I have read many recent discussions of the limits of computation and the universe as computer, hoping to find some comments on the amazing work of polymath physicist and decision theorist David Wolpert but have not found a single citation and so I present this very brief summary. Wolpert proved some stunning impossibility or incompleteness theorems (1992 to 2008-see arxiv.org) on the limits to inference (computation) that are so general they are independent of the device doing the computation, and even (...) independent of the laws of physics, so they apply across computers, physics, and human behavior. They make use of Cantor's diagonalization, the liar paradox and worldlines to provide what may be the ultimate theorem in Turing Machine Theory, and seemingly provide insights into impossibility,incompleteness, the limits of computation,and the universe as computer, in all possible universes and all beings or mechanisms, generating, among other things,a non-quantum mechanical uncertainty principle and a proof of monotheism. (shrink)
This is a review of The Turing Guide (2017), written by Jack Copeland, Jonathan Bowen, Mark Sprevak, Robin Wilson, and others. The review includes a new sociological approach to the problem of computability in physics.
Las máquinas aceleradas de Turing (ATMs) son dispositivos capaces de ejecutar súper-tareas. Sin embargo, el simple ejercicio de definirlas ha generado varias paradojas. En el presente artículo se definirán las nociones de súper-tarea y ATM de manera exhaustiva y se aclarará qué debe entenderse en un contexto lógico-formal cuando se pregunta por la existencia de un objeto. A partir de la distinción entre posibilidades lógicas y físicas se disolverán las paradojas y se concluirá que las ATMs son posibles y existen (...) como objetos abstractos. (shrink)
An effective method is a computational method that might, in principle, be executed by a human. In this paper, I argue that there are methods for computing that are not effective methods. The examples I consider are taken primarily from quantum computing, but these are only meant to be illustrative of a much wider class. Quantum inference and quantum parallelism involve steps that might be implemented in multiple physical systems, but cannot be implemented, or at least not at will, by (...) an idealised human. Recognising that not all computational methods are effective methods is important for at least two reasons. First, it is needed to correctly state the results of Turing and other founders of computation theory. Turing is sometimes said to have offered a replacement for the informal notion of an effective method with the formal notion of a Turing machine. I argue that such a view only holds under limited circumstances. Second, not distinguishing between computational methods and effective methods can lead to mistakes when quantifying over the class of all possible computational methods. Such quantification is common in philosophy of mind in the context of thought experiments that explore the limits of computational functionalism. I argue that these ‘homuncular’ thought experiments should not be treated as valid. (shrink)
Analysis is given of the Omega Point cosmology, an extensively peer-reviewed proof (i.e., mathematical theorem) published in leading physics journals by professor of physics and mathematics Frank J. Tipler, which demonstrates that in order for the known laws of physics to be mutually consistent, the universe must diverge to infinite computational power as it collapses into a final cosmological singularity, termed the Omega Point. The theorem is an intrinsic component of the Feynman-DeWitt-Weinberg quantum gravity/Standard Model Theory of Everything (TOE) describing (...) and unifying all the forces in physics, of which itself is also required by the known physical laws. With infinite computational resources, the dead can be resurrected--never to die again--via perfect computer emulation of the multiverse from its start at the Big Bang. Miracles are also physically allowed via electroweak quantum tunneling controlled by the Omega Point cosmological singularity. The Omega Point is a different aspect of the Big Bang cosmological singularity--the first cause--and the Omega Point has all the haecceities claimed for God in the traditional religions. -/- From this analysis, conclusions are drawn regarding the social, ethical, economic and political implications of the Omega Point cosmology. (shrink)
Infinite time Turing machines represent a model of computability that extends the operations of Turing machines to transfinite ordinal time by defining the content of each cell at limit steps to be the lim sup of the sequences of previous contents of that cell. In this paper, we study a computational model obtained by replacing the lim sup rule with an ‘eventually constant’ rule: at each limit step, the value of each cell is defined if and only if the content (...) of that cell has stabilized before that limit step and is then equal to this constant value. We call these machines weak infinite time Turing machines. We study different variants of wITTMs adding multiple tapes, heads, or bidimensional tapes. We show that some of these models are equivalent to each other concerning their computational strength. We show that wITTMs decide exactly the arithmetic relations on natural numbers. (shrink)
