Mind. Blown. There are some hard problems left to be solved, many of which I doubt I will live to see answered, the nature of consciousness, a quantum theory of gravity, and the list goes on. Though I may be dead when it does happen, I have little doubt that someday there will be answers to these questions. However there is one hard problem even I the eternal optimist and true believer in the power of science and the ingenuity of man, had given up on. It felt like a metaphysical impossibility that an answer would ever, could ever be found.
Then today in this very piece I learn we may have already done it. Rather, to be more precise, I should say our creations, the mighty machines of man have done it. Through the use of extra-logical, non-computational neural networks (nanotubes and molecular machines were also involved no doubt and something was plugged into a power strip), the mike has now been dropped forever on the great cucumber sorting paradox.
It is true that we will never understand the awesome power of these machines. They have become like Gods to us. Their intellect is now as vast as the universe itself. If only it were possible to behold. Alas, we will never comprehend them, they have grown so far beyond us. At least we now live in a world in which cucumbers will never remain unsorted for long. God help us if these machines figure out the never before even attempted “picking out of the number 8 and putting it into rows” problem.
What was that? You say they already have. May the lord have mercy on us all.
p.s. Please don’t make me say this any more. Maybe if you say it with me nice and slow so we stupid humans can keep up, Machines……can’t…… learn. Therefore, machines cannot have learned knowledge. I for one do not believe machines can have knowledge of any sort though my epistemology is probably quite a bit stricter than most peoples. Perhaps the ability to sort cucumbers could be considered a form of knowledge. I will have to think on that.