I could go on and on and on and on, but I will save you the lengthy preface, body, and eulogy and get right to the meat. One tangent I stumbled upon today dealt with the stock market. My blog does deal with success and finance after all. However, a post was made on Reddit about how you could take 9 randomly generated stock charts and a real one, throw them in a pile, and you would not be able to tell the difference or find the true stock chart. This then lead me to hunt in Wikipedia and soon after I found the Turing Test, and then I found ELIZA, and then I found the script for ELIZA. The Turing Test is a set of philosophical questions to determine whether or not machines or artificially intelligent programs can think like human beings. ELIZA was a program developed in the 1960s by a psychologist named George Bernard Shaw, and the gist of the program was: a psychiatric patient was to communicate via text to this program, and based on keywords that the person gave, the program would generate a response. Almost all of the patients who were diagnosed by ELIZA believed there was a real human on the backend of the responses. When they were told it was a program, they simply refused to believe the conductors of the experiment. The philosophical implications can be discussed here for many, many posts, but I will save you the headache and present you with this question. Many of us work professions and jobs and can all relate to the term, “unconsciously proficient”. Much like how you can drive a car with ease, there are some areas of your life where you know how to do things with a level of unthinking mastery. What is the difference between someone who is unconsciously proficient and a machine that could automate what you do?
I seriously want you to ponder this.
My response: I believe there is barely any difference, if any between the two. Although humans are more than just machines, we have programming inside of us that gets tweaked, reworked, and perfected. Now let’s use the driving example because it is an example we can all relate to. I believe few things in this universe are truly and wholly perfect. Let’s say you can program a machine to engage the accelerator pedal at the “perfect” time or press the breaks with the “perfect” amount of force, it would still be an imperfect mechanism. However, in order to drive, you do not need to drive exactly at 65 mph on the highway, or break at an exact time before every red light. You just need to get to your destination. The programming that you use when you drive is not a perfect system. I don’t believe there is one; even for our theoretical self-driving machine. The process we use is not perfect, but modular, and I would argue that we reach a level of “perfection” that suites our purpose. Once this level is reached, I do not believe there is any difference, if any between an unconsciously proficient process and an automated machine.