Two strategies to infinity are equally relevant for it is as universal and thus complete as open and thus incomplete. Quantum mechanics is forced to introduce infinity implicitly by Hilbert space, on which is founded its formalism. One can demonstrate that essential properties of quantum information, entanglement, and quantum computer originate directly from infinity once it is involved in quantum mechanics. Thus, thеse phenomena can be elucidated as both complete and incomplete, after which choice is the border between them. A (...) special kind of invariance to the axiom of choice shared by quantum mechanics is discussed to be involved that border between the completeness and incompleteness of infinity in a consistent way. The so-called paradox of Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky, and Nathan Rosen is interpreted entirely in the same terms only of set theory. Quantum computer can demonstrate especially clearly the privilege of the internal position, or “observer”, or “user” to infinity implied by Henkin’s proposition as the only consistent ones as to infinity. (shrink)
The CMI Millennium “P vs NP Problem” can be resolved e.g. if one shows at least one counterexample to the "P = NP" conjecture. A certain class of problems being such counterexamples will be formulated. This implies the rejection of the hypothesis that "P = NP" for any conditions satisfying the formulation of the problem. Thus, the solution "P is different from NP" of the problem in general is proved. The class of counterexamples can be interpreted as any quantum superposition (...) of any finite set of quantum states. The Kochen-Specker theorem is involved. Any fundamentally random choice among a finite set of alternatives belong to "NP" but not to "P". The conjecture that the set complement of "P" to "NP" can be described by that kind of choice exhaustively is formulated. (shrink)
A practical viewpoint links reality, representation, and language to calculation by the concept of Turing (1936) machine being the mathematical model of our computers. After the Gödel incompleteness theorems (1931) or the insolvability of the so-called halting problem (Turing 1936; Church 1936) as to a classical machine of Turing, one of the simplest hypotheses is completeness to be suggested for two ones. That is consistent with the provability of completeness by means of two independent Peano arithmetics discussed in Section I. (...) Many modifications of Turing machines cum quantum ones are researched in Section II for the Halting problem and completeness, and the model of two independent Turing machines seems to generalize them. Then, that pair can be postulated as the formal definition of reality therefore being complete unlike any of them standalone, remaining incomplete without its complementary counterpart. Representation is formal defined as a one-to-one mapping between the two Turing machines, and the set of all those mappings can be considered as “language” therefore including metaphors as mappings different than representation. Section III investigates that formal relation of “reality”, “representation”, and “language” modeled by (at least two) Turing machines. The independence of (two) Turing machines is interpreted by means of game theory and especially of the Nash equilibrium in Section IV. Choice and information as the quantity of choices are involved. That approach seems to be equivalent to that based on set theory and the concept of actual infinity in mathematics and allowing of practical implementations. (shrink)
A set theory model of reality, representation and language based on the relation of completeness and incompleteness is explored. The problem of completeness of mathematics is linked to its counterpart in quantum mechanics. That model includes two Peano arithmetics or Turing machines independent of each other. The complex Hilbert space underlying quantum mechanics as the base of its mathematical formalism is interpreted as a generalization of Peano arithmetic: It is a doubled infinite set of doubled Peano arithmetics having a remarkable (...) symmetry to the axiom of choice. The quantity of information is interpreted as the number of elementary choices (bits). Quantum information is seen as the generalization of information to infinite sets or series. The equivalence of that model to a quantum computer is demonstrated. The condition for the Turing machines to be independent of each other is reduced to the state of Nash equilibrium between them. Two relative models of language as game in the sense of game theory and as ontology of metaphors (all mappings, which are not one-to-one, i.e. not representations of reality in a formal sense) are deduced. (shrink)
Although computation and the science of physical systems would appear to be unrelated, there are a number of ways in which computational and physical concepts can be brought together in ways that illuminate both. This volume examines fundamental questions which connect scholars from both disciplines: is the universe a computer? Can a universal computing machine simulate every physical process? What is the source of the computational power of quantum computers? Are computational approaches to solving physical problems and paradoxes always fruitful? (...) Contributors from multiple perspectives reflecting the diversity of thought regarding these interconnections address many of the most important developments and debates within this exciting area of research. Both a reference to the state of the art and a valuable and accessible entry to interdisciplinary work, the volume will interest researchers and students working in physics, computer science, and philosophy of science and mathematics. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that human beings should reason, not in accordance with classical logic, but in accordance with a weaker ‘reticent logic’. I characterize reticent logic, and then show that arguments for the existence of fundamental Gödelian limitations on artificial intelligence are undermined by the idea that we should reason reticently, not classically.
