Brain Faces Program

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In the first chapter of Smarter than you Think, Clive Thompson discusses the idea of humans and computers playing chess together and the effect that machinery has on human interaction. The machine will always outsmart the human, even with no intuition, but ultimately, the human could put an end to the machine and be the winner. The machine is not programmed to end the human, only to defeat it in chess. It brought to mind a really cute video I took of my foster puppies in their new home. The owners had a stuffed Santa Claus M&M that played "I'm Sexy and I Know It" and danced around. The dogs were really confused by this and eventually, one of the puppies grabs the toy in her mouth, which defeats the purpose of the motor that's programmed to make it move and play music. There is no interaction between the dogs and the toy, only between the dogs and their parents, but the dogs believed the toy to be alive. The toy has no intuition to tell it to amuse the dogs or to run from them, but as long as the toy is programmed to be in motion, it will serve its purpose. It will still move and play music in the dog's mouth, but if she tries hard enough, she will break it and she will have won.

On an unrelated note, if you loved the video and pictures, here's the shelter where I got them if you want to save a life and find a new best friend.

Anna and Elsa 1
Anna and Elsa 2



Valerie Smith's picture


I really enjoy reading your post as to my love for animals, especially kittens and puppies. I think that humans will always be smarter than machines because humans possess intuition. If we programmed machines to have the exact same type of brain as us, then the machine COULD possibly put an end to us; thus the beginning of Terminator comes to be. It made me think of all the Sci-Fi movies out about robots overtaking human civilization. What would happen if we had an army of puppies that shut all the robots down by biting them? I think that would be awesome! I think the fact that robots don't have a brain similar to those of living creatures, they will never be on the same intuitive level as us. Robots don't really have the power to adapt like plants and other forms of life do. They only have the power we instill in it. People focus so much on creating life in machines that we forget that we can create life through reproducing our own species. I really enjoyed this post!