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Questions tagged [philosophy]

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27 views

Law and contracts as “programs” executed by human brains

Note: This question is NOT about using computers/AI in legal practice. I found a paper (pdf here) that makes the analogy between law and computer programming: Laws and contracts are programs/...
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0answers
30 views

Is entropy a good indicator of the quality of a lossy compression?

Say I want to quantitively evaluate the effectiveness of several color-to-grayscale conversion algorithms, which can be considered as lossy compression. Would entropy be a good indicator? To ...
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Can we see all of mathematics as an attempt to simplify computations?

This is a rather strong claim, and therefore likely to be incorrect, but hear me out. Firstly, when I talk of “computations”, I mean this in a broader sense than normally used, because I am including ...
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1answer
42 views

How the concept of computer change over time? [closed]

There was a time when a "computer" was a person who worked on accounts. However, machines were introduced and this profession eventually died out over time. The definition below was taken from pag 750 ...
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2answers
59 views

Is the credit assignment problem a well-posed one?

Credit assignment is the process of assigning credit (or blame) to a particular move in a sequence of moves (temporal credit assignment) or to a particular node (structural credit assignment) among ...
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1answer
497 views

Is Coq synthetic or analytic?

In CMU's HoTT course, lecture 1, which can be found here: https://scs.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=0945cc7f-48b7-4803-81af-e7193a3f461d At 33:52, Harper was giving parallel ...
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1answer
42 views

Can agent be autonomous without having consciousness?

My intuition is that 1) self-awareness (modeled through epistemic modal logics); 2) goal reasoning (e.g. https://www.aaai.org/ocs/index.php/AAAI/AAAI16/paper/view/12292) and 3) consciousness (e.g. ...
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1answer
71 views

Solomonoff's theory of induction, Kolmogorov complexity and Bayesian Inference

My motivations for asking this question are philosophical in nature. I'm by no means a computer scientist though, and I feel as though this question should be answered by someone who is since it's one ...
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29answers
46k views

Why is writing down mathematical proofs more fault-proof than writing computer code?

I have noticed that I find it far easier to write down mathematical proofs without making any mistakes, than to write down a computer program without bugs. It seems that this is something more ...
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0answers
43 views

is-child-of, is-instance-of as intensional and extensional inheritance relation - is object-oriented modelling an great oversimplification?

I am trying to build knowledge base in OpenCog cognitive architecture (http://wiki.opencog.org/w/The_Open_Cognition_Project) and I see that OpenCog lacks usual means to express notions of object-...
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1answer
56 views

In the learning theory version of Occam's razor, why can't I just declare whatever hypothesis I want to be “shortest”?

Occam's razor states that shorter explanations (formally speaking, hypotheses) are more likely to be correct. Indeed this can be formalized: for a hypothesis class $\mathcal H$ one may ascribe ...
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3answers
180 views

Usefulness of a linked list with a cycle

Is a singly-linked list that contains a cycle considered a corrupted data structure or is there some practical use for it? (You could argue that a car without its front shield is not corrupted, if ...
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2answers
371 views

If the universe were predetermined, would non-deterministic automata still make sense?

If the universe were governed by predeterminism (i.e. some deity decided in advance how everything, ever, would play out), would the notion of non-deterministic automata make sense? Or would it not, ...
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3answers
236 views

Church-Turing thesis is a dualism

Church-Turing thesis : Every effectively calculable function is a TM-computable function. But, hypercomputation models are strictly more powerful than TM and can solve TM-uncomputable problems on the ...
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1answer
72 views

Does anything ever get absolutely deleted, i.e., so that it is impossible to retrieve it? [closed]

This question is prompted by my finding hundreds of e-mails that I thought I had deleted still on my web-mail. So I followed instructions to put them in Trash and to Empty Trash. Are they now ...
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2answers
953 views

Quantum computers and computable functions

A quantum computer can possibly calcluate computable functions faster, but it can't calculate functions which a normal computer can't calculate? If a function is not computable? Does this mean it ...
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1answer
432 views

If the Halting Problem was solvable, and we solved it, what would be its implications?

Perhaps a way to better understand the Halting Problem's importance is to know what would happen or what could be possible if this was solved. What would be the Halting Problem's implications in ...
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1answer
143 views

What are some fundamental issues computer science tries to address? [closed]

I was wondering, if physics has the origins of the universe or the nature of space, time, and matter, biology has the existence of the cell and the origin of life, are there mysteries that computer ...