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.
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)
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). (...).
The properties of Turing’s famous ‘universalmachine’ 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)
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)
A fundamental problem in artificial intelligence is that nobody really knows what intelligence is. The problem is especially acute when we need to consider artificial systems which are significantly different to humans. In this paper we approach this problem in the following way: we take a number of well known informal definitions of human intelligence that have been given by experts, and extract their essential features. These are then mathematically formalised to produce a general measure of intelligence for arbitrary machines. (...) We believe that this equation formally captures the concept of machine intelligence in the broadest reasonable sense. We then show how this formal definition is related to the theory of universal optimal learning agents. Finally, we survey the many other tests and definitions of intelligence that have been proposed for machines. (shrink)
In the centenary year of Turing’s birth, a lot of good things are sure to be written about him. But it is hard to find something new to write about Turing. This is the biggest merit of this article: it shows how von Neumann’s architecture of the modern computer is a serendipitous consequence of the universalTuringmachine, built to solve a logical problem.
A paradigm of scientific discovery is defined within a first-order logical framework. It is shown that within this paradigm there exists a formal scientist that is Turing computable and universal in the sense that it solves every problem that any scientist can solve. It is also shown that universal scientists exist for no regular logics that extend first-order logic and satisfy the Löwenheim-Skolem condition.
A. M. Turing has bequeathed us a conceptulary including 'Turing, or Turing-Church, thesis', 'Turingmachine', 'universalTuringmachine', 'Turing test' and 'Turing structures', plus other unnamed achievements. These include a proof that any formal language adequate to express arithmetic contains undecidable formulas, as well as achievements in computer science, artificial intelligence, mathematics, biology, and cognitive science. Here it is argued that these achievements hang together and have prospered well in the (...) 50 years since Turing's death. (shrink)
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 universalTuringmachine 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)
This volume celebrates the various facets of Alan Turing (1912–1954), the British mathematician and computing pioneer, widely considered as the father of computer science. It is aimed at the general reader, with additional notes and references for those who wish to explore the life and work of Turing more deeply. -/- The book is divided into eight parts, covering different aspects of Turing’s life and work. -/- Part I presents various biographical aspects of Turing, some from (...) a personal point of view. -/- Part II presents Turing’s universalmachine (now known as a Turingmachine), which provides a theoretical framework for reasoning about computation. His 1936 paper on this subject is widely seen as providing the starting point for the field of theoretical computer science. -/- Part III presents Turing’s working on codebreaking during World War II. While the War was a disastrous interlude for many, for Turing it provided a nationally important outlet for his creative genius. It is not an overstatement to say that without Turing, the War would probably have lasted longer, and may even have been lost by the Allies. The sensitive nature of Turning’s wartime work meant that much of this has been revealed only relatively recently. -/- Part IV presents Turing’s post-War work on computing, both at the National Physical Laboratory and at the University of Manchester. He made contributions to both hardware design, through the ACE computer at the NPL, and software, especially at Manchester. Part V covers Turing’s contribution to machine intelligence (now known as Artificial Intelligence or AI). Although Turing did not coin the term, he can be considered a founder of this field which is still active today, authoring a seminal paper in 1950. -/- Part VI covers morphogenesis, Turing’s last major scientific contribution, on the generation of seemingly random patterns in biology and on the mathematics behind such patterns. Interest in this area has increased rapidly in recent times in the field of bioinformatics, with Turing’s 1952 paper on this subject being frequently cited. -/- Part VII presents some of Turing’s mathematical influences and achievements. Turing was remarkably free of external influences, with few co-authors – Max Newman was an exception and acted as a mathematical mentor in both Cambridge and Manchester. -/- Part VIII considers Turing in a wider context, including his influence and legacy to science and in the public consciousness. -/- Reflecting Turing’s wide influence, the book includes contributions by authors from a wide variety of backgrounds. Contemporaries provide reminiscences, while there are perspectives by philosophers, mathematicians, computer scientists, historians of science, and museum curators. Some of the contributors gave presentations at Turing Centenary meetings in 2012 in Bletchley Park, King’s College Cambridge, and Oxford University, and several of the chapters in this volume are based on those presentations – some through transcription of the original talks, especially for Turing’s contemporaries, now aged in their 90s. Sadly, some contributors died before the publication of this book, hence its dedication to them. -/- For those interested in personal recollections, Chapters 2, 3, 11, 12, 16, 17, and 36 will be of interest. For philosophical aspects of Turing’s work, see Chapters 6, 7, 26–31, and 41. Mathematical perspectives can be found in Chapters 35 and 37–39. Historical perspectives can be found in Chapters 4, 8, 9, 10, 13–15, 18, 19, 21–25, 34, and 40. With respect to Turing’s body of work, the treatment in Parts II–VI is broadly chronological. We have attempted to be comprehensive with respect to all the important aspects of Turing’s achievements, and the book can be read cover to cover, or the chapters can be tackled individually if desired. There are cross-references between chapters where appropriate, and some chapters will inevitably overlap. -/- We hope that you enjoy this volume as part of your library and that you will dip into it whenever you wish to enter the multifaceted world of Alan Turing. (shrink)
