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Synthetic Intelligence Campaign

A paradigm shift is clearly essential
  (+5, -1)
(+5, -1)
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A campaign to have the term "Artificial Intelligence" replaced by the term "Synthetic Intelligence", since the use of the adjective "artificial" implies that the said intelligence is somehow not "real".

Viral marketing would be employed to reach tech- savvy web users and persuade them of the obvious merits of the concept.

Disclaimer: while there is an element of advocacy (let's all) in the idea, we wish to point out that this is an idea for a public campaign, not just the promotion of the primary conception.

8th of 7, Dec 17 2012

Synthetic Intelligence http://en.wikipedia...thetic_intelligence
[scad mientist, Dec 17 2012]

The real meaning of artificial intelligence Artificial Intelligence
[pashute, Dec 18 2012]

The real meaning of artifice http://en.wiktionar...ki/artificium#Latin
[reensure, Dec 19 2012]


       I think the paradigm shift is already in process. See link. Or is there some nuance in your definition that makes it different?
scad mientist, Dec 17 2012

       In what sense is "synthetic" more real than "artificial"?
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 17 2012

       Yeah, artificial means man-made, not necessarily fake. Bone for not cracking Webster's before posting.
ytk, Dec 17 2012

       //Yeah, artificial means man-made, not necessarily fake.//   

       Whereas synthetic means?   

       //Bone for not cracking Webster's before posting.// Surely a dictionary would be more appropriate?
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 17 2012

       //Whereas synthetic means?//   

       Not natural, i.e., artificial. I'm making the same point you are.   

       //Surely a dictionary would be more appropriate?//   

ytk, Dec 17 2012

       They are going to prefer the term "inorganic". We'd prolly do well to remember that.   

       Yeah, it's an old idea. There are instances in SciFi of such intelligences personally asking to be called something other than 'artificial' (for instance, 'machine intelligence'). But that is more to remove emphasis from how they came into existence, and focus on what they are; in that sense, synthetic is just as bad.   

       Anyway, I'm not in favour of abandoning a term just because it has gathered negative connotations in the minds of the ignorant. Artificial means 'made with art' (or with skill), and is the adjectival form of artifact. Whether it has good or bad connotations is a matter of fashion.
spidermother, Dec 18 2012

       Well, personally, I don't care if 99.999% of people misuse a word. They are still all wrong. (Most people may disagree with me on that point. See above).   

       I think that 'artificial intelligence' is still a good working title for the pursuit of the goal, even if it's not appropriate for the result.   

       Mostly, though, I don't really care, and am just playing council for the defense.
spidermother, Dec 18 2012

       Since networked computers are like a microscope and a telescope (macroscope) combined maybe the inherent intelligence of computers will be somewhere between the two. The microscopic ability of computers is insight into human subjectivity that they have a certain power of extraction (the keyboard). The telescope is on a very large number of human subjectivities, and objects through camera, much better than an x-ray satellite. For example the 'halfbakery' has a sort of intelligence built in because it mediates between a large diffuse number and each individual unit. The screen of the computer (macro view) and the keyboard (micro input) does mediate. Social media is a social macro view, and micro view mediation.
rcarty, Dec 18 2012

       //council for the defense//   

       Sp: counsel   

       //Well, personally, I don't care if 99.999% of people misuse a word. They are still all wrong.//   

ytk, Dec 18 2012

spidermother, Dec 18 2012

       My grandfather had arthritic (artificial/synthetic mashup?) intelligence. Do you think he was some sort of cyborg?
AusCan531, Dec 18 2012

       //'Inorganic' probably is a better term//   

       So... intelligence relying on pesticides. That makes sense; they would keep down the bugs in the learning algorithms.
pertinax, Dec 18 2012

       //I'm making the same point you are.// Ah, yes - apologies, [ytk].
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 18 2012

       'Artificial' carries with it the connotation of 'non- functional.' Note that there are 'synthetic oils,' but not 'artificial oils.'   

       How 99.999% of people use a word, effectively defines the word. Words are, after all, just constructs of sounds with common understood meaning, not math, despite our attempts at trying to fit them into logical groupings.
RayfordSteele, Dec 18 2012

       Synthetic oil and natural oil are both oil, and both functional You're a little weak in socratic method. Functional means "it works or cooperates " artificial, on the otherhand means inauthentic. Synthetic more specifically refers to something synthesized, while something artificial needn't necessarily undego such a process, nor does it have to share all of the qualities. You prove you're an inadvertent liar again and again yet you maintain the righteousness of some illiterate bible thumping shit for brains, who just basically denied any possible knowledge of Christ. Are you being influenced by satan? If you don't like words why don't you delete your account and stop harassing people. You're permanently filtered.
rcarty, Dec 18 2012

       It's a connotation. Not a definition.   

       He don't know me very well, do he?
RayfordSteele, Dec 18 2012

       //It's a connotation. Not a definition.//   

       But that's (kind of) my point. In some contexts, for some people, artificial has connotations of inferior, non-functioning, or not real. But that's not a helpful mindset for the recipient of artificial insemination, for example.   

       Yes, synthetic tends to mean faithful to the original, whereas artificial does not; for example, one would expect a synthetic leg to have blood vessels, nerves, etc., but an artificial leg simply needs to be made, and to be a leg. But that does not stop an artificial leg from being as good as, or better than, a natural or synthetic one.   

