Some thoughts after the journal club
So we have a journal club now. In the ‘slab’ (short for neurophotonicslab), several persons had a meeting sharing some interesting and/or relevant papers. For the first talk, Jack from CS shared some good ones. I’m not sure if the other guys felt the same way, but I found it interesting and philosophic.
Here are some points/questions brought up from the meeting I want to share with you:
All computers came from the turing machine, and none of them goes beyond it. Turing machine is the prototype of all the present computers. If you can wait long enough, it can complete any task ran by any computer.
Computer cannot simulate a thing more powerful than itself. Since the computer is developed from the turing machine, and the basic of the turing machine is the RULE. It cannot break the rule, just like: if there is god, we will never know about him, because we are created to be “not possible to know about god”.
Turing test of how to judge if a computer can think. Machines nowadays cannot think, but how can we tell if it can? Turing gave this simple and elegant experiment. We put a computer and a human behind a curtain, and let a person talk/type to talk to one of them, without knowing whom he is talking to. If he cannot tell whom he’s talking to, then we declair the computer can think. It’s not a perfect experiment, you can always argue that. But no one gave a better experiment yet.
Can computer generate *truly* random number? Personally, I think that stops computer from thinking as a person. All the *random* we got from the computer now is not truly random, it’s based on some table or algrithm stuffs. Actually my colleage argued that we don’t come out a truly random number. The desicion we make is based on our experience and present state. That’s not ture. Unless we believe there is a Golden Rule that determines all the things happen next, in which case we admit the exist of god.
Googol is infinite. Googol is the number stands for 100 zeros behind 1. That’s much greater than it seems. But the truth is, if we divide all the things on earth into nano particles, divide the time from the birth of the earth into femtosecond, and multiple them. We cannot get this number. So if we enumerate the universe and cannot achieve it, we can consider it as infinite.
There are also some other interesting points, but the listed are the top of my head.