‘Different men may be differently affected by the same object, and the same man may be differently affected at different times by the same object.’ –Spinoza
One of the things I asked him was is a computer going to create Beethoven’s 10th Symphony? What is the role for creativity? I think Robin and others would say: Well, we romanticize that. It’s still just neurons firing. A great chess player we think of as an artistic genius, but a great computer has now surpassed almost all of the great chess players. Just again a matter of romance and time before we eliminate this idea that there is something more than the brain.
I have a number of comments. One is that when we say, to take the particular example we always use, that computers play great chess, first of all I would claim there are actually two games there. There’s computer chess and human chess, and it isn’t exactly the same game. Humans play chess very differently than computers. In a certain sense you are comparing apples with oranges when you claim that. You want to stop and explain that? What happens is computers, because they have such a large memory capacity, and they do very simple operations so quickly, they can go through literally millions of possibilities in a very short amount of time. Human beings cannot do that, so they have to rely on other capacities they have that the computer doesn’t have, things like intuition, judgment, and feel. Things which are difficult to quantify. In fact, human beings have all these capacities which are essentially non-quantifiable: That is to say, we have parts of our brains that operate non-digitally.