Amusing Allegorical Story about Birds, Flight and AI

I love this story to which Cory linked at Boing Boing. The story describes bird scientists considering the question of artificial flight, holding it up to a preposterous standard of feather and muscle powered locomotion as the only acceptable means for flitting through the air.

I don’t share Cory’s skepticism about AI and this story demonstrates one of the reasons why. Read it and you should understand that there is definitely more room for varied definitions of and means for cognition. The other reason I am not a skeptic is that I don’t think we know enough about our own cognition, yet, to even make judgments about what may or may not be possible in the long run.

The parallel here would be the birds not understanding the aerodynamics, biology and fluid mechanics that make feather, flesh and bone flight possible. Without that understanding, how can you even begin to imagine the other routes through which flight, or intelligence, might be achieved?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *