Today’s Coding Horror, Nobody’s Going to Help You, and That’s Awesome, is about how generally useless self-help books are. Now, self-help books are about as American as Apple Pie and the Pursuit of Happiness, but most of them are drivel (see Sturgeon’s Law).
I’ve been taking steps to climb out of a rut that I’ve dug myself into. I’ve been exercising regularly again, I’m coding recreationally—and not just in World of Warcraft—and now I’m going to take the concrete advice of that blog post, and write a short little email to myself every day about what I’m going through, as taken from 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot. The key is to take what is implicit, abstract and unformed in your mind, and make it explicit and concrete.
Some of my recent troubles have been caused by implicit abstractness taking a life of its own, and this exercise was just what I needed a long time ago in order to stem this off.
I had read and filed away Why Minds Are Not Like Computers, which has revived some of my past mulling over what the problems with Artificial Intelligence are.
At root in the current debate as to whether AI is achievable is the soul-body dichotomy, i.e., “Mind is software, brain is hardware”.
I’m convinced the modern approach to AI is on the wrong track. Intelligence is our means of survival as humans. It is used in the service of our lives, which happens to be by means of solving problems related to meeting the requirements of life. As far as the popular scientific press goes, it seems like AI studies all focus on solving “interesting” problems, like pathfinding, or stomping on human opponents on Jeopardy.
I think it would be a fruitful line of research to develop autonomous artificial life, give it a survival condition, and let that new entity figure things out on its own. That would be the truest form of AI there is.