**From:** HARNAD Stevan (*harnad@coglit.ecs.soton.ac.uk*)

**Date:** Wed Feb 21 2001 - 18:19:44 GMT

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Francis-Oladipo Marinho ( ) wrote:

*>
*

*> <http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Lovelace/intro.htm#
*

*> <http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Lovelace/menabrea.htm#
*

*>
*

*> Marinho:
*

*> if the machine is to live up to its name of being
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*> able to perform any function or calculation...
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*> ...the Analytical Engine....
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*> was meant to solve the problem of dealing with absolutely any
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*> mathematical problem.
*

Was there a clear idea at the time of what was meant by "able to

perform any function or calculation"? Was this the intuitive or

the formal sense of the Church/Turing Thesis?

http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall1997/entries/church-turing/

And was Babbage's Analytical Engine an approximation to a Universal

Turing Machine?

http://www.alanturing.net/pages/Reference%20Articles/What%20is%20a%20Turing%20Machine.html#univ

*> Marinho:
*

*> Menabrea... concludes
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*> that given a machine that can implement the four main arithmetic
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*> functions, i.e. addition, subtraction, multiplication and division,
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*> any other problem could be solved. This slightly contrasted with his
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*> earlier comment in the paper about Pascal's machine being less powerful
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*> as it only implemented the four main arithmetic operations.
*

But what is the truth?

*> Marinho:
*

*> Menabrea then proceeds to show how a machine would eliminate its need
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*> for human intervention
*

What was the motivation for eliminating the need for human

intervention, practical, or something deeper?

*> Marinho:
*

*> The idea that a machine could perform any given calculatiion implied
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*> that it would have to be able to cater for analytic problems as well as
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*> numerical ones
*

What is the difference between analytic and numeric problems, and how

is it related to the nature of computation?

*> > MENABREA:
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*> > the interpretation of formulae and
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*> > of results is beyond its province, unless indeed this very
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*> > interpretation be itself susceptible of expression by means of the
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*> > symbols which the machine employs. Thus, although it is not
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*> > itself the being that reflects, it may yet be considered as the
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*> > being which executes the conceptions of intelligence
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What does this mean?

*> Marinho:
*

*> In my opinion, his conclusion about the machine that would perform
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*> calculations based on rules it was given was correct to a degree. He
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*> suggested that such a machine was not necessarily intelligent, on the
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*> assumption that intelligence is displayed by reflection.
*

What does "reflection" mean?

*> He goes
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*> further to say it executes conceptions of intelligence. Surely, if the
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*> beliefs of Alan Turing and Alonzo Church are observed, then if a
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*> machine can execute the concepts of intelligence, it should also be
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*> able to be considered intelligent.
*

What does "executes conceptions of intelligence" mean? Does it just

mean "do what intelligent systems can do"?

*> Touching again on the area of intelligence, Menabrea's opinion is that
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*> little intelligence is required for such a machine as it is only
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*> implementing operations that are given to it, in other words an
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*> algorithm. So it speeds up calculations and does not require prior
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*> training. Some would argue that humans implement algorithms too and as
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*> they were learnt by humans who are considered intelligent, why should
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*> the machine be considered to have lower intelligence since it also
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*> learnt the algorithm.
*

Yes, this is the question, isn't it...

What is the answer?

Stevan Harnad

**Next message:**HARNAD Stevan: "Re: Babbage/Menabrea: Analytical Engine"**Previous message:**Marinho Francis-Oladipo: "Re: Babbage/Menabrea: Analytical Engine"**In reply to:**Marinho Francis-Oladipo: "Re: Babbage/Menabrea: Analytical Engine"**Next in thread:**HARNAD Stevan: "Re: Babbage/Menabrea: Analytical Engine"**Messages sorted by:**[ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ] [ attachment ]

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