``Neural computing'' is a research field based on perceiving the human brain as an information system. This system reads its input continuously via the different senses, encodes data into various biophysical variables such as membrane potentials or neural firing rates, stores information using different kinds of memories (e.g., short-term memory, long-term memory, associative memory), performs some operations called ``computation'', and outputs onto various channels, including motor control commands, decisions, thoughts, and feelings. We show a natural model of neural computing that (...) gives rise to hyper-computation. Rigorous mathematical analysis is applied, explicating our model's exact computational power and how it changes with the change of parameters. Our analog neural network allows for supra-Turing power while keeping track of computational constraints, and thus embeds a possible answer to the superiority of the biological intelligence within the framework of classical computer science. We further propose it as standard in the field of analog computation, functioning in a role similar to that of the universalTuringmachine in digital computation. In particular an analog of the Church-Turing thesis of digital computation is stated where the neural network takes place of the Turingmachine. (shrink)
A. N. Turing’s 1936 concept of computability, computing machines, and computable binary digital sequences, is subject to Turing’s Cardinality Paradox. The paradox conjoins two opposed but comparably powerful lines of argument, supporting the propositions that the cardinality of dedicated Turing machines outputting all and only the computable binary digital sequences can only be denumerable, and yet must also be nondenumerable. Turing’s objections to a similar kind of diagonalization are answered, and the implications of the paradox for (...) the concept of a Turingmachine, computability, computable sequences, and Turing’s effort to prove the unsolvability of the Entscheidungsproblem, are explained in light of the paradox. A solution to Turing’s Cardinality Paradox is proposed, positing a higher geometrical dimensionality of machine symbol-editing information processing and storage media than is available to canonical Turingmachine tapes. The suggestion is to add volume to Turing’s discrete two-dimensional machine tape squares, considering them instead as similarly ideally connected massive three-dimensional machine information cells. Three-dimensional computing machine symbol-editing information processing cells, as opposed to Turing’s two-dimensional machine tape squares, can take advantage of a denumerably infinite potential for parallel digital sequence computing, by which to accommodate denumerably infinitely many computable diagonalizations. A three-dimensional model of machine information storage and processing cells is recommended on independent grounds as better representing the biological realities of digital information processing isomorphisms in the three-dimensional neural networks of living computers. (shrink)
As interpreted by Pattee, von Neumann’s Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata has proved to be a useful tool for understanding some of the difficulties and paradoxes of molecular biosemiotics. But is its utility limited to molecular systems or is it more generally applicable within biosemiotics? One way of answering that question is to look at the Theory as a model for one particular high-level biosemiotic activity, human language. If the model is not useful for language, then it certainly cannot be generally (...) useful to biosemiotics. Beginning with the UniversalTuringMachine and continuing with von Neumann’s Theory and Pattee’s interpretation, the properties of universality, programmability, underspecification, complementarity of description/construction, and open-ended evolutionary potential are shown to be usefully applicable to language, thus opening a new line of inquiry in biosemiotics. (shrink)
Alan M. Turing, pioneer of computing and WWII codebreaker, is one of the most important and influential thinkers of the twentieth century. In this volume for the first time his key writings are made available to a broad, non-specialist readership. They make fascinating reading both in their own right and for their historic significance: contemporary computational theory, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and artificial life all spring from this ground-breaking work, which is also rich in philosophical and logical insight. An (...) introduction by leading Turing expert Jack Copeland provides the background and guides the reader through the selection. About Alan Turing Alan Turing FRS OBE, (1912-1954) studied mathematics at King's College, Cambridge. He was elected a Fellow of King's in March 1935, at the age of only 22. In the same year he invented the abstract computing machines - now known simply as Turing machines - on which all subsequent stored-program digital computers are modelled. During 1936-1938 Turing continued his studies, now at Princeton University. He completed a PhD in mathematical logic, analysing the notion of 'intuition' in mathematics and introducing the idea of oracular computation, now fundamental in mathematical recursion theory. An 'oracle' is an abstract device able to solve mathematical problems too difficult for the universalTuringmachine. In the summer of 1938 Turing returned to his Fellowship at King's. When WWII started in 1939 he joined the wartime headquarters of the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire. Building on earlier work by Polish cryptanalysts, Turing contributed crucially to the design of electro-mechanical machines ('bombes') used to decipher Enigma, the code by means of which the German armed forces sought to protect their radio communications. Turing's work on the version of Enigma used by the German navy was vital to the battle for supremacy in the North Atlantic. He also contributed to the attack on the cyphers known as 'Fish'. Based on binary teleprinter code, Fish was used during the latter part of the war in preference to morse-based Enigma for the encryption of high-level signals, for example messages from Hitler and other members of the German High Command. It is estimated that the work of GC&CS shortened the war in Europe by at least two years. Turing received the Order of the British Empire for the part he played. In 1945, the war over, Turing was recruited to the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in London, his brief to design and develop an electronic computer - a concrete form of the universalTuringmachine. Turing's report setting out his design for the Automatic Computing Engine (ACE) was the first relatively complete specification of an electronic stored-program general-purpose digital computer. Delays beyond Turing's control resulted in NPL's losing the race to build the world's first working electronic stored-program digital computer - an honour that went to the Royal Society Computing Machine Laboratory at Manchester University, in June 1948. Discouraged by the delays at NPL, Turing took up the Deputy Directorship of the Royal Society Computing Machine Laboratory in that year. Turing was a founding father of modern cognitive science and a leading early exponent of the hypothesis that the human brain is in large part a digital computing machine, theorising that the cortex at birth is an 'unorganised machine' which through 'training' becomes organised 'into a universalmachine or something like it'. He also pioneered Artificial Intelligence. Turing spent the rest of his short career at Manchester University, being appointed to a specially created Readership in the Theory of Computing in May 1953. