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Showing posts from December, 2008

A machine which executes a procedure ... Pop1 (1)

Japanese version

It has been while. We thought about a machine which generates the next number of the input last time. Here, we have seen a procedure of ''increment one.'' We coined this procedure as ''increment one,'' like there is something meaning. Or for human, this procedure has a meaning, ''increment one.'' But, the machine SUCC 1 just moves some symbols around. I think SUCC 1 did not understand the numbers. Here is too much to think about what is ''meaning'' or what is ''understanding.'' There is a hypothesis called ''Society of Mind'' by Marvin Minsky (this is a nice book and I recommend this.) which said a complex combination of simple functionalities creates intelligence, or you can not distinguish such complex thing from an intelligent thing. But SUCC 1 is such a simple machine and I believe I could safely say it has no intelligence. (By the way, are there any relationship between…

Three guests in a restaurant... meaning of computation (1)

Japanese version

Several weeks ago, one of my friends visited me. We told about lambda calculus and the meaning of computation. Lambda calculus tried to define the computation only in a formal way without thinking its meaning. On the other hand, it is usually important what I am computing in every day life. Interestingly, I started to think about the meaning of computation more deeply when I think about how-to-not-to-think-about-the-meaning. I think something I start to understand when it was missing.

There is a film called ``Paper moon''. In the film, there are several cheating methods which are good examples of using misunderstanding of meaning of the computation. If I remember correctly, a classic Japanese Rakugo, ``Tubozan'' has the same tricks. There is also a good example of how a physicist connects the meaning and computation in a book, ``Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!.'' In this article, ''three guests in a restaurant''is a famou…