Re: The Frame Problem

From: Harnad, Stevan (
Date: Sat Mar 08 1997 - 20:06:05 GMT

> From: Minnett-Westwood, Della <>
> Further to my previous message which was accidentally sent before I had
> finished it:- In essence, the Frame problem limits the symbolic
> computer. The organisation of my "mind" and the connections within it
> enable me to deduce, to infer, and to associate. Does this mean that I
> have solved the Frame problem, or simply bypassed it? When I am faced
> with an unknown situation, I do not - cannot - simply "crash" like a
> computer (although sometimes it feels like that!). Something akin to a
> survival mechanism kicks in, and I scan all available past experience
> and knowledge for a solution. If this fails, I would ask for help - I
> guess this means that I have effectively "crashed" as an individual.
> We have overcome the Frame problem, and I am sure that given
> the right pre-programming, symbolic computers could do the
> same.

The frame problem is only a problem for a symbol system; you are not
just a symbol system, so you don't have the frame problem.

The reason computers have the frame problem is that there is no way to
second-guess all possibilities symbolically (even with the help of
algorithms that cover an infinite number of cases). It's rather like
trying to teach someone everything in words -- and I mean EVERYTHING,
from the very first lesson on. Even the meanings of the words must be
taught with symbols.

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