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in March 1951 (a high honour). (shrink)
Animals, including humans, are usually judged on what they could become, rather than what they are. Many physical and cognitive abilities in the ‘animal kingdom’ are only acquired (to a given degree) when the subject reaches a certain stage of development, which can be accelerated or spoilt depending on how the environment, training or education is. The term ‘potential ability’ usually refers to how quick and likely the process of attaining the ability is. In principle, things should not be different (...) for the ‘machine kingdom’. While machines can be characterised by a set of cognitive abilities, and measuring them is already a big challenge, known as ‘universal psychometrics’, a more informative, and yet more challenging, goal would be to also determine the potential cognitive abilities of a machine. In this paper we investigate the notion of potential cognitive ability for machines, focussing especially on universality and intelligence. We consider several machine characterisations (non-interactive and interactive) and give definitions for each case, considering permanent and temporal potentials. From these definitions, we analyse the relation between some potential abilities, we bring out the dependency on the environment distribution and we suggest some ideas about how potential abilities can be measured. Finally, we also analyse the potential of environments at different levels and briefly discuss whether machines should be designed to be intelligent or potentially intelligent. (shrink)
Between inventing the concept of a universal computer in 1936 and breaking the German Enigma code during World War II, Alan Turing, the British founder of computer science and artificial intelligence, came to Princeton University to study mathematical logic. Some of the greatest logicians in the world--including Alonzo Church, Kurt Gödel, John von Neumann, and Stephen Kleene--were at Princeton in the 1930s, and they were working on ideas that would lay the groundwork for what would become known as (...) computer science. Though less well known than his other work, Turing's 1938 Princeton PhD thesis, "Systems of Logic Based on Ordinals," which includes his notion of an oracle machine, has had a lasting influence on computer science and mathematics. This book presents a facsimile of the original typescript of the thesis along with essays by Andrew Appel and Solomon Feferman that explain its still-unfolding significance. A work of philosophy as well as mathematics, Turing's thesis envisions a practical goal--a logical system to formalize mathematical proofs so they can be checked mechanically. If every step of a theorem could be verified mechanically, the burden on intuition would be limited to the axioms. Turing's point, as Appel writes, is that "mathematical reasoning can be done, and should be done, in mechanizable formal logic." Turing's vision of "constructive systems of logic for practical use" has become reality: in the twenty-first century, automated "formal methods" are now routine. Presented here in its original form, this fascinating thesis is one of the key documents in the history of mathematics and computer science. (shrink)
In the popular imagination, the relevance of Turing's theoretical ideas to people producing actual machines was significant and appreciated by everybody involved in computing from the moment he published his 1936 paper ‘On Computable Numbers’. Careful historians are aware that this popular conception is deeply misleading. We know from previous work by Campbell-Kelly, Aspray, Akera, Olley, Priestley, Daylight, Mounier-Kuhn, Haigh, and others that several computing pioneers, including Aiken, Eckert, Mauchly, and Zuse, did not depend on Turing's 1936 (...) class='Hi'>universal-machine concept. Furthermore, it is not clear whether any substance in von Neumann's celebrated 1945 ‘First Draft Report on the EDVAC’ is influenced in any identifiable way by Turing's work. This raises the questions: When does Turing enter the field? Why did the Association for Computing Machinery honor Turing by associating his name to ACM's most prestigious award, the Turing Award? Previous authors have.. (shrink)
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)
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 universalTuringmachine. 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 Turingmachine. 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)
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>.
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)
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)
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)
1. The Physical Church-Turing Thesis. Physicists often interpret the Church-Turing Thesis as saying something about the scope and limitations of physical computing machines. Although this was not the intention of Church or Turing, the Physical Church Turing thesis is interesting in its own right. Consider, for example, Wolfram’s formulation: One can expect in fact that universal computers are as powerful in their computational capabilities as any physically realizable system can be, that they can simulate any (...) physical system . . . No physically implementable procedure could then shortcut a computationally irreducible process. (Wolfram 1985) Wolfram’s thesis consists of two parts: (a) Any physical system can be simulated (to any degree of approximation) by a universalTuringmachine (b) Complexity bounds on Turingmachine simulations have physical signiﬁcance. For example, suppose that the computation of the minimum energy of some system of n particles takes at least exponentially (in n) many steps. Then the relaxation time of the actual physical system to its minimum energy state will also take exponential time. (shrink)