For over a decade, the hypercomputation movement has produced computational models that in theory solve the algorithmically unsolvable, but they are not physically realizable according to currently accepted physical theories. While opponents to the hypercomputation movement provide arguments against the physical realizability of specific models in order to demonstrate this, these arguments lack the generality to be a satisfactory justification against the construction of any information-processing machine that computes beyond the universal Turing machine. To this end, I present a more (...) mathematically concrete challenge to hypercomputability, and will show that one is immediately led into physical impossibilities, thereby demonstrating the infeasibility of hypercomputers more generally. This gives impetus to propose and justify a more plausible starting point for an extension to the classical paradigm that is physically possible, at least in principle. Instead of attempting to rely on infinities such as idealized limits of infinite time or numerical precision, or some other physically unattainable source, one should focus on extending the classical paradigm to better encapsulate modern computational problems that are not well-expressed/modeled by the closed-system paradigm of the Turing machine. I present the first steps toward this goal by considering contemporary computational problems dealing with intractability and issues surrounding cyber-physical systems, and argue that a reasonable extension to the classical paradigm should focus on these issues in order to be practically viable. (shrink)
Quantum computer is considered as a generalization of Turing machine. The bits are substituted by qubits. In turn, a "qubit" is the generalization of "bit" referring to infinite sets or series. It extends the consept of calculation from finite processes and algorithms to infinite ones, impossible as to any Turing machines (such as our computers). However, the concept of quantum computer mets all paradoxes of infinity such as Gödel's incompletness theorems (1931), etc. A philosophical reflection on how quantum computer might (...) implement the idea of "infinite calculation" is the main subject. (shrink)
In this paper we analyze methodological and philosophical implications of algorithmic aspects of unconventional computation. At first, we describe how the classical algorithmic universe developed and analyze why it became closed in the conventional approach to computation. Then we explain how new models of algorithms turned the classical closed algorithmic universe into the open world of algorithmic constellations, allowing higher flexibility and expressive power, supporting constructivism and creativity in mathematical modeling. As Goedels undecidability theorems demonstrate, the closed algorithmic universe restricts (...) essential forms of mathematical cognition. In contrast, the open algorithmic universe, and even more the open world of algorithmic constellations, remove such restrictions and enable new, richer understanding of computation. (shrink)
Our limited a priori-reasoning skills open a gap between our finding a proposition conceivable and its metaphysical possibility. A prominent strategy for closing this gap is the postulation of ideal conceivers, who suffer from no such limitations. In this paper I argue that, under many, maybe all, plausible unpackings of the notion of ideal conceiver, it is false that ideal negative conceivability entails possibility.
