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 Turingmachine. We provide an overview of the field and a philosophical defence of its foundations.
We characterise explicitly the decidable predicates on integers of Infinite Time Turing machines, in terms of admissibility theory and the constructible hierarchy. We do this by pinning down ζ, the least ordinal not the length of any eventual output of an Infinite Time Turingmachine (halting or otherwise); using this the Infinite Time Turing Degrees are considered, and it is shown how the jump operator coincides with the production of mastercodes for the constructible hierarchy; further that (...) the natural ordinals associated with the jump operator satisfy a Spector criterion, and correspond to the L ζ -stables. It also implies that the machines devised are "Σ 2 Complete" amongst all such other possible machines. It is shown that least upper bounds of an "eventual jump" hierarchy exist on an initial segment. (shrink)
The properties of Turing’s famous ‘universal machine’ has long sustained functionalist intuitions about the nature of cognition. Here, I show that there is a logical problem with standard functionalist arguments for multiple realizability. These arguments rely essentially on Turing’s powerful insights regarding computation. In addressing a possible reply to this criticism, I further argue that functionalism is not a useful approach for understanding what it is to have a mind. In particular, I show that the difficulties involved (...) in distinguishing implementation from function make multiple realizability claims untestable and uninformative. As a result, I conclude that the role of Turing machines in philosophy of mind needs to be reconsidered. (shrink)
Earlier, we have studied computations possible by physical systems and by algorithms combined with physical systems. In particular, we have analysed the idea of using an experiment as an oracle to an abstract computational device, such as the Turingmachine. The theory of composite machines of this kind can be used to understand (a) a Turingmachine receiving extra computational power from a physical process, or (b) an experimenter modelled as a Turingmachine performing (...) a test of a known physical theory T. Our earlier work was based upon experiments in Newtonian mechanics. Here we extend the scope of the theory of experimental oracles beyond Newtonian mechanics to electrical theory. First, we specify an experiment that measures resistance using a Wheatstone bridge and start to classify the computational power of this experimental oracle using non-uniform complexity classes. Secondly, we show that modelling an experimenter and experimental procedure algorithmically imposes a limit on our ability to measure resistance by the Wheatstone bridge. The connection between the algorithm and physical test is mediated by a protocol controlling each query, especially the physical time taken by the experimenter. In our studies we find that physical experiments have an exponential time protocol, this we formulate as a general conjecture. Our theory proposes that measurability in Physics is subject to laws which are co-lateral effects of the limits of computability and computational complexity. (shrink)
Recent advances in neuroscience lead to a wider realm for philosophy to include the science of the Darwinian-evolved computational brain, our inner world producing organ, a non-recursive super- Turingmachine combining 100B synapsing-neuron DNA-computers based on the genetic code. The whole system is a logos machine offering a world map for global context, essential for our intentional grasp of opportunities. We start from the observable contrast between the chaotic universe vs. our orderly inner world, the noumenal cosmos. (...) So far, philosophy has been rehearsing our thoughts, our human-internal world, a grand painting of the outer world, how we comprehend subjectively our experience, worked up by the logos machine, but now we seek a wider horizon, how humans understand the world thanks to Darwinian evolution to adapt in response to the metaphysical gap, the chasm between the human animal and its environment, shaping the organism so it can deal with its variable world. This new horizon embraces global context coded in neural structures that support the noumenal cosmos, our inner mental world, for us as denizens of the outer environment. Kant’s inner and outer senses are fundamental ingredients of scientific philosophy. Several sections devoted to Heidegger, his lizard debunked, but his version of the metaphysical gap & his doctrine of the logos praised. Rorty and others of the behaviorist school discussed also. (shrink)
According to pancomputationalism, everything is a computing system. In this paper, I distinguish between different varieties of pancomputationalism. I find that although some varieties are more plausible than others, only the strongest variety is relevant to the philosophy of mind, but only the most trivial varieties are true. As a side effect of this exercise, I offer a clarified distinction between computational modelling and computational explanation.<br><br>.
