Re: The Frame Problem

From: Cherry, Sandra (
Date: Fri Mar 07 1997 - 09:55:14 GMT

>Dye, Matt wrote;

> OK. SO why is the "frame problem" just that - a problem. If we also
> suffer from it, why is it a problem that computers suffer too?
> .... you know an awful lot of things. How would
> you go about giving a computer all this information ... expressing
> everything in terms of symbols and rules? You can't do this!

> How long would it take? It would take forever and a day!
>Is it the case that everything you know you were told and just remembered?
> If you were to be told everything you know in the same way as a symbolic
> computer needs to be told, would you have been able to know all the
> millions of things you know by the age you are now?

Some knowledge is innate, E.g. universal grammer (according to
Chomsky), and other species, e.g. birds have innate systems, like their

> It seems to me very unlikely that I could have acquired the knowledge I
> have now just by being taught millions of rules. What do others think?
> This is the essence of the frame problem. Also think about how many
> times you "trip up" - that is are unable to respond or give an answer to
> something. Usually we can make inferences and have an educated guess.
> Could a computer whose knowledge is just in the form of rules we have
> given it do these things?

No, as it only has the symbols you have input into it's system, as you
can't input all possible outcomes,

(a) you would not be able to anticipate these (although I expect you
could add as "it" came up against a problem) BUT this brings me to

(b) "it" does not have enough space, megabites, chips, whatever it runs
on to hold all of these.

So, this leads me to conclude that WE, as in humans are superior to
computers, in that respect. I.E. We are more adaptable, through being
able to bend and manipulate rules/knowledge to adapt to any given
situation. However as Guy mentioned, I think that if I was on another
plant knowing nothing about the way of life, etc. I too would come up
against a frame problem, not knowing how to react if I did not have
that knowledge/input. However I am not likely to be in that situation,
I have enough difficulty in trying to expand my own mind, with all this
new input. Sandra

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