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Eliezer_Yudkowsky comments on Explaining vs. Explaining Away - Less Wrong

46 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 17 March 2008 01:59AM

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Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 17 March 2008 04:05:35PM 6 points [-]

Silas, you seem to have an exaggerated idea of how mysterious visual recognition is to modern neuroscience. (An idea that was probably exaggerated by someone posting Jeff Hawkins's work in reply, as if Jeff Hawkins were anything more than one guy with a semi-interesting opinion about the general cerebral cortex, and a much larger marketing budget than is usual in science. Nothing to compare to the vast edifice of known visual neuroscience.)

Around a third of the 471 articles in the MIT Encyclopedia of Cognitive Sciences seem to be about vision, although that may just be a subjective impression. Should you be interested in how, specifically, the brain carries out the operations of vision generally and object recognition, you could do worse than to pick up a copy of MITECS and start reading through it - it would give you a good idea of where to look for further information.

There isn't the tiniest reason to believe it's magic.

Furthermore, while I couldn't do it off the top of my head, I have some idea where to look up how to build a standard narrow-AI object-recognition system that could, if you insist, "objectively" (if with poorer accuracy) verify visually through a known algorithm whether I was wearing the objects I call "socks".

Your objection seems genuinely pointless on multiple grounds and I am confused as to why you make it.