Can mind be modeled as a Turingmachine? If you find such questions irrelevant, e.g. because the subject is already exhausted, then you need not read the book Mind versus Computer (Gams et al., 1991). If, on the other hand, you do find such questions relevant, then perhaps you need not read Dunlop's review of the book (Dunlop, 2000). (...).
We characterise explicitly the decidable predicates on integers of Infinite Time Turing machines, in terms of admissibility theory and the constructible hierarchy. We do this by pinning down $\zeta$, the least ordinal not the length of any eventual output of an Infinite Time Turingmachine ; using this the Infinite Time Turing Degrees are considered, and it is shown how the jump operator coincides with the production of mastercodes for the constructible hierarchy; further that the natural (...) ordinals associated with the jump operator satisfy a Spector criterion, and correspond to the L$_\zeta$-stables. It also implies that the machines devised are "$\Sigma_2$ Complete" amongst all such other possible machines. It is shown that least upper bounds of an "eventual jump" hierarchy exist on an initial segment. (shrink)
In the field of computability and algorithmicity, there have recently been two essays that are of great interest: Peter Slezak's "Descartes's Diagonal Deduction," and David Deutsch's "Quantum Theory, the Church-Turing Principle and the Universal Quantum Computer." In brief, the former shows that Descartes' Cogito argument is structurally similar to Godel's proof that there are statements true but cannot be proven within a formal system such as Principia Mathematica, while Deutsch provides strong arguments for believing that the universe can be (...) represented as a Turingmachine. King contends that the conjoining of Slezak's analysis with Deutsch's provides a perspective from which it is possible to argue that a scientific theology can be taken a little more seriously at present than in the past. , , , , In the field of computability and algorithmicity, there have recently been two essays that are of great interest: Peter Slezak's "Descartes's Diagonal Deduction," and David Deutsch's "Quantum Theory, the Church-Turing Principle and the Universal Quantum Computer." In brief, the former shows that Descartes' Cogito argument is structurally similar to Godel's proof that there are statements true but cannot be proven within a formal system such as Principia Mathematica, while Deutsch provides strong arguments for believing that the universe can be represented as a Turingmachine. King contends that the conjoining of Slezak's analysis with Deutsch's provides a perspective from which it is possible to argue that a scientific theology can be taken a little more seriously at present than in the past. (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.
Alan Turing anticipated many areas of current research incomputer and cognitive science. This article outlines his contributionsto Artificial Intelligence, connectionism, hypercomputation, andArtificial Life, and also describes Turing's pioneering role in thedevelopment of electronic stored-program digital computers. It locatesthe origins of Artificial Intelligence in postwar Britain. It examinesthe intellectual connections between the work of Turing and ofWittgenstein in respect of their views on cognition, on machineintelligence, and on the relation between provability and truth. Wecriticise widespread and influential misunderstandings (...) of theChurch–Turing thesis and of the halting theorem. We also explore theidea of hypercomputation, outlining a number of notional machines thatcompute the uncomputable. (shrink)
In their recent paper “Do Accelerating Turing Machines Compute the Uncomputable?” Copeland and Shagrir draw a distinction between a purist conception of Turing machines, according to which these machines are purely abstract, and Turingmachine realism according to which Turing machines are spatio-temporal and causal “notional" machines. In the present response to that paper we concede the realistic aspects of Turing’s own presentation of his machines, pointed out by Copeland and Shagrir, but argue that (...)Turing's treatment of symbols in the course of that presentation opens the door for later purist conceptions. Also, we argue that a purist conception of Turing machines plays an important role not only in the analysis of the computational properties of Turing machines, but also in the philosophical debates over the nature of their realization. (shrink)
