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Reverse Zone, weblog on urban planning, sustainability, and technology.

Martin Laplante

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Sun, 25 Sep 2005

Turing Machine from Lego

Here is a neat model of a Turing Machine made of Lego that I noticed earlier this summer. Of course to be a real Turing machine it would need an infinite number of pieces of Lego for its stack

I have come across plenty of computer science graduates who don't know what a Turing machine is. I guess to them computer science is just a religion, based on faith. What is the point of cryptography without knowing what is computable and what is not?

Of course, artificial intelligence has wasted a lot of effort trying to figure out what may or may not be computable. This time it is a more legitimately religious issue. After all our soul is at stake. Well, if you think that your soul requires a proof of the impossibility of programming a computer to be as human as a human. Maybe what we need is to build some automata that are clever enough to make every possible argument for and against it, and move on with useful AI work. And if a computer is eventually clever enough to use a legal loophole to trick St Peter (or Satan) into letting it in, it will at least have an interesting story to tell during eternity.

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