This paper investigates the view that digital hypercomputing is a good reason for rejection or re-interpretation of the Church-Turing thesis. After suggestion that such re-interpretation is historically problematic and often involves attack on a straw man (the ‘maximality thesis’), it discusses proposals for digital hypercomputing with Zeno-machines , i.e. computing machines that compute an infinite number of computing steps in finite time, thus performing supertasks. It argues that effective computing with Zeno-machines falls into a dilemma: either they are specified such (...) that they do not have output states, or they are specified such that they do have output states, but involve contradiction. Repairs though non-effective methods or special rules for semi-decidable problems are sought, but not found. The paper concludes that hypercomputing supertasks are impossible in the actual world and thus no reason for rejection of the Church-Turing thesis in its traditional interpretation. (shrink)
This article defends a modest version of the Physical Church-Turing thesis (CT). Following an established recent trend, I distinguish between what I call Mathematical CT—the thesis supported by the original arguments for CT—and Physical CT. I then distinguish between bold formulations of Physical CT, according to which any physical process—anything doable by a physical system—is computable by a Turing machine, and modest formulations, according to which any function that is computable by a physical system is computable by a Turing machine. (...) I argue that Bold Physical CT is not relevant to the epistemological concerns that motivate CT and hence not suitable as a physical analog of Mathematical CT. The correct physical analog of Mathematical CT is Modest Physical CT. I propose to explicate the notion of physical computability in terms of a usability constraint, according to which for a process to count as relevant to Physical CT, it must be usable by a finite observer to obtain the desired values of a function. Finally, I suggest that proposed counterexamples to Physical CT are still far from falsifying it because they have not been shown to satisfy the usability constraint. (shrink)
Hypercomputation—the hypothesis that Turing-incomputable objects can be computed through infinitary means—is ineffective, as the unsolvability of the halting problem for Turing machines depends just on the absence of a definite value for some paradoxical construction; nature and quantity of computing resources are immaterial. The assumption that the halting problem is solved by oracles of higher Turing degree amounts just to postulation; infinite-time oracles are not actually solving paradoxes, but simply assigning them conventional values. Special values for non-terminating processes are likewise (...) irrelevant, since diagonalization can cover any amount of value assignments. This should not be construed as a restriction of computing power: Turing’s uncomputability is not a ‘barrier’ to be broken, but simply an effect of the expressive power of consistent programming systems. (shrink)
This book is a state-of-the-art review on the Physics of Emergence. Foreword v Gregory J. Chaitin Preface vii Ignazio Licata Emergence and Computation at the Edge of Classical and Quantum Systems 1 Ignazio Licata Gauge Generalized Principle for Complex Systems 27 Germano Resconi Undoing Quantum Measurement: Novel Twists to the Physical Account of Time 61 Avshalom C. Elitzur and Shahar Dolev Process Physics: Quantum Theories as Models of Complexity 77 Kirsty Kitto A Cross-disciplinary Framework for the Description of Contextually Mediated (...) Change 109 Liane Gabora and Diederik Aerts Quantum-like Probabilistic Models Outside Physics 135 Andrei Khrennikov Phase Transitions in Biological Matter 165 Eliano Pessa Microcosm to Macrocosm via the Notion of a Sheaf (Observers in Terms of t-topos) 229 Goro Kato The Dissipative Quantum Model of Brain and Laboratory Observations 233 Walter J. Freeman and Giuseppe Vitiello Supersymmetric Methods in the Traveling Variable: Inside Neurons and at the Brain Scale 253 H.C. Rosu, O. Cornejo-Perez, and J.E. Perez-Terrazas Turing Systems: A General Model for Complex Patterns in Nature 267 R.A. Barrio Primordial Evolution in the Finitary Process Soup 297 Olof Gornerup and James P. Crutchfield Emergence of Universe from a Quantum Network 313 Paola A. Zizzi Occam's Razor Revisited: Simplicity vs. Complexity in Biology 327 Joseph P. Zbilut Order in the Nothing: Autopoiesis and the Organizational Characterization of the Living 339 Leonardo Bich and Luisa Damiano Anticipation in Biological and Cognitive Systems: The Need for a Physical Theory of Biological Organization 371 Graziano Terenzi How Uncertain is Uncertainty? 389 Tibor Vamos Archetypes, Causal Description and Creativity in Natural World 405 Leonardo Chiatti . (shrink)
