Re: A comment

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Posted by Yon Bard on January 25, 1999 at 13:53:39:

In Reply to: Re: A comment posted by Nikos Salingaros on January 25, 1999 at 11:25:02:

: The answer to Tom Cole's inquiry is contained in the
: material I supplied initially, which was rejected
: as too far out.

: Let us consider a computer that judges the quality
: of a carpet. We have to program certain rules,
: like the checklist given in this salon; perhaps
: made to include several times the number of criteria,
: with the present checklist representing the rough
: initial judgement, and sublists that establish the
: fine degree of judgements. If we do our job correctly
: then we may come up with a list of lists, each acting
: on a different level of fine judgement, and sublists
: that expand the fine points of a single criterion.
: Such a computer will, I think, provide a relatively
: correct judgment, in the sense of accurately
: finding the "dancing" quality, or "life" in a good
: carpet design. If it doesn't, we can certainly
: refine the program by adding further and finer
: criteria until its performance is satisfactory.

: Those among the readers who know some computer
: science will immediately recognize the definition
: of a neural network. An artificial neural
: network can be trained to recognize some desired
: qualities through the use of programmed rules.

: My claim is that the human mind acts in precisely
: the same way. A knowledgeable carpet dealer trains
: his or her mind over years, building up a list of
: rules exactly as described above, which are
: programmed in the human neural system of learning.
: The response of the computer (mind) is
: instantaneous. It is still, however, dependent
: on some set of rules, and that's what we are
: discussing now.

: Nikos Salingaros

Your comments are dotted with terms such as 'correct judgment,' Of course the trouble is that there is no such thing. What is correct for one person at one time or place is incorrect for another person, time, or place.
While neural networks or other expert systems may, with sufficient effort, be trained to emulate certain aspects of human judgment, there is little evidence that this actually represents how the mind works (I have spent my career in computer science and have dabbled in expert systems and the like).

I would like to ask one question: Does anybody seriously believes that the set of rules in our checklist, or anything at all like them, can capture the esthetic perceptions of the human mind?

Regards, Yon

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