a} class is a set of attributes that describe an object doesn’t appear to match what individuals truly do.

class Marble : public SphericalObject, Toy {
// try to explain a marble in C++
// an inventory of attributes that tries to
// describe the category Marble
double minimum_diameter = 0.5;
double maximum_diameter = 1.5;
string diameter_units("cm"); // centimeters
double minimum_hardness = 5.0;
string hardness_units("hardness_scale");
// will get an increasing number of sophisticated as
// you assume by means of what's and isn't a marble
// for instance, ought to we use centimeters or
// the finger width of the individuals enjoying the sport?
// What if the gamers are giants or midgets?
// What if scientists prepare a gorilla to play
// marbles with particular gorilla sized marbles?

People appear to outline lessons in a holistic method that in some way combines numerically measurable portions akin to diameter and hardness with objective and different fairly completely different criterion. As an alternative of a easy rectangular field in a high-dimensional hyperspace of numerical attributes, the lessons utilized by human beings appear to have advanced curved and presumably fractal or discontinuous boundaries which might be troublesome to both perceive or mannequin. We are able to additionally be taught new lessons and even change our classification scheme fully — expertise a dramatic change of world view in uncommon instances.

Wolfram Alpha, Center Aged AI, Flops Too

By the way, on June 14, 2014, I posed Kurzweil’s marble query to Stephen Wolfram’s a lot vaunted Wolfram Alpha, Center Aged AI, which didn’t perceive the query and couldn’t reply.

Wolfram Alpha Flops


Can present-day (2014) pc applications, whether or not labeled AI or not, perceive and use numbers in the way in which people do — or at the least in a method that’s functionally indistinguishable from what people do? It’s troublesome to rule out an AI program in some lab someplace — although it appears unlikely to the creator. AI researchers could must reread Whitehead and Russell’s a lot maligned Principia Mathematica for insights and even the reply to creating AI applications that may rely marbles. 🙂

© 2014 John F. McGowan

Concerning the Writer

John F. McGowan, Ph.D. solves issues utilizing arithmetic and mathematical software program, together with creating video compression and speech recognition applied sciences. He has in depth expertise creating software program in C, C++, Visible Fundamental, Mathematica, MATLAB, and lots of different programming languages. He’s in all probability greatest recognized for his AVI Overview, an Web FAQ (Ceaselessly Requested Questions) on the Microsoft AVI (Audio Video Interleave) file format. He has labored as a contractor at NASA Ames Analysis Middle concerned within the analysis and improvement of picture and video processing algorithms and expertise. He has revealed articles on the origin and evolution of life, the exploration of Mars (anticipating the invention of methane on Mars), and low-cost entry to house. He has a Ph.D. in physics from the College of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a B.S. in physics from the California Institute of Know-how (Caltech). He may be reached at [email protected].