       I think the same applies here; artificial is neutral, a priori, and does not specify the quality or nature of the product. If it's intelligence, and it's made, it's artificial intelligence.
spidermother, Dec 18 2012

       Therein lies the problem for me, function is not connotative. Connotation is a function of certain words. Unfortunately not of function itself. To connotate with function or dysfuntion, is a sort of functionalism, ableism, or pragmatism. Based on the previous, although very inaccurate and contradictory, statements this is a futile undertaking because words only have a consensus meaning, which cannot possibly be true because the great number of people require dictionaries. If at once you try to fit a word into a logical grouping, and doubt the meaningfulness of the practice in the same breath you have said something meaningless.
rcarty, Dec 18 2012

       Perhaps, as a first step, we should concentrate on something that walks like a duck and talks like a duck.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 18 2012

       Artificial duck intelligence? I'll get my quack team on it.   

       Dictionaries change as time marches on. They are still the agreement of the consensus of common language.   

       I pick on you [rcarty] only because philosophy is typically grounds for [m-f-d] here, and I spent too much of my youth pondering imponderables for my own good, and you seem to do a lot of that here. So if you feel attacked, that is why. And if you're filtering my comment here, then please someone pass this message to [rcarty].
RayfordSteele, Dec 18 2012

       Both Artificial and Synthetic are technically correct.   

       However, since Artificial has negative connotations of "unrealness", it offends synthetic beings.
Kansan101, Dec 19 2012

       Precisely. A non-pejorative term is required.   

       // something that walks like a duck and talks like a duck //   

       Simon Cowell is Widely Known To Exist (unfortunately)
8th of 7, Dec 19 2012

       And also there should be a campaign to pronounce the "d" in paradigm. Also the "g" in campaign. It is time for English to revel in those seemly superfluous consonants!
bungston, Dec 19 2012

       You're welsh, aren't you? Seek help.
8th of 7, Dec 19 2012

       the thing possessing the AI or SI should be allowed to determine their own favourite term - just saying...
po, Dec 19 2012

       //a campaign to pronounce the "d" in paradigm//   

       That campaign seems to have succeeded across the English-speaking world.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 19 2012

       I take full credit. If I am being filtered, someone please notify [rcarty].
bungston, Dec 19 2012

       Some intelligence is obviously of a different class; we could perhaps set about reconciling other views of intelligence and the resultant vocabulary would evolve or follow suit.   

       Machines and people rely on a sort of logic engine to do our thinking for us. For machine intelligence to rival or equal human intelligence, the ends of its logical processing would have to be both a. accurate or effective in purpose and b. unpredictable. I use the terms rival and equal, rather than excel or dominate for the simple reason that people are very predictable and current machines are ever more predictable.
reensure, Dec 19 2012

       I did say that most people would disagree with me :-)   

       I feel that technical usage should be conservative, and not respond readily to popular usage.   

       For example, nearly everyone calls the condition where body image drives extreme weight loss through dietary restriction 'anorexia'; but technically, 'anorexia' means only 'absence of appetite', and the technical name for the described condition is 'anorexia nervosa'. So, the overwhelming majority usage, in my view, is incorrect, and it is not advisable to start re-writing the medical texts and dictionaries to accommodate it.   

       In this instance, while I'm now more aware than before of the different connotations of 'artificial intelligence' and 'synthetic intelligence', and will be more careful in how I use the terms in particular contexts, to the extent that this idea is to rename 'artificial intelligence' 'synthetic intelligence' because 'artificial' has negative connotations, I'm against it.   

       In summary, use terms appropriately: yes. Rename technical terms to reflect connotations in popular usage: no.
spidermother, Dec 19 2012

       One argument against using the term "synthetic intelligence" (if you mean inorganic intelligence) is that it will clash with "synthetic biology", a rapidly expanding discipline which aims to create organisms with novel functions using biology.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 19 2012

       Another way of looking at it is that 'artificial' expresses humility, while 'synthetic' expresses hubris, on the part of the meat intelligences involved.   

       (Bystander, looking at piles of silk and wire):
- Making artificial flowers?
- No, I make *synthetic* flowers.

       (Edit) Which is an especially appropriate analogy in the light of [Max]'s simulpost ^.
spidermother, Dec 19 2012

       But a pursuit or study or an act of creation is not the same as an instance or embodiment. To call 'artificial intelligence' 'silicon intelligence' is like calling 'technology' 'plastic'. The term 'artificial intelligence' is used precisely for emphasising the man-made aspect. If you wish to discuss the properties of a real or hypothetical intelligence, without being distracted by how it came into existence, than clearly 'artificial' is less helpful. Call a spade a spade!
spidermother, Dec 19 2012

       Perhaps my problem is that I'm already a convert ...   

       The concept, and the discipline, of trying to make intelligence is usefully called "artificial intelligence"; but it wouldn't even occur to me to call an actual or theoretical intelligence "artificial" simply because its ancestry is not biological.   

       So I don't see any need to replace "artificial intelligence" with synthetic, or machine, or silicon, or whatever. They are different words and have different meanings.
spidermother, Dec 20 2012

       Perhaps we have to start with a better definition of 'intelligence.' That word in itself I suspect is loaded with hubris.
RayfordSteele, Dec 20 2012


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