This article is interesting. It seems AI computer boffs needed a better test than the Turing Test for Hard Artificial Intelligence, should it ever arrive, given the subjective and easily manipulable results of the Turing Test recently. The original publication is here. As you’ll see, the test involves demonstrating a computer outputting something that was not designed into it in the original program – and should that ever happen, the computer will be shown to be truly intelligent, according to those best qualified to say.
But hold on a minute – aren’t evolutionary algorithms already producing new information that wasn’t input in the program, thus confirming the ability of simple organisms to develop indefinitely by natural selection? If so, it seems odd that the computational experts haven’t spotted it and raised the roof about the arrival of AI. Nobel Prizes should have been awarded.
The truth is, of course, that no evolutionary algorithm actually has the ability to generate genuine novelty. Kurt Gödel was absolutely right back in 1966 – natural laws are too lacking in information to generate life in an algorithmic manner, or any computer could simulate it, and it would be an example of hard AI. GIGO still rules, OK? And that means, as Robert Marks has pointed out, either that the algorithmic resources of evolution are greater than the probablistic resources of the entire universe (and a good number more) so that the impossible becomes possible, or that evolution is a process beyond algorithmic computation (as was suggested by Roger Penrose for the human mind, for example), which makes it anything but a simple scientific theory.
More on the last in a subsequent post.