苔花如米小,也学牡丹开。 Assignment 1

MIT有一门“ (AKA 6.803 and 6.833) The Human Intelligence Enterprise”的课,课的主要内容是通过阅读提供的经典文献和进行课堂讨论,达到从计算的角度理解人类智能的效果。


  • 6.xxx是关于人类思维的计算解释。 因此,6.xxx可以被视为一种特殊的心理学学科。
  • 6.xxx是关于通过思想的阅读,写作和讨论从原始资料中挖掘出大创意的方法。 因此,6.xxx可被视为一种特殊的文学学科。
  • 6.xxx是关于将创意包装成多种格式,包括摘要,结论,幻灯片,新闻稿,提案,报告,信函和对话。 因此,可以将6.xxx视为交流的主题。
  • 6.xxx是关于如何通过清晰的愿景陈述,实现愿景的具体步骤的枚举,清晰阐明细节的清晰表达新成果以及贡献的陈述来赋权思想的。 因此,可以将6.xxx视为说服力和领导力的主题。

这一门课在2019年春季最后一次开,尽管课程工作量相当大,依然高强度爆满,只能抽签选中可以上课的学生。主讲人是 Patrick Henry Winston。不幸的是,Winston教授在2019年7月去世了,而包含了大量课程内容的书 Communication 好像也因此鸽了。不过好在每一节课需要读的论文和要做的作业还存在,我决定进行阅读并尝试做一些作业来确保自己一定程度上理解了阅读内容,从而提高自己的表达与写作能力并了解人类的智慧。



Part A

You are to complete this part of the assignment on one side of one sheet of paper, using 10 pt type or larger, with reasonable interline spacing and margins.

Note that, for various reasons, we insist on strict adherence to the stipulated page limits.

  • We want you to learn to be concise.
  • We sometimes scan your papers for posterity. Our scanner does not handle staples, nor does it handle two sides.

Part A1—Decoding a Paper

You have a nightmare. You have partied all weekend, is to meet in fifteen minutes, you have not read the assigned paper yet. You have lost all your electonic devices, but have a paper copy of the assigned paper. You are afraid Winston will call on you at random to summarize the important ideas. Explain how you would use your fifteen minutes to prepare for that possibility. Do not limit yourself to techniques suggested by the Turing paper.

I understand that in order to fully understand the paper I would need ~2 hours to read the paper. Plus I probably need more time to prepare and be ready for any kind of discussion. As the class time is limited I will tell Winston that I’m not prepared for discussion before the class begins. I would try my best to listen to the discussion as there will not be a written record. In order to do that, I will scan through the paper and make my best effort to understand what the paper is about.

Part A2—The Turing Paper

Suppose that you are Alan Turing. You have been asked to participate in a panel discussion on the possibility of intelligent computers at a meetng of the Royal Society. You prepare some talking points by completing the following:

  • In retrospect, the most important part of my paper is the first part, where I described the imitation game as a test for intelligence, because before my paper, there is no similar test for intelligence. In order for people to do research of the question “Can machines think?” there need to be concrete models and sound definitions to work on, so that we would know when the success will come. With the imitation game as the test it is possible for people to discuss the possibility of artificial Intelligence and for me to make my case on the topic. The test also zoomed the area of focus from thinking to the expressed results of thinking, thus we have less to worry about.
  • I think the strongest of my various arguments is the one against arguments from various disabilities, especially the one asserting that machines cannot make mistakes, because from my argument it is clear that whoever has the objection has the confusion between “errors of functioning” and “errors of conclusion”. Mine argument against the claim that a machine cannot be the subject of its own thought is also strong, as machines actually can have a subject of thought.
  • I think the weakest of my various arguments is the argument against the ESP, because with a evenly distributed random generator the probability for the machine to guess any card is the same. For me it is difficult to give argument against points without the scientific proof, like ESP and theological arguments. These points rarely make sense and is probably not fit for any serious thoughts.
  • I hope that people pursue research focused on the problem of building a program which could pass the imitation game, because the solipsist opinions and points that cannot be scientific proved don’t seem particularly important to me.

Miscellaneous, Side 2

Part A

Read the Style Guide carefully. Then, on the other side of your sheet of paper, criticize the following:

The author believed “Patrick and Karen drank wine and beer in Miami and Montreal. The former was too cool and the latter was too warm. Since the food was good, however, neither wanted to leave.”

We are very picky about the points listed in the Style Guide, so you should review every paper you write to be sure that you have adhered to the commandments. Otherwise, you will drive us crazy with rage and have to resubmit your paper to get a grade.

  1. The faulty use of quotation marks. The quotation should be removed.
  2. “Former” and “Latter” should be replace my “Miami” and “Montreal”
  3. “Since” should be replaced by “because”

Part B

Alan Turing has returned to life for the current academic year and has decided he wants to take to catch up on what has happened after he died in 1952. He has asked you to draft an entry to the “Why do you want to take 6xxx” question that will make Winston hope he will be a lottery winner. Provide the draft.


Part C

Then, draft an entry to the “Why do you want to take 6xxx” question that will make Winston indifferent about whether he will be a lottery winner.




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