Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  40 / 48 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 40 / 48 Next Page
Page Background





avoid humiliating a loved one, keep a promise, or . . .

(make up your own O’Henry story here). Failure to rise

to such an occasion might well be grounds for blaming

a human chess player. Winning or throwing a chess

match might even amount to commission of a heinous

crime (make up your own Agatha Christie story here).

Could Deep Blue’s horizons be so widened?

Deep Blue is an intentional system, with beliefs and

desires about its activities and predicaments on the

chessboard; but in order to expand its horizons to

the wider world of which chess is a relatively trivial

part, it would have to be given vastly richer sources of

“perceptual” input—and the means of coping with this

barrage in real time. Time pressure is, of course, already

a familiar feature of Deep Blue’s world. As it hustles

through the multidimensional search tree of chess,

it has to keep one eye on the clock. Nonetheless, the

problems of optimizing its use of time would increase by

several orders of magnitude if it had to juggle all these

new concurrent projects (of simple perception and self-

maintenance in theworld, to saynothing ofmore devious

schemes and opportunities). For this hugely expanded

task of resource management, it would need extra layers

of control above and below its chess-playing software.

Below, just to keep its perceptuo-locomotor projects in

basic coordination, it would need to have a set of rigid

traffic-control policies embedded in its underlying

operating system. Above, it would have to be able to

pay more attention to features of its own expanded

resources, being always on the lookout for inefficient

habits of thought, one of Douglas Hofstadter’s “strange

loops,” obsessive ruts, oversights, and deadends. In

other words, it would have to become a higher-order

intentional system, capable of framing beliefs about its

own beliefs, desires about its desires, beliefs about its

fears about its thoughts about its hopes, and so on.

Higher-order intentionality is a necessary precondition

for moral responsibility, and Deep Blue exhibits

little sign of possessing such a capability. There is, of

course, some self-monitoring implicated in any well-

controlled search: Deep Blue doesn’t make the mistake

of reexploring branches it has already explored, for

instance; but this is an innate policy designed into the

underlying computational architecture, not something

under flexible control. Deep Blue can’t converse with

you—or with itself—about the themes discernible in

its own play; it’s not equipped to notice—and analyze,

criticize, analyze, and manipulate—the fundamental

parameters that determine its policies of heuristic

search or evaluation. Adding the layers of software that

would permit Deep Blue to become self-monitoring

and self-critical, and hence teachable, in all these ways

would dwarf the already huge Deep Blue programming

project—and turn Deep Blue into a radically different

sort of agent.

HAL purports to be just such a higher-order intentional

system—and he even plays a game of chess with Frank.

HAL is, in essence, an enhancement of Deep Blue

equipped with eyes and ears and a large array of sensors

and effectors distributed around

Discovery 1

. HAL is not

at all garrulous or self-absorbed; but in a few speeches

he does express an interesting variety of higher-order

intentional states, from the most simple to the most