In 1562, Don Carlos, the seventeen-year-old heir apparent to the Spanish throne, falls down a flight of stairs. Tragically, he sustains a terrible head wound. His father, King Philip II, orders physicians to attempt every available cure. Nothing works – not the birthwort powder applied to the skull, not the mixture of turpentine and egg […]
A lot of ink and electrons have been spilled on the task of getting our machines to pass the Turing test. It is indeed an accomplishment of some proportion if a computer’s linguistic or artistic output can pass for human-generated. But does a passing grade really mean genuine awareness?
Our stuff is meaningful; it’s symbolically and semiotically imbued with signals of memory, utility, and identity. These meanings are the fabric of culture – shared ideas and values that we acquire as members of society. They exist as thoughts we carry in our skulls, thoughts triggered when we consider or encounter our things. This symbolic […]