This is a true, but the unwritten suggestion is that modern computers are not used in this manner, and indeed many people believe this is the case. They believe that somehow modern computers no longer make calculations, that they no longer ‘compute’. That they have somehow become more than what they have been since their inception. At the surface this seems so obvious and reasonable, and so it must be true. However, it is not, modern computers are no different from their predecessors in this respect. They still perform computationally intensive tasks, that is (one reason) why they are still called computers and not something else. The mathematical and statistical techniques that comprise the algorithms with which modern computers are programmed are sophisticated and complex, but they are eminently knowable (they are determinate). They are at base still nothing but a series of rules (computations) that the computer must follow (must compute), by its very nature, it has no choice in the matter, it has no will, free or otherwise. Even if a computer could be programmed in such a manner that it could eventually program itself it would still be a slave to its (initial) program. This is yet (one more) reason why AI may be impossible.

And data ‘science’ is not science….lol!

Nice article. Thanks for writing it.

Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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