The aim of the paper is to present the underlying reason of the unsolved symbol grounding problem. The Church-Turing Thesis states that a physical problem, for which there is an algorithm of solution, can be solved by a Turingmachine, but machine operations neglect the semantic relationship between symbols and their meaning. Symbols are objects that are manipulated on rules based on their shapes. The computations are independent of the context, mental states, emotions, or feelings. The (...) symbol processing operations are interpreted by the machine in a way quite different from the cognitive processes. Cognitive activities of living organisms and computation differ from each other, because of the way they act in the real word. The result is the problem of mutual understanding of symbol grounding. (shrink)
Abstract Philosophical discussion of Alan Turing’s writings on intelligence has mostly revolved around a single point made in a paper published in the journal Mind in 1950. This is unfortunate, for Turing’s reflections on machine (artificial) intelligence, human intelligence, and the relation between them were more extensive and sophisticated. They are seen to be extremely well-considered and sound in retrospect. Recently, IBM developed a question-answering computer (Watson) that could compete against humans on the game show Jeopardy! There (...) are hopes it can be adapted to other contexts besides that game show, in the role of a collaborator of, rather than a competitor to, humans. Another, different, research project --- an artificial intelligence program put into operation in 2010 --- is the machine learning program NELL (Never Ending Language Learning), which continuously ‘learns’ by ‘reading’ massive amounts of material on millions of web pages. Both of these recent endeavors in artificial intelligence rely to some extent on the integration of human guidance and feedback at various points in the machine’s learning process. In this paper, I examine Turing’s remarks on the development of intelligence used in various kinds of search, in light of the experience gained to date on these projects. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss the topics of mechanism and algorithmicity. I emphasise that a characterisation of algorithmicity such as the Turingmachine is iterative; and I argue that if the human mind can solve problems that no Turingmachine can, the mind must depend on some non-iterative principle — in fact, Cantor's second principle of generation, a principle of the actual infinite rather than the potential infinite of Turing machines. But as there has been (...) theorisation that all physical systems can be represented by Turing machines, I investigate claims that seem to contradict this: specifically, claims that there are noncomputable phenomena. One conclusion I reach is that if it is believed that the human mind is more than a Turingmachine, a belief in a kind of Cartesian dualist gulf between the mental and the physical is concomitant. (shrink)
In 1935/1936 Kurt Gödel wrote three notebooks on the foundations of quantum mechanics, which have now been entirely transcribed for the first time. Whereas a lot of the material is rather technical in character, many of Gödel's remarks have a philosophical background and concentrate on Leibnizian monadology as well as on vitalism. Obviously influenced by the vitalistic writings of Hans Driesch and his ‘proofs’ for the existence of an entelechy in every living organism, Gödel briefly develops the idea of a (...) computing machine which closely resembles Turing's groundbreaking conception. After introducing the notebooks on quantum mechanics, this article describes Gödel's vitalistic Weltbild and the ideas leading to the development of his computing machine. It investigates a notion of lawlike sequence which closely resembles Turing's concept of a computable number and which Gödel himself calls ‘problematic’, and compares it to the opposed concept of randomness, drawing upon the notion of program-size complexity. Finally, Gödel's machine is implemented in a dialect of the Lisp programing language. (shrink)
Turing wrote that the “guiding principle” of his investigation into the possibility of intelligent machinery was “The analogy [of machinery that might be made to show intelligent behavior] with the human brain.”  In his discussion of the investigations that Turing said were guided by this analogy, however, he employs a more far-reaching analogy: he eventually expands the analogy from the human brain out to “the human community as a whole.” Along the way, he takes note of an (...) obvious fact in the bigger scheme of things regarding human intelligence: grownups were once children; this leads him to imagine what a machine analogue of childhood might be. In this paper, I’ll discuss Turing’s child-machine, what he said about different ways of educating it, and what impact the “bringing up” of a child-machine has on its ability to behave in ways that might be taken for intelligent. I’ll also discuss how some of the various games he suggested humans might play with machines are related to this approach. (shrink)