We remember Pic de la Mirandole Like a man who knew everything about the science of his time. But Einstein warns us: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Knowledge alone is sterile and does not allow progress. The instrument of knowledge is intelligence or reason, and the instrument of imagination is instinct or the heart, according to Pascal’s own words, and by this criterion of imagination the great thinker makes a figure of vision as evidenced by all his contributions to science also. Like philosophy.
“Intelligence has no proof, it must be erased. It is good only for menial tasks.” Simone Weil, Gravity and grace
In particular, Pascal can be credited with two fundamental innovations that make artificial intelligence (AI) possible today: he developed the first mechanical calculator in history and he developed the first fundamentals of calculating probabilities.
Physicist and engineer Pascal
In 1631, young Blaise was 19 years old and the family settled in Rouen where his father was named by Cardinal Richelieu deputy commissioner for the collection of taxes and the raising of volumes, taxes very unpopular in the old system. In order to facilitate the hard parenting work, Blaise invented the first arithmetic machine that makes it mechanically possible to perform addition and subtraction of two numbers as well as multiplication and division by repetition.
It works thanks to an original system of six gear wheels and includes a bucket or crossover that automatically transfers deductions from operations. The machine will be called the Pascaline, a copy of which we see in the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Paris. Dozens of machines were built, but the invention was too expensive, and would prove to be a commercial failure.
In 1654, Pascal started a new system which he called chance engineering. It is a method that highlights the problem of chance in games of chance and constitutes the first step in statistical computations in which he can be considered a pioneer.
Before him, Galileo was already rubbing his shoulders, in response to the Grand Duke of Tuscany who asked why, when rolling 3 dice, 10 comes out more than 9? With balanced faces, we find a probability of 0.116 for rolling 9 and 0.125 for rolling 10; The Grand Duke had an eye on everything.
at Triangle Arithmetic TreatyPascal explains the technique of computations called probability today, and in particular introduces the ubiquitous logic of mathematics.
Computer on one hand, statistical computation method on the other hand, here are the two necessary and mandatory components for developing Artificial Intelligence (AI).
What is artificial intelligence?
Artificial intelligence is the ability of an artificial machine, that is, built by a human, and therefore a computer, to demonstrate properties equal to or greater than the human brain, even the brain of Einstein.
Artificial intelligence is all the rage. Television, in its evening news, has recently touted its usefulness in optimizing the truck-hauling tour between different delivery points. The intelligence required here is equivalent to the intelligence of an ant colony. Optimization programs in the multiple choice problem have been known for a long time.
To master the complexity of the world, physicists, who have the upper hand in the techniques of statistical computation, have developed the so-called Monte Carlo simulation, a name that clearly remembers the game of roulette and green carpet. It is a method of choice for evaluating the feasibility of a problem governed by a large number of interrelated parameters, each of which is forced to follow a complex law of probability.
In practice, we already know that the computer is superior to the world chess champion, because it can calculate all possible moves at high speed and determine the winning option without firing a shot.
Artificial intelligence is found in facial recognition or in self-driving cars. In a more socially engaged way, a Chinese court He uses it as a prosecutor. The machine is able to identify various common crimes: theft, fraud, dangerous driving… Trained on 17,000 files, it can bring charges with up to 97% accuracy based on the verbal description of the case. This will lighten the burden on the judges by the same amount but who will bear the responsibility in the event of an error?
Note that artificial intelligence analyzes our behaviour, for example through our use of the Internet, to enhance our tastes or habits, thus guiding our future choices, which finally It restricts our freedom.
Can artificial intelligence mimic humans in all their activities? Our nervous system acts as a supercomputer that receives, stores, and retrieves information. But he can also learn and design. Already, some machines use feedback mechanisms that analyze direction to adopt new behaviors that are more appropriate to the success of their task. This is the case of stochastic cooling where information about the dynamics of a beam of particles accumulating in a circular ring is used to improve the subsequent properties of the beam. And so CERN has developed a device to produce filament-like beams of antiprotons. The system somehow learns that it is evolutionary and creative, but the mechanism stems entirely from the intelligence of the person who created the clever scheme and Simon van der Meer was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1984 for this invention.
All of these examples rely on increasingly complex arithmetic processors. The problem is whether AI can go beyond simple arithmetic to exercise imagination which, as Einstein mentioned, is the primary driver for developing ideas.
Imagination is an art hidden in the depths of the human soul, and there is no doubt that we will not extract from nature except with the difficulty of the secret of its true movements. Immanuel Kant
Can AI be creative?
The ambition of AI promoters is nothing more and nothing less than cloning the human brain. However, this person is not only able to manipulate knowledge, but also knows how to imagine new ideas, which allows him to explore the fields of art, mathematics, morals, the concept of God … which makes him distinguish probably For a computer that only performs the operations that are sent to it. If there is intellectual creativity at the end of the chain of algorithms, the way the machine operates copies that of the nervous system and the supercomputer can develop artificial intelligence. Otherwise, the AI will be limited to the servile intelligence that Simone Weil is talking about.
In the framework of the theory of evolution, the subject is born from the “phosphorylation” of matter, so the ability of imagination is attributed to the only property of physical phenomena that give rise to this physical reality, as a result of printed circuits should today be capable of imagination. But if the self has another source, which includes an independent spiritual component, then the ultimate goal of AI will never be achieved.
Note that the creativity that arises in intuition frees itself from the strict determinism of the laws of classical physics to give chance, at least ostensibly. Opportunity seems to be the instrument of creativity, but there is opportunity in human life, but there is no opportunity. probably In the computer, if not the electrical faults that one can hardly imagine to be creative.
The search engines available today actually contain an infinite amount of knowledge more than the mind of Pic de la Mirandole. It remains to be seen whether the highly advanced robot will one day be able to compete with Pascal in terms of creativity. Let him have the last word. at ReflectionsHe wrote, taking the dialects of the Prophet: “The arithmetic machine produces effects which are more close to thought than anything that animals do. But it does nothing that can be said to have willpower, like animals.” But it is the will, the criterion of freedom of life, that leads to artistic and scientific creativity. Thus for Pascal, the stated goal of AI appears to be a decoy.
“Certified gamer. Problem solver. Internet enthusiast. Twitter scholar. Infuriatingly humble alcohol geek. Tv guru.”