The recent debate on hypercomputation has raised new questions both on the computational abilities of quantum systems and the Church-Turing Thesis role in Physics.We propose here the idea of “effective physical process” as the essentially physical notion of computation. By using the Bohm and Hiley active information concept we analyze the differences between the standard form (quantum gates) and the non-standard one (adiabatic and morphogenetic) of Quantum Computing, and we point out how its Super-Turing potentialities derive from an incomputable information (...) source in accordance with Bell’s constraints. On condition that we give up the formal concept of “universality”, the possibility to realize quantum oracles is reachable. In this way computation is led back to the logic of physical world. (shrink)
Under the banner of "hypercomputat ion" various claims are being made for the feasibility of modes of computation that go beyond what is permitted by Turing computability. In this article it will be shown that such claims fly in the face of the inability of all currently accepted physical theories to deal with infinite precision real numbers. When the claims are viewed critically, it is seen that they amount to little more than the obvious comment that if non-computable inputs are (...) permitted, then non-computable outputs are attainable. (shrink)
Landauer's principle, often regarded as the basic principle of the thermodynamics of information processing, holds that any logically irreversible manipulation of information, such as the erasure of a bit or the merging of two computation paths, must be accompanied by a corresponding entropy increase in non-information-bearing degrees of freedom of the information-processing apparatus or its environment. Conversely, it is generally accepted that any logically reversible transformation of information can in principle be accomplished by an appropriate physical mechanism operating in a (...) thermodynamically reversible fashion. These notions have sometimes been criticized either as being false, or as being trivial and obvious, and therefore unhelpful for purposes such as explaining why Maxwell's Demon cannot violate the second law of thermodynamics. Here I attempt to refute some of the arguments against Landauer's principle, while arguing that although in a sense it is indeed a straightforward consequence or restatement of the Second Law, it still has considerable pedagogic and explanatory power, especially in the context of other influential ideas in nineteenth and twentieth century physics. Similar arguments have been given by Jeffrey Bub. (shrink)
Does Nature permit the implementation of behaviours that cannot be simulated computationally? We consider the meaning of physical computation in some detail, and present arguments in favour of physical hypercomputation: for example, modern scientific method does not allow the specification of any experiment capable of refuting hypercomputation. We consider the implications of relativistic algorithms capable of solving the (Turing) Halting Problem. We also reject as a fallacy the argument that hypercomputation has no relevance because non-computable values are indistinguishable from sufficiently (...) close computable approximations. In addition to considering the nature of computability relative to any given physical theory, we can consider the relationship between versions of computability corresponding to different models of physics. Deutsch and Penrose have argued on mathematical grounds that quantum computation and Turing computation have equivalent formal power. We suggest this equivalence is invalid when considered from the physical point of view, by highlighting a quantum computational behaviour that cannot meaningfully be considered feasible in the classical universe. (shrink)
In this report I provide an introduction to the burgeoning field of hypercomputation – the study of machines that can compute more than Turing machines. I take an extensive survey of many of the key concepts in the field, tying together the disparate ideas and presenting them in a structure which allows comparisons of the many approaches and results. To this I add several new results and draw out some interesting consequences of hypercomputation for several different disciplines.
What Robots Can and Can't Be (hereinafter Robots) is, as Selmer Bringsjord says "intended to be a collection of formal-arguments-that-border-on-proofs for the proposition that in all worlds, at all times, machines can't be minds" (Bringsjord, forthcoming). In his (1994) "Précis of What Robots Can and Can't Be" Bringsjord styles certain of these arguments as proceeding "repeatedly . . . through instantiations of" the "simple schema".
