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Sunday, July 21, 2002

Is Artificial Intelgence Doable?-We had an interesting back-and-forth in my MIS class yesterday on whether we will ever get a sufficiently detailed model of how the brain works to create an AI system. One good Baptist guy stood by the position that God designed the brain to be so complex as to not be figured out by man. I'm not so sure. God is a god of order and created a orderly, knowable universe. While man is His ultimate creation, made in His image, I think that the basic ground-rules He set in place that make the brain work are possibly knowable. A second possibility is that we will never know the full details of how the brain works but that we'll get close enough to it to make a serviceable AI system. It might not be a perfect replica of the human brain, but one that will do many thinking tasks currently reserved for humans, becoming as to the brain what margarine is to butter, an imperfect but close substitute. We're decades away from such a system, but I do think that a serviceable AI system might be feasible in our lifetimes. However, I don't think that should change our theology, for computers don't have a soul. They might occasionally be demon-possessed (I had to exorcise one at Hurley), but one can't impart a saving faith into an machine. Thoughts from the Peanut Gallery are welcome.

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