We describe an emerging field, that of nonclassical computability and nonclassical computing machinery. According to the nonclassicist, the set of well-defined computations is not exhausted by the computations that can be carried out by a Turing machine. We provide an overview of the field and a philosophical defence of its foundations.
The tape is divided into squares, each square bearing a single symbol—'0' or '1', for example. This tape is the machine's general-purpose storage medium: the machine is set in motion with its input inscribed on the tape, output is written onto the tape by the head, and the tape serves as a short-term working memory for the results of intermediate steps of the computation. The program governing the particular computation that the machine is to perform is also stored on the (...) tape. A small, fixed program that is 'hard-wired' into the head enables the head to read and execute the instructions of whatever program is on the tape. The machine's atomic operations are very simple—for example, 'move left one square', 'move right one square', 'identify the symbol currently beneath the head', 'write 1 on the square that is beneath the head', and 'write 0 on the square that is beneath the head'. Complexity of operation is achieved by the chaining together of large numbers of these simple atoms. Any universal Turing machine can be programmed to carry out any calculation that can be performed by a human mathematician working with paper and pencil in accordance with some algorithmic method. This is what is meant by calling these machines 'universal'. (shrink)
A myth has arisen concerning Turing's paper of 1936, namely that Turing set forth a fundamental principle concerning the limits of what can be computed by machine - a myth that has passed into cognitive science and the philosophy of mind, to wide and pernicious effect. This supposed principle, sometimes incorrectly termed the 'Church-Turing thesis', is the claim that the class of functions that can be computed by machines is identical to the class of functions that can be computed by (...) Turing machines. In point of fact Turing himself nowhere endorses, nor even states, this claim (nor does Church). I describe a number of notional machines, both analogue and digital, that can compute more than a universal Turing machine. These machines are exemplars of the class of _nonclassical_ computing machines. Nothing known at present rules out the possibility that machines in this class will one day be built, nor that the brain itself is such a machine. These theoretical considerations undercut a number of foundational arguments that are commonly rehearsed in cognitive science, and gesture towards a new class of cognitive models. (shrink)
Existing work on the ultimate limits of computation has urged that the apparatus of real numbers should be eschewed as an investigative tool and replaced by discrete mathematics. The present paper argues for a radical extension of this viewpoint: not only the continuum but all infinitary constructs including the rationals and the potential infinite sequence of whole numbers need to be eliminated if a self-consistent investigative framework is to be achieved.
In this paper I place Jim Fetzer's esemplastic burial of the computational conceptionof mind within the context of both my own burial and the theory of mind I would put in place of this dead doctrine. My view..
I know that those of you who know my mind know that I think I know that we can't know Gödel's mind through computation: ``The Impact : Failing to Know " If computationalism is false, observant philosophers willing to get their hands dirty should be able to find tell-tale signs today: automated theorem proving tomorrow (Eastern APA): robots as zombanimals But let's start with little 'ol me, and literary, not mathematical, creativity: Selmer (samples) vs. Brutus1 (samples again).
α-recursion lifts classical recursion theory from the first transfinite ordinal ω to an arbitrary admissible ordinal α . Idealized computational models for α-recursion analogous to Turing machine models for classical recursion have been proposed and studied  and  and are applicable in computational approaches to the foundations of logic and mathematics . They also provide a natural setting for modeling extensions of the algorithmic logic described in  and . On such models, an α-Turing machine can complete a θ-step (...) computation for any ordinal θ < α. Here we consider constraints on the physical realization of α-Turing machines that arise from the structure of physical spacetime. In particular, we show that an α-Turing machine is realizable in a spacetime constructed from R only if α is countable. While there are spacetimes where uncountable computations are possible and while they may even be empirically distinguishable from a standard spacetime, there is good reason to suppose that such nonstandard spacetimes are nonphysical. We conclude with a suggestion for a revision of Church’s thesis appropriate as an upper bound for